I count myself extremely lucky that people around me appreciate my stationery obsession. Not only I can talk to them about it , but they also think of me whenever they see interesting stationery items. That is this Schreibblock (notepad) by Fr. Ant. (Franz Anton) Prantl, one of the oldest printing press in Munich, Germany, since 1797. Yes, a paper mill with history. Prantl reached its fame due to its popularity among artists and writers, such as Richard Strauss (composer) and Thomas Mann (writer). In fact, Prantl’s crest was the first Royal Warrant bestowed by King Ludwig I of Bavaria (His son had built the Neuschwanstein Castle, in case you are interested).
The rich history aside, Prantl notepad stands up to its reputation. While the pad itself does not indicate the paper weight, the paper weight is 150 gsm according to Prantl’s website. The heavy weight paper ensures good opacity and proper stiffness. In other words, even if you are heavy-handed, the writing sheet will retain its shape while the imprint will not transfer to the next sheet. The cream colored paper is warming to the eyes but could absorb some colors in brighter shade. The surface is neither sateen smooth nor fibrously toothy, which is suitable for the nibs I have tried.
While testing the paper, I tried to include fountain pens with a variety of nib sizes and different brands of ink, as well as a good assortment of media. It is amazing that there is no feathering or bleed through. Definitely wonderful when the paper “thinks” for you, so you can channel your heart to writing itself.
The cover graphic takes you back in time with its vintage flair and also reminds the users of the mill’s rich history. The notepad is glue bound on the top. Unlike some glue bound writing block that is either too strong that may risk tearing the paper or too loose that the paper is about to fall off as you are flipping pages. A strong and sturdy cardboard on the back of the notepad can make writing easier when a proper writing surface is unavailable.
Similar to Clairefontaine paper, there is some ghosting especially when the paper is held against the light. It is less of a problem if the ink is less penetrative. While the paper has substance, it is not overly bulky that makes it ideal for correspondence or a casual note.
In a way, this writing pad reminds me of Rhodia R pad, but Prandtl has more substance and less yellow. It also evokes similar ethos as Blackwing pencils, as both were used by famed authors. The history and weight of the paper add finesse to daily correspondence and render positive writing experience. At least in my search, this notepad is not sold on Prantl’s eCommerce storefront, but can be found in brick and mortar stores. One location is in Luitpoldblock in Munich.