Clairefontaine Blog Series

Additional Information

Clairefontaine Blog Series: Additional Info
This series has explored Clairefontaine, Part One looked at how the company started and it’s support towards education and fitness. Part Two focused on the paper making process from the machines to the materials that are used. Part Three established some of the most popular products and techniques to use on their paper and Part Four will look further at the products themselves. As we have explored the paper that is created and it’s uses we will now look at the other details on their sketchbooks and pads.


We feel that exploring the paper is highly important when choosing the right sketchbook. We also think other factors should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right product for what you want. Things such as the type of bind and cover are just as important when choosing the correct sketchbook which is why we wanted to highlight some of these within their own blog.

To begin with, we will first explore the binds that Clairefontaine use within their sketchbooks and pads. One of the most common binds used, especially within the Paint On range is a glued bind. Having a bind like this means it is a relatively low cost for production. Once the page comes out of the pad it is also left with a straight edge. A bind like this also means it can lay flat, however, because it is a cheaper form of production it is not as sturdy as other binds. Some pads that have a glue bind might easily have pages fall out, nevertheless, the Clairefontaine range seems to be very secure compared to other brands. 

Some of their Sketchbooks that have a glued bind include; the Kraft Pad range, The Sketch White and Ivory Sketchbooks and as we have mentioned nearly all of their Paint On range including Gris, Mixed Media and Natural. As most of these pads are perfect for mixed-media and quick sketching, this style of bind is perfect as it makes it very flexible and quick to turn the page. 

Clairefontain Glued Bind

 Clairefotaine Glued Binds

One other notable collection that uses the glue bind is the Pastelmat No.1 and No.2 Pads which is a highly prestigious pastel paper and some of the best pastel pads on the market. Additionally these pads are also interleaved with crystal paper to protect your pastel drawings and to stop the pastel colours from being transferred to another paper surface. Not only is the cork grained paper a fine texture that has a velvety finish but the added crystal paper provides a professional high quality pad.

There are two other types of binds that let you open a pad fully as well as being able to lay-flat. These binds are also more expensive to produce compared to the glued bind, this is down to material and man-hours. The first is a wire bind (Spiral Bind). This is usually a singular metallic rod that loops around and through punched holes at the top or side of the sketchbook. One pad that uses this within the Clairefontaine range is the Sketch - Ivory Sketchbook. This book is perfect for students and the bind provides a more sturdy finish. One feature to this specific pad is that it has a perforated edge so if people want to take a sheet out, they can whilst also leaving a straight edge.


 On the left is the Sketch Ivory Sketchbook and on the right is the Graf Book

The Clairefontaine Graf Book is one pad that uses a stitched bind, because of the way it is stitched it also means that it can completely open-flat as well as being able to open 360 degrees which is something similar to what you would get with a spiral bind, however compared to a spiral bind, using a stitch bind means you will be able to draw across the bind. It is one of the most expensive forms of binding, but this also means that is it one of the most secure forms and pages won’t fall out. 

Another sketchbook that uses a stitch bind is the Paint On Square Sketchbook. A book that is dedicated to travelling and urban sketching. Additionally these pads also have some other qualities to take notice of, for example, the cover is very soft and foam like making it very pleasant to touch. It also has a round elastic and pull tab providing added quality to the book. These extra features make this pad unique compared to the majority of other sketchbooks and pads we have mentioned throughout this blog; as most of these use a paperback cover, with some using a cardboard back so you have a slightly harder surface to work on.


Overall, Clairefontaine has a small yet varied option when it comes to binds and covers, with most sketchbooks and pads sticking to similar styles like a paperback cover and glue bind. However offering some other alternatives, all being high in quality, leads to great options for any artist as most of their products are versatile and suitable for all techniques. We offer a large and affordable range of Clairefontaine products, click here to see our range.






Image Credits - 

Product Shots: Sandra Manchester