Super-Héroïne by Clairefontaine

by Amanda Fleet

I got this notebook in the £15 bundle I wrote about a few weeks ago. At time of writing, this notebook is out of stock to buy as an individual notebook, but I think there may be some in bundles. You could pop Clare (our very own quartermaster) a message and see whether if you bought a bundle, if you could specify getting one. Failing that, you might have to wait until Nero restocks...

Anyway, let me tell you about the notebook...

I must confess that when I first got it, I thought, "Ah. Séyès ruling. Hm."

For those who've not encountered Séyès ruling before, it can look a bit of a weird thing. There are horizontal rulings every 2mm, with the 8mm lines darker than the others. There are also vertical rulings every 8mm. Essentially, you get 8mm square boxes, with three extra horizontal lines across them.


Yes. That was my initial reaction, forty million years ago when I was a wee girl and on a school trip to France, and encountered them for the first time.

Handwriting, is the simple answer.

Some of you may have children. Some of those children may be learning to write. Some of them may even, at some point, feel the need to write neatly.

Some of you grown-ups may wish your writing was neater (I know I frequently do!). Or be learning calligraphy.

Séyès ruling is great for all of these things.

The idea is that the horizontal lines are guides for the heights of different parts of a letter - take a "d" for example. The round part of the "d" should fit in the 2mm space. The upright part of the "d" should rise to the 4mm line. There is an excellent post about exactly how to use the grids to perfect your handwriting here.

I confess to two things here...

One, I have no idea what the vertical lines are for.

Two, my writing does not follow the style guide in the post I linked to. The best I can hope for is that the round bits of letters fit in the first 2mm, the uprights fit within the 4mm spacing and the tails that go below the line don't crash into the writing below. As for all the loops and curlicues... nope. I mostly only aim as high as "being legible" and still frequently miss.

But, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it all out, that my writing was even close to the lines. (The paper is white - Scottish sunlight levels are making it photograph badly...)

Of course, being Clairefontaine paper, it works beautifully with fountain pens, so if you are practising calligraphy, your ink won't splot and bleed and feather everywhere.

Is it a notebook for anyone who isn't wanting to improve their handwriting? Um, possibly not, though with a dark enough ink, you can overwhelm the 'extra' lines and essentially have 8mm ruled paper. Or 8mm squared paper, I guess.

£15 bundle