Paper: Hamelin Black n’ Red, A4
Pen: Pelikan Souveran M605, Binderized Fine nib
Ink: Vintage Sheaffer Peacock Blue
So, here’s the thing about Black n’ Red notebooks. I love them and I hate them. It’s like a grab bag, you could reach in and pull out a totally sweet prize, or you can pull out a total piece of garbage. That’s exactly what it’s like buying these notebooks. My first experience with the Black n’ Red was at Staples. I came across this high quality paper, and immediately recognized it’s fountain pen friendliness. The paper was bright white (good for ink sampling), just as smooth as Rhodia, and had grey ruling instead of the purple that Rhodia uses. On top of that, it had a plastic cover and an elastic band to keep it closed. Awesome. This thing was going to be great. It was! I couldn’t wait to get home and order some more online. BOY was I setting myself up for disappointment, and I didn’t even know it.
I noticed that Amazon had a pretty solid selection of these pads. I was stoked. They were cheap, looked professional, they were black, and they were fountain pen friendly. So I ordered two of them, one A5 and one A4. When the notebooks arrived, I immediately checked them out. Here’s the disappointment. Totally same notebook, totally different paper. The paper in the one I had ordered online was more textured. There was no sheen to it and ink feathered more so than it did on the last one. Overall, it wasn’t bad paper, it just wasn’t what I was buying it for. Moral of the story: If you’re going to buy Black n’ Red notebooks (I still recommend them), do so in a brick and mortar store so you can verify that it’s the nice paper, not the textured, feathery stuff.
Like I said, check them out if you happen to see them in an office supply store, but be weary when purchasing online. Out of the four Black n’ Reds I have, two are the ones I like and two are the ones that I wish were the ones I like.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Stationery Reviews for more fountain pen friendly paper!