Review: Exacompta Plain Journal




I was given the Exacompta plain (unruled) journal to review by Karen and Stephanie of Exaclaire,the US distributor for Clairfontaine and a variety of other French stationary products. I like to put journals through a few paces before I do a review and since it took me a full year to get through my last journal, it’s been awhile.

The paper is off white, a very nice cream color that I really like a lot. The paper is laid textured on one side and much smoother on the other side. For some this would be a detraction, personally I like it very much and feel it opens the journal up for a variety of media I wouldn’t normally consider. Dry media does much better than expected- things like charcoal and soft pencil really like that laid texture. Though it is textured fountain pens love it’s surface.


Wet media also does admirably on this paper. I was pleasantly surprised when I soaked the paper down with water and color that it held up. It didn’t just hold up, it out performed the luxury of the Rhodia Webnotebook. When it dried the wrinkles (cockles) relaxed. While the paper is not perfectly smooth it’s less cockled than I’d have expected. I was able to lay down a nice wash of watercolor on BOTH sides of the page and have not one drop show through or soak through to the reverse side. That is pretty amazing.


Even my wettest writing pens don’t soak through. Occasionally you can see dark colors through the pages, but that is the case with most any journal. I’ve painted pages with ink and it doesn’t soak through to the reverse side, which again, is pretty amazing. I haven’t been interested in doing any collage in this but I’m sure it would take to it well.

In summary:
100 Laid Textured Ivory pages 100gsm
5.5×8.5 inches
Ribbon Marker
Soft Covers with a fabric spine, meant to go inside a leather cover, many companies make them
Price $15.50 at

It handles wet media like a champ and is wonderful for a fountain pen. Pencil does amazing textural things on the textured side but doesn’t smudge as much as would be expected on the smooth side.

Exacompta 1
Exacompta 2

It’s not cheap but it’s a better value than the moleskine sketchbook, it’s got more papges that behave better and respond better. I’d rate this 2 happy thumbs up and would recomend it to anyone looking to get a nice journal that they can write in, sketch ink, test watercolors in, and abuse.

Declaration: I was given this journal for review by Karen and Stephanie of Exaclair. Other than the free journal I was not given any compensation for the review.