Review of the Quo Vadis Habana Blank Notebook

The latest treasure that I received from Exaclair is a Quo Vadis Habana in the 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 size (Thank you, Exaclair!).  I have reviewed the Habana before, but it's been a whilte, so I'll do it again!

Look & Feel
Size: 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 (large) aka A6 aka 148 x 105 mm
No. of Pages: 160 Blank Pages (80 sheets)
Binding: Hardbound, Sewn
Paper: Clairefontaine French-milled paper
Paper Weight: 85g
Paper color: Ivory
Extras: Accordion Pocket, Elastic Band, Ribbon Bookmark, Rounded Corners, PEFC Certified Paper-acid & Chlorine free
Cover colors available: Black, Red, Anise Green & Raspberry

The  things that impress  me about the Habana:

  • The relative lightness given its size
  • It fits on my scanner despite the size
  • The ivory-colored Clairefontaine French-milled paper, thin with a smooth, surface.
  • The lightly grained leatherette cover, with its rounded corners.  .  
  • The pages lie flat
  • The note book can be folded back with ease.

The Habana is typical for Clairefontaine paper:

  • No feathering
  • Little show-through of ink on the back of the page
  • Little to no bleed-through on the back of the page
  • Slow drying times
  • No pilling even when drawing on wet
  • Some dimpling when wet medium is used
  • Smooth surface
  • Color goes on bright, but not brilliant
For my writing example, I used a Montana Marker--an marker with a huge tip, filled with wet acrylic paint. There was show-through, but I couldn't get it to show up on the scanner. (I'll turn this into an art journal page later on).

For my drawing example, I used J. Herbin fountain pen inks using a mix of fountain pens and the J. Herbin roller ball pen.  I layered wet into wet and thoroughly saturated the paper in spots.  There was less show-through than there was with the acrylic paint, but there were spots of bleed-through where I added wet ink to wet ink.  This shows the worst of it.

Both pages dimpled somewhat, and they now crackle when you turn the page (before there is a soft 'shush' as you turn the pages).  I know from previous experience that most of the dimpling will flatten out, especially if weight is piled on the notebook.

The bleed-through and dimpling might keep some from using the back of the page (not me, though).

The finished example:

The large Quo Vadis Habana is an elegant and relatively light notebook.  Although the pages are thin, they are fountain pen friendly, and will take a certain amount of 'wet' medium. I would not use it primarily for watercolor, pastel, or pencil (color or graphite), because the paper is too smooth.  Either medium could be used effectively for small touches.

The paper is excellent for inks, providing a clear, crisp line and deep satisfying color.

I received this product from Exaclair, Inc. for purposes of giving feedback.  I was not asked to do this review, and any opinions expressed are my own.

Did you know that Exaclair, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon and Decopatch products?