The Ca.Crea A4/3 from PLUS Corporation is an odd notebook that I like; however, I can’t quite figure out if I ever want to use another one.
Let me start with the negatives:
First, the name is terrible. The first part of the name (Ca.Crea) is pronounced “Kah Kree-uh) and the second part (A4/3) is unpronounceable, although it is often written as A4 x 1/3.
It’s almost as if someone responsible for naming got confused and handed in their daughter’s algebra class notes instead of the slip of paper containing their name recommendations.
Second, the size is odd. It is 215 mm X 105 mm which makes it one-third the size of a piece of A4 paper and 5 mm longer and 5 mm narrower than a standard refill for a Travelers Notebook. In fact, it fits a Traveler’s cover quite nicely (albeit after some careful page counting.)
However, because I’m not a big fan of the Travelers system, this is not a huge plus for me.
On the other hand, the 56 pages of cream paper and 5mm dot grid are excellent to write on. They are very fountain pen friendly and they allow for bottled inks to show off their shading without any feathering. Also, the ink writes over the dot grid meaning the dot grid doesn’t break up the ink lines. (This aspect of gridded notebooks is a pet peeve of mine, even though I have to look closely to be annoyed by it.)
The paper is a bit slick and tends to dry much more slowly than I’d like, but it handles almost every ink well. Even Wancher Matcha, the heart breaker (it breaks hearts) didn’t soak through except where I scratched the paper.
I did find the paper to be very unforgiving to italic and stub nibs when I got even slightly off the sweet spot.
The other advantage of the Ca.Crea A4/3 is that the perfect bound and stitched pages will open flat. It’s also possible to fold the “premium cloth” cover and used pages around to make everything easier to hold when you don’t have access to a desk or a friendly shoulder. It will then close naturally without the covers being sprung.
This may be my favorite aspect of the notebook. Although it won’t fit easily in a pocket, it is easy to hold and use.
It comes in several colors with different color inner covers and facing pages. (The insides of mine were light pink.)
Although I like the notebook, and would probably use it regularly if I liked the Travelers system, I’m not sure if I’ll get another one. I do think it’s worth checking out though.