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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paper Review - Basildon Bond

Time for another paper review. This will be my first time reviewing a "fancy paper". That is my quick-term for any paper that is marketed as high-end, prestigious, and/or luxurious.

This Basildon Bond paper is a total winner for me. I love every aspect of it, and it seems to excel where other papers fail for me.

PS - I'm using a new camera for the pictures in this review. I'm still getting used to it, so hopefully no one will be distracted by a few less-than-optimal shots now and again. :)

I really like this paper. And in case I forget to mention it again - I really like this paper. 95/100

Basildon Bond is an E.U. based company founded in 1911, that specializes in FP friendly, luxury stationery. Their paper is top-of-the-line, and it's beautiful. They make true watermarked paper, in a variety of "colors" and sizes. The specific paper we're looking at today is the Basildon Bond, Post Quarto Champagne Writing Pad. Let's get into some details:

Pages: 40 per pad, + a guide sheet and blotting paper.
Weight: 90gsm
Ruling: None/Blank
Color: "Champagne" AKA: Off-white
Size: 229 x 178mm
Price per pad: $6.30 (approx. conversion from GBP)
Price per page: $.15 (approx. conversion from GBP)

NOTE - These pads are incredibly hard to find for purchase. I found on place online that offered one variety of them, and that is what I'm basing my pricing off of. Actual pricing may vary, if you can find a place that offers these.

The good:
  • Very high quality paper
  • Not too expensive - very reasonable
  • It's textured, which is great, because I don't like "plasticy" feeling paper.
  • Watermarked
  • Off-white. I love this!
  • Comes with a guide sheet since the paper is blank.
  • Comes with a sheet of blotting paper, though honestly, the dry times were very good without.
The bad:
  • Can be very difficult to get a hold of, since the company is not within the States, and doesn't seem to be interested in importing their products...
The ugly:
  • There's nothing ugly about this paper.

On to the details!

The Basildon bond paper can be purchased with matching envelopes, for added effect when you're sending out a letter. You've already spent the money on nice paper, so you may as well invest in some beautiful envelopes to go with it. :)

Here's your stack of envelopes. you get 20 envelopes in a pack as opposed to 40 sheets of paper in a pack. seems fair enough to me.

If you look closely, you can see the watermark "BB" on the envelope.

Peel and stick. I was sort of hoping for the old lick-n-stick kind... :)

The envelops overall are an impressive addition to the paper. If you're going to bother buying this paper, get the envelopes with it. They really complete the package.

Now, how about that paper: Oh yeah! It's great stuff. I love every aspect of it, and it's got to be my favorite out of any paper I've thus far tried.

It's off white - huge bonus for me...

It's textured, and I love this. I really hate plastic feeling papers...

It takes FP ink very well (direct comparison to CF paper further down)...

It's watermarked...

What more can you ask for? I can't think of anything I'd do to change this paper. It exceeds my standards for what good paper should be. Smashing job Basildon Bond!

Let's take a closer look:
Here's the pad, and it's nice cover.

Here we have a little advertisement. They want to sell me some address labels to go with my envelopes.  The backside of this sheet is your guide sheet.

This guide sheet will keep you writing straight on this beautiful blank paper. I prefer this set-up to lined paper. Blank paper naturally looks cleaner and better, but it's to hard to write nicely on. This guide sheet provides the perfect middle ground, allowing for neat writing on neat paper.

This is the blotting paper. I accidentally started writing on it at first. Soaked up my ink very quickly. :)

And here's a writing sample.

I want to focus on this ink right here - J. Herbin Ambre de Bermanie. This ink feathers like crazy on bad paper. Basildon Bond? It takes it like a champ!

This is the same ink, same pen, written on Clairefontaine paper (Habana, old style).
The performance compared - both about the same.

This was an incredibly hard shot to capture, so please take a moment to click on the picture, open it in a new window at full resolution, and appreciate it. :)
If you look very closely, you will see the watermark on the paper. 

Held up in the sunlight, you can easily see the watermarks in the paper.

So what do I think of Basildon Bond paper? I love it! I've finally found a paper that meets all my requirements. Textured, off-white, and FP friendly. It's also not that expensive either, and it's beautifully watermarked.

My one problem with it - availability. It's hard to get a hold of. Hopefully I will find a source to buy these in the US, easily, and when I do I will share it with you all. For now, you're just going to have to go directly to the website, and find a dealer that has it.

No review, particularly one done with a new camera, would be compete without a closing shot:

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