Archive for Editorial

Guest Blogger Gabe Couch: Designer at Few

Gabe Couch

I’m Gabe Couch, a designer and partner at Few. I’m also CEO of our internal startup, Tagless Style - an alternative online style service. Our group of friends launched a design and development conference in 2012 called Made by Few and last year Designed by Few which was a large part of launching Few, a mobile and web application development house. We are located in the center of Arkansas (The Natural State) and are working on creating a truly creative culture here. Continue Readering »

Rhodia on the Road: Show us yours!

Out on the field

Image courtesy of Robin Massingill – robin_mr on Imstagram

We would love to see where you’ve been taking Rhodia on the Road this year. Send your images to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com to be added to our Rhodia on the Road Fan Photo Page. Interested in being a guest blogger? Include a paragraph or two with your image telling us a little bit about who you are, how you use your favorite Rhodia products and where you’ve taken them on the road and we’ll review it for publication on the blog. 

PS: On Instagram? Tag your images #rhodia

2016 Rhodia Planner Change

rhodia-planner-2015_2000_750

Work has started on next year’s catalogs.  This includes 2016 planners.

We are seriously considering a change for Rhodia WebPlanners, or Rhodia Weekly Notebooks as I like to call them.  The change includes moving away from a bound hard cover to something else. The format will remain the same–week on left, page in graph for notes on right.

In the new version, the Rhodia planner, both pocket and desk, will have a firm orange cardboard cover which can be used as is, or inserted into black smooth or grained leatherette cover for people who prefer a refillable option.

The planner will be lighter, and also less expensive.  We may expand the line to include Academic Year (August-July) in addition to Calendar Year (January-December).

We think these changes will expand its appeal, especially to people who like to work out ideas, problems and designs on graph paper.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

 

Fountain Pen Friends: Ever order ink samples?

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

One of the big draws to writing with a fountain pen is the ability to choose your ink. With literally hundreds of colors available from a wide variety of brands, chances are you will be able to find the exact shade of blue or violet that you’ve been searching for.

Aside from color, inks have additional properties that may be of interest to the user such as:

  • Viscosity. Some pens that have a tendency to write dry, might benefit from an ink that flows more freely and vise versa.
  • Saturation. Some inks contain much more pigment than others. This would likely be an aesthetic choice, as would be an ink’s ability to show shading.
  • Scent. Depending on the materials used to create the ink, some may emit a stronger scent than another. Some inks even add fragrance to their chemistry.
  • Waterproof. As fountain pen inks are water based and do not contain shellac, there are options for people wanting or needing their inks to be water-resistant on the page.

What is shading? Lapis on the Fountain Pen Network offers this explanation: “…shading is an easily observable increase in intensity and/or darkness in certain parts of the handwriting on paper. … The easiest place to see shading is basically on the downstrokes of your hand, where the nib usually gets more force down onto the paper. Then the line is usualy wider, slower and thus more ink gets posted onto the paper. Shading is best (not exclusively) done using a broad, especially flexy or, to a certain extent, springy nib.”

If you’d like to try some inks before you buy, check out the forums on the Fountain Pen Network to see who has what that they’d like to swap. Popular retailer that sell ink samples include Goulet Pens, Anderson Pens and isellpens.

Creative Prompt: Take a grounding walk in nature

Forest

What does it mean to be “grounded?”

The simplest way to describe it, is being fully present in your life as opposed to being distracted by past or future events. When we are “in our heads” and thinking about anything but the current moment, we lose the ability to operate from or with, our fullest mental capacities. You can think about this like the RAM on a computer. Whether it’s a computer or our brain, give it too many tasks to process at the same time and it will ultimately grow sluggish.

You don’t need to take a lengthy or expensive vacation to a remote island or mountain top to do this. One of the easiest ways to reconnect with your full creative self is just by taking a quiet walk in nature.

Try this: First find a quiet place to take a walk. If you have to get in the car or on a bus to get to such a place, do it – it will be worth it.

Next, turn off technology for at least an hour.

Then, start walking. Try to be fully aware of placing one foot in front of the other and not thinking about anything else. Breathe deeply. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. If your to-do list pops into your head, gently place it to the back burner while you bring your awareness back to one foot in front of the other.

If you have the opportunity, try taking your shoes off and allowing your bare feet to touch the earth – if only for a moment.

Rhodia Anniversary Video! Take a look into the Rhodia factory

manufacturing3_750

Rhodia is celebrating its 80th birthday! Take a look at the video below for a behind the scenes look at the Rhodia factory. See below the video for an English translation of the French.

Here is the newest Rhodia product, with its white color and metallic logo – offering a nod of recognition to the technology (cell phones) of today. For 80 years, the Rhodia brand has stood resilient- watching change after change in the way people communicate with one another, proving that nothing beats a great pad of paper. 

Geraldine Muller product manager: “The Rhodia pad is timeless. – which is the way Rhodia founders wanted it from the beginning.  The Rhodia logo and characteristics have remained the same. The only changes have been the introduction of the black cover in 2007 and now this year in white for its 80th birthday with a silver logo. It is a sort of wink to the digital with whom it gets along very well.”

40 people at the plant have produced 10 millions pads, and other than the color of the cover, the pads have not really changed since 1934 when two brothers from Lyon started with this simple orange pad with 80 sheets, and 80g paper, staple bound at top, To this day, it remains 100% made in France.

Patrick Sartre, plant manager: “We have both the people formed and ‘faithful’ to the company as well as the tools specialized for this product. With this winning combination there is no need to move away in order to stay abreast of the competition.”

Finally the 5000 tons of paper we use are guaranteed to protect the environment and the socio-conomic role of the forests.  Knowing that 11% of forests are harvested for paper, it is a very respectable accomplishment.

More Rhodia Yellow?

Yellow Rhodia

We have started to receive requests for the yellow Rhodia paper to be available in additional options. Is there a particular format or ruling that you’d like to see filled with the yellow paper? dotYellow? Or yellow paper in the Meeting Book?

We are always very appreciative of your feedback regarding the design of our products.

It’s Anniversary time! Five years as your Rhodia Driver!

Stephanie Smith Rhodia Driver

It was five years ago this month that I first started writing for Rhodia Drive, and it will be 6 years in November that I made the overall decision to become self-employed. Aside from penning the Rhodia Drive blog, I make and sell art from my private studio at The Banana Factory – an arts and education center located in Bethlehem, PA. (Contact me if you’d like to visit!) I teach private students, offer workshops and do motivational speaking engagements on creativity.  Continue Readering »

Exaclair Catalog 2015

rhodia pocket 2

Our catalog development process will swing into gear in the next 3-4 weeks.  I would like to reach out to our Rhodia fans and get your input for the catalog.  What products do you see on the French catalog and French Rhodia website that you wish were available in the U.S.?  Please let us know by commenting on this post; or feel free to write to me directly at karen@exaclair.com.

We cannot make changes to current products, although we can and do forward your requests, praise and complaints to the product chief in France. We also can offer fan suggestions for new types of Rhodia products.  Do you have any you would like to see Rhodia manufacture?

Thank you so much for your help and support.

 

 

Who would like to see more options in wirebound Rhodia products?

Wirebound spiral Rhodia pad

Exaclair currently offers a limited variety of Rhodia wirebound (spiral) notebooks and we’d like to know if you like them, how you are using them, and whether or not you’d like to see additional options made available in the future. I myself would love to see anything blank or dot- especially a dotReverse.

Current options can be seen here and include products such as the Wirebound Notebooks, 4 Color Book, Elasti Book, Reverse Book, Top Wirebound Pads and two versions of the Meeting books.

Creative Prompt: Notes to Your Younger Self

G Lalo Stationery

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

Would you offer kind words of support and encouragement? Talk about potential pitfalls? Tell yourself that things will only get better?

Sometimes (when I sit down and really think about it) I subscribe to the theory that all time is now and that every version of us is happening at the same moment- that if you offer love, coaching, advice etc., to a younger version of yourself, that it can positively affect who we are in the supposed here and now.

I happened upon this theory as one day when I happened to recall my failed audition for the junior high majorette squad. It wasn’t only baton twirling skills that I’d fallen short of, but also cheerleading, rifle squad, basketball… I’d noticed that I no longer take risks in that same way and I’d wished that I could tell her to not be discouraged and to keep trying.

And so I did.

Retro Exacompta FAF Pad: You know you want one…

FAF Pad Exacompta

The FAF pad is a practical and highly functional desk pad with a unique vintage look. The perfect fit for your desk, home office and all of your writing needs. Makes a great gift.

• Elegant black box with clear top
• Sturdy metal construction with non-slip backing
• Bright white 60 g paper
• Comes with 200 microperforated pages for easy removal
• Refillable with 200 blank pages

The FAF (Fabriqué en France) pad is made in Paris in a workshop built by Gustave Eiffel (of eponymous Tower fame)

Exacompta Bloc Faf Retro Office Excellence at Pencil Talk

Review of the Exacompta FAF Pad at Life Imitates Doodles

Exacompta FAF Desk Pad Review at The Unroyal Warrant

Exacompta FAF Pad Retro Desk Pad at OfficeSupplyGeek

Review: FAF Un Bloc Pad at Pocket Blonde

Is Summer a State of Mind?

Kids on bikes

I keep hearing people referring to Labor Day as being the last day of the summer. Technically, Fall doesn’t start until September 23rd, and that’s three full weeks plus one day away!

What do you think is unique about the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day that can’t be experienced at other times throughout the year?

Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. – Per Wiki 

Link Share Friday: August Edition

ink and pen

First impressions with J. Herbin Stormy Grey at FPGeeks

First Day of School Pencils, Take Two. at Pencil Revolution

Orange Delights From Ink To Paint at Inkophile

Guest Post: “I think I want to try out this whole fountain pen thing.” at The Pen Addict

Pilot Dr. Grip Full Black Dual Layer Grip Shaker Mechanical Pencil – 0.5 mm – Blue Accents at No Pen Intended

Cursive: Is it really that important? at The Well-Appointed Desk

Journaling Exercise: Write A Review at Kaizen Journaling

Traveling pencils at Palimpset

Shades of White at No Pen Intended

How Much Do You Spend On School Supplies? at One Hundred Dollars a Month

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often

DIY Pen Storage V.2! at EdJelley

6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them at FastCompany

Flight Delays in My Sketchbooks at Balzar Designs

An Introvert Goes to the Pen Show at From the Pen Cup

Check out FPGeeks on YouTube for videos from the 2014 DC Pen Show

Doodle Power!

marianmachismo

My ferocious appetite for doodling kicked in about ten years ago when I worked in a cube. (Technically more of a triangle…) Doodling while sitting in on seemingly endless conference calls, my focus and recall was always better than if I sat there and just “paid attention.”  My belief is that the benefits of doodling are similar to any other focused meditative practice; calming both to the mind and spirit.

Image courtesy of marianmachismo on Instagram.

The Power of the Doodle: Improve Your Focus and Memory

Doodling in a meeting? Maybe you’re just drawing inspiration

Why Doodling May Help Improve Your Memory

Doodling Increases Focus and Recall

Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

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rhodiapads.com

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

Journaling Blogs

Other Sites of Interest

Archives

Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.