Archive for Editorial
Rhodia notepads are associated with creativity, high quality and a crossover between innovation and tradition. Everyone loves a notepad to jot down important thoughts and ideas.
Rhodia pads and pad holders can be customized with your logo or artwork for holiday giving.
We received a recent letter from Michael Marchesan asking us to develop an fountain pen friendly engineer’s pad. When Karen Doherty asked why engineers couldn’t use the standard grid, Michael responded as follows:
I used to do all of my math/science on graph paper for years until I began engineering study and realized the beauty of engineering paper.
Engineering paper has it’s grid on the backside, which you do not actually write on. The grid shows through to the front of the paper which is blank, so you can have the benefits of writing on gridded paper, without actually writing on a grid.
When you tear your sheet off the glued-top-bound pad, it appears as if though you wrote in perfectly straight lines and did all your calculations, figures and measurements with incredible precision on a blank sheet without the distraction of a grid on your work.
The other benefit to this is that the grid does not show up when your work is photocopied from engineering paper.
Each grid on engineering paper is 0.2″x0.2″, with bold grid-lines forming 1″x1″ squares every 5 grids–great for scaling and doing precise engineering calculations and figures.
So who else out there would like to see Rhodia produce a fountain pen friendly version of this specialized paper? Spread the word and tell people to comment on this post.
Feedback wanted: What do you like best about this blog? What would you like to see more of on Rhodia Drive?
We’d like to know what keeps you coming back to Rhodia Drive – what type of content you prefer: what you’d like to see more of, and what you’d like to see less of.
Judging by the number of comments we receive, we can clearly tell that you enjoy offering your feedback on our products – which we really appreciate. Over the years, your feedback has helped to upgrade and improve product design which creates a win-win situation for the both of us. These posts will now typically be featured as “Tuesday Talk Back.”
We also know that you love our contests & giveaways – that’s a no brainer and we’ll continue to offer them as often as we can.
If you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to offer your feedback on this form, we’d really appreciate it. If you don’t see the form below, please visit the blog directly, in order to submit your responses. Thank you!
Your comments counted. We will be keeping the hardbound edition for 2016 and not changing over to refillable.
Since more and more people like to draft and make notes on graph paper, we may explore developing a daily pocket planner with this type of notes page.
I was really excited about the Clairefontaine dot ruled Graf It pads because it’s a really nice light grained drawing paper and after blank, dots are my preferred ruling.
When I received the sample from Karen, I was a bit disappointed because the light violet dots didn’t play well with my eyes. My first impression was that there were inconsistencies in the printing, with some dots appearing to be lighter than others. In a side by side comparison, the grey dots in the Rhodia dotPads look dark by comparison. (That’s the Rhodia on the left and two Graf It’s in the middle and on the right.)
Since this is a drawing pad, I decided to show this paper to a number of my artist friends. What I saw as potentially bothersome, they viewed as a positive attribute. They all wanted the dots to recede from their field of vision while drawing. They wanted them to be gentle guides and as non-obtrusive as possible.
Have you tried these yet? If so, what do you think? Do you like the lighter violet dots or the slightly darker great ones?
Below, sculptor Virginia Abbott poses with a quick sketch that she created on the Clairefontaine dot Graf It pad.
Graph It Dot Grid stapled pads: 80 sheets of white drawing 90g PEFC paper with pre-printed lilac light dots. The light geometric dot matrix is used as a skillful guide for your sketches, technical drawings or note taking. This subtle matrix will become almost invisible at scan, or on photocopy to reveal only your sketch.
160 pages / 80 sheets
90gsm / 41lb white paper
Available in A4 & A5
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to test a LOT of different colors/brands of fountain pen inks. (over 100!) Because I am a visual person, the best way for me to compare and contrast was to perform ink swatches and though my method was simple, you can make this process as detailed as you’d like. In the images I’ve attached here, I used cotton swabs to do 1, 2 and 3 swipes of each J. Herbin ink in a white drawing pad.
I also kept two separate journals that I only used for ink testing. One with white paper and one with ivory.
What process do you use to remember what all of your inks look like?
One of the new products we introduced this year is an A5 Webnotepad. It is 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 or 14 x 21 cm. The paper is 90g, ivory, 96 sheets. The top of each sheet is micro-perforated for clean and easy removal. We currently import lined for the large size, but it is also available in dot grid and blank. Suggested retail is $26. You can read more about them here.
As a leftie fountain pen writer, I prefer notepads to notebooks. When I finished my No. 16, I thought I would give the large Webnotepad a try. I normally don’t use hard bound writing products because I find them intimidating to put pen to a blank page (Writer’s “Buck Fever”). Much to my surprise, I now carry around the Webnotepad instead of a regular pad. The extra hard back increases the stability for writing.
The time and the quiet to write by hand happens more during my weekend bus commute to the country, or sitting in an Adirondack chair in the backyard–not at my desk. I like a notepad with some heft. It seems to encourage serious thinking.
I would like to get feedback on the A5 from Rhodia Drive readers. Do you like the size? Would you prefer dot grid or blank to ruled? Most important, does it make writing enjoyable for you?
I have five A5s for review. If you would like to enter, please comment on this post with your name and email by Thursday, October 16th. Your feedback on the Webnotepad is welcome–what you like and constructive criticism. Thank you so much.
With Karen’s encouragement, I wanted to share with you several events and exhibitions that I have going on during the month of October:
On First Friday October 3rd I will be a featured artist at The Banana Factory with an exhibition of my work in the 1st floor lobby. First Friday activities throughout the building are from 6-9pm. Be sure to come up and visit me in my studio #250 on the 2nd floor. (My lobby and stairwell exhibitions at the BF will be on view until Nov. 3rd.) Facebook event details can be found here.
On Wednesday October 8th I will be offering a free artist talk entitled “Metamorphosis” at The Banana Factory from 7-8:30pm. I will be discussing influences, artistic processes, and my evolution as an artist. This event is free and open to the public. The event will begin with a slideshow and talk in the Banko Gallery at The Banana Factory and end with a visit to my private studio on the 2nd floor where light refreshments will be served. Facebook event details can be found here,
October 3rd-30th is the 125th Annual N.A.W.A Members Exhibition held at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St in New York City. I became a juried member of – N.A.W.A (National Association of Women Artists) earlier this year and my piece “Orbit” will be part of this historic exhibition.
On Friday October 10th I will presenting an all-new workshop entitled “Tapping the Source” with Dr. Kell Morton - an expert in the field of transformational healing and personal growth. This experiential workshop is designed to help you awaken, access and nurture your full creative self. See the attached flyer for full details or visit the Facebook event page here.
There is no question that we are all busy people with a multitude of things constantly vying for our attention. I know that sometimes we just don’t get the chance to put pen to paper as often as we would like, and so I’d been thinking about simple ways to keep the ink from drying up in our pens so to speak. When I recently came across a three year journal in a bookstore that prompted a single line to be written per day, my thought was, One line per day… that seems like something most people could accomplish if they really put their mind to it. It could also be a way for those who would like to begin writing, but don’t know how to start.
So here’s my creative prompt to you: Use a pen/pencil to always write as least one line per day in your favorite notepad or journal. The line can consist of anything – how you feel, something you’d like to accomplish or have just accomplished, a favorite quote, headline news – anything really. Just so long as you do it every day.
And what if we liked this exercise so much, that we were to put aside a separate notebook just for this prompt? One line per day: 365. A year in the life of (fill in the blank)
What do you think of this idea? Is it something you’d be willing to try? Already do? Have shared with other people?
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 »
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
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.
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.
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 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.