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  1. This is an ongoing bleed-through comparison test between ten different commercially available notebooks. This test will continue as long as there is interest in it and pages remaining in the current set of test notebooks. Method This is a simple test, and will involve three steps: 1. Every time I fill a pen with ink I will write the names of the pen, nib size, and ink in ten different notebooks. 2. I will assign each entry a score indicating the severity of bleeding based upon predetermined thresholds. Absence of bleed-though is scored with a checkmark. Bonus points will be given for each additional page side where ink is present. A plus sign indicates that the ink has bled onto the subsequent sheet and the number following it indicates the number of sides bled onto. e.g. an ink that bleeds ink onto the next sheet will get a +1, an ink that bleeds through that same second sheet will get a +2. 3. Points will be tallied at the end of each round to a cumulative total, and the leaderboard will be updated. Lower numbers equate to higher bleed-through resistance. Objectives 1. To determine what notebook paper, of those tested, has the best resistance to bleeding. 2. To see how the same ink appears and behaves on different paper. 3. To see what inks do well on otherwise bleed-prone paper. Qualification Notebooks must meet the following qualifications: 1. They must have at least 30 ruled lines to accommodate ten sets of two written lines with one blank space in between each entry. 2. They must have side wire binding with perforated pages. Ten notebooks take up a lot of workspace and wire binding is ideal as it allows notebooks to fold back on themselves into single stacks of paper. Having detachable pages is only important for ease of scanning. Two exceptions were made, as noted below, because these examples were deemed too important to be excluded due to format. 3. The cost of notebooks must not exceed $12.00 CAD including shipping if applicable. This includes instances of sale prices and promotions. In cases where notebooks were obtained free of cost the price would reflect the lowest price found online. The Contenders Scoring Notes 1. I have debated whether to post a scan of the back of each page but have decided against it. We all know what bleed-through looks like. It would be twice the work in scanning and uploading, and in many cases there would be very little or nothing at all to show on the opposite side of the page. Also this is a comparison between notebook paper and not a focused review of one particular product, and so the empirical aspect takes precedence over individual peculiarities. Refer to the scoring examples for an approximation of bleed-through severity. 2. The white sticker at the top of each page is to provide a standard white balance to each example. 3. The Maruman Mnemosyne notebook is the only B5-size notebook, chosen because there are thirty lines per page, and a larger A4 notebook would have many more lines than needed 4. The Clairefontaine and Black n' Red Casebound notebooks are the only ones without perforated pages. Additionally, the Black n' Red Casebound notebook is the only one without wire binding. This is because neither was locally obtainable in a perforated wirebound format. 5. Two Black n' Red notebooks were chosen because, examined side-by-side, it's very obvious that they have different paper. The paper made in Poland is significantly smoother by touch. 6. The show-through on Staples Sustainable Earth is strong enough that what bleed there is may not be noticed without close inspection. However hidden or understated, bleed will still be counted and scored in full. 7. The Polish Black n’ Red notebooks bleed mostly at the printed lines. Line bleeding is not omitted or counted partially in the overall score and no separate score will be given discounting it. ROUND I Scorecard Standings: 1. Clairefontaine - 0.0 2. Cambridge - 0.5 T3. Rhodia 80gsm - 1.0 T3. Staples Sustainable Earth - 1.0 T5. Black n' Red (Germany) - 2.0 T5. Maruman Mnemosyne - 2.0 T7. Five Star Heavyweight - 7.0 T7. Hilroy - 7.0 9. Black n' Red (Poland) - 9.5 10. Staples Notes - 16.0 Cumulative Bleed-Through Score By Sample: Sample 1 - 0.5 Sample 2 - 8.0 Sample 3 - 1.5 Sample 4 - 8.5 Sample 5 - 8.0 Sample 6 - 1.0 Sample 7 - 8.0 Sample 8 - 6.0 Sample 9 - 1.0 Sample 10 - 3.0
  2. DESCRIPTION I was given half a pad of graph paper from the '80s, or at the very earliest, the late '70s (along with a few other things...). How old does something have to be before it's considered vintage? Anyway, the only markings on the pad are "Hilroy No. 2144" and the price, 59 cents. If it had a cover, it's long gone. http://i.imgur.com/m4xlurb.jpg I've never used Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc. However, I think this Hilroy paper has some similar characteristics. It is very thick and has a smooth, almost slippery feel without being glossy. The colour may have been white but it has since yellowed slightly. Other details: North American letter size (approx. 8.5" x 11"), three-hole-punched, top-bound (pages can be torn out along a perforated line) and backed by some sturdy cardboard. THE TEST I decided to sacrifice one page to experimentation with fountain pens. My thickest/wettest writer is only a Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib, but after fantastic results and absolutely no ghosting on the back, I went further. Here's the sheet now, with various pens known to bleed on horrible paper in the lieu of broad/flex fountain pens. Many were borrowed . Please excuse the inconsistent handwriting, I've been practising other scripts and now I can't write casually without interference from continuous cursive, cursive italic AND print http://i.imgur.com/BDlU7MG.jpg Pilot Metropolitan (M), Pilot Blue-Black Pilot Plumix ("M" italic ~1.0mm), Noodlers Gruene Cactus Eel Lamy Logo (EF), Lamy Blue Pilot High-Techpoint V5 (0.5) HB pencil (0.5mm) Uni-ball Vision Needle micro, waterproof and fade-proof Pentel Metallic Gel Roller Snowhite Roller Pen Staedler Calligraph Duo (3.5mm) Bic Round Stic (M) Sharpie marker Grand&Toy highlighter Sharpie highlighter Sanford Dry-Erase marker Staedler Lumocolor (for overhead projectors) Pentel Hybrid gel Basics permanent markerSummary: Most of the thick and wet markers feathered but the highlighters did not. Then again, whiteboard and overhead markers aren't meant for paper and I'd expect most alcohol-based markers to bleed. More surprisingly, the fountain pens (no. 1-3) performed better than any of the rollerballs. They simply laid down cleaner lines. Okay, so I only tried 3 ink/nib combinations, but the Uni-ball Vision Needle (no. 6) and the Snowhite Roller Pen (no. 8) feathered in an ugly, uneven way. Certain spots looked sort of spiky. I'd rather have uniform-but-fat. The Pilot Metropolitan with Pilot Blue-Black ink (no. 1) probably took the longest to dry, about 15 seconds. http://i.imgur.com/QNttRXw.jpg Ghosting and Bleed-through Let's just say that the back side is very usable aside from anything with alcohol-based ink or extreme width and wetness. I don't know about broad or flexy fountain pens, but it's safe to say that this paper performs extremely well... as long as the ink dries quickly. See below. Noodler's Black I've heard about some inks having long dry-times on certain papers, so I put one drop of Noodler's Black on as an experiment. It sat on the page instead of spreading. This is what it looked like, 10 minutes later: http://i.imgur.com/dXjaDx0.jpg One hour later and it was still wet. No feathering. It barely spread outwards, if at all. http://i.imgur.com/YasjdIF.jpg At this point I drew the ink out into very thin lines. These took 2-3 minutes to dry. I can only imagine how long it would take for a wet, thick line to stop smudging. http://i.imgur.com/bEMVUVS.jpg CONCLUSION In short, this is the best paper I've tried so far (in the one month that I've used FPs). Considering the complete lack of feathering or ghosting with my wet-writing, medium-nibbed Pilot Metropolitan, this may be a hard record to break

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