Archive for Give us Your Feedback

Tuesday Talk Back: Time it takes for ink to dry on the page – Important to you?

Herbin Ink in Clairefontaine

Clairefontaine and Rhodia papers are often cherished by fountain pen users because their water based inks typically do not bleed through or feather on our papers. How does this work? Clairefontaine manufactures the papers in a such a way that it resists more ink rather than it absorbs. (Want to learn more about paper manufacturing processes? Check out Clairefontaine’s Paper Vocabulary here.)

HERBIN Blotter paperDownsides to this process? For some, depending on the size of the nib, type of ink used, and or relative humidity, ink might take longer to dry on the page. (This is why blotting paper was invented. J. Herbin makes blotting paper)

Is the length of time it takes for ink to dry on the page important to you? Have you ever switched to a different paper because of it? Do you use blotter paper?

Great New Opportunities to Sample Some Rhodia!

Rhodia Stack with Yellow Safari

Two great opportunities are on the immediate horizon which will allow you to sample Rhodia products, as well as paper from various other Exaclair brands like Clairefontaine, G Lalo and Exacompta. 

First up: In tomorrow’s post, we will be giving away 15 of the limited edition No. 80 Anniversary sets!

And then, on Monday, we are rolling out… The Paper Project!!!  And just what IS The Paper Project?

The Paper Project will offer 30 people each week (first come, first served) the opportunity to test and compare up to 3 sheets of paper from a wide variety of Exaclair products. We will look forward to hearing your feedback and comments about your experiences testing these samples on the giveaway page itself, and as always, you are more than welcome to write reviews of our products on your own personal blogs and or share your experiences with this project throughout your various social media outlets. (Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram)

So… are you as excited about this project as we are???

 

Who would like to see fountain pen friendly Rhodia Engineering paper?

Engineer Paper

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?

work work work

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!

Tuesday Talk Back: Light or dark dots? Feedback on new Clairefontane dotGraf-it pads

IMG_2561

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.)

Graf It Dot

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.

Virginia Abbott with Clairefontaine dot GrafIt 

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.

Dot Grid
160 pages / 80 sheets
90gsm / 41lb white paper
Available in A4 & A5

Fountain Pen Friends: Do you use ink swatches?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

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?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

J Herbin Ink Swatches

A5 Webnotepad

 

Rhodia landscape1 (3)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.

Tuesday Talk Back: Ivory paper with grey lines – your thoughts?

Ivory Rhodia Paper

The new Rhodia Anniversary notepad set contains the same ivory paper as in the Webbie (Webnotebook) and the R by Rhodia premium pads – 90g with grey graph ruling.

How do you like the 90g ivory Rhodia paper? Do you prefer it over the white? Prefer the grey ruling over the blue? We’ve heard a few people talk about fountain pen ink colors on white vs. ivory – what are your thoughts on that? Are there any other Rhodia products that you’d like to see use the ivory paper?

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.

 

Tuesday Talk Back: You don’t like the notebook you started… Now what?

Notebooks

Question: What do you do with the journal or notebook that you started, but ended up not liking?

Before I started writing for Rhodia Drive, I used to do a lot of product reviews on my personal blog in search of the perfect pen, ink and journal. At that time, the perfect notebook for me was one that was first and foremost friendly to fountain pen inks. Other preferred features included being able to both open and lie flat, pages with rounded corners, and a rigid cover so that I could write with the book propped on my knee. I ended up testing many, many journals.

(Some people use the words journal and notebook interchangeably. I tend to use “journal” when describing a notebook whose pages are not removable.)

If I really didn’t like the book, I’d either give it away or recycle it. If I liked it, I’d obviously use it – but there were one or two that while I didn’t love them, I thought had a few redeeming qualities. These ended up hanging around on the shelf a lot longer than I’d intended.

Case in point – I just finished a book that I’d started in July of 2010. I didn’t love the book when I first bought it, mostly because it wasn’t fountain pen friendly and the pages had noticeable grain. Four years ago I decided to turn it into a mixed media art journal and had started drawing on the first few pages but once again, I quickly abandoned it.

I came upon the book once again this past April, when I decided that I either had to use it or get rid of it. Knowing that I’d created art in it, I didn’t really want to let it go and so I tried again. Five months later, it was filled with a combination of writing and sketches, all done in pencil and it felt good to have finally finished something that I’d started so long ago- even if it was just a simple journal.

So if I may ask, what do YOU do once you’ve started working in a journal or notebook, then decide you don’t like it?

(Once in a blue moon, if I’ve been in a journal for too long sometimes I get antsy and want to move on even if it is a journal that I do really like. In which case I’ll either finish the last pages with collage, sketches, poems, affirmations, intentions, prayers and/or overall positive words of encouragement.)

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.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Journal

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today (and everyday) is a good day to be grateful.

What are you grateful for?

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.

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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 »

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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 »

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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.