[Review] Rhodia Notebooks

What differentiates between one notebook and another? Is it it's size, the weight of the paper, the way it feels and sits in the hand or pocket; it's history or reputation?

Maybe I over-think what I like and want in a notebook, but as something of a self confessed addict and collector of notepads of all shapes and sizes, I’ve an almost neurotic criteria for choosing what takes pride on my book shelf.

Known as something of a cult brand, with an enduring reputation popularised by the likes of Stanley Kurbick and Paul Smith, Rhodia originated in France, taking it’s name after the Rhône River (the locals are referred to as ‘Rhodians’). The brand’s 100 year old family history is also impressive – something that seems increasingly rare amongst contemporary brands today.

I have huge admiration for any brand that manages to not only endure and sustain such a iconic status for so long, but also one that possesses a true sense of nostalgia in its design.

We checked out The Essential Box, available in Rhodia’s trademark classic orange and black. The faux sketchbook exterior of the Essential Box houses a selection of more day-to-day versatile pocket sized notebooks including:

  • 1 x Rhodia No.16 A5 orange grid pad
  • 1 x Rhodia No.8 orange shopping grid pad
  • 2 x Rhodia No. 11 orange mini grid pads
  • 2 x Rhodia pencils

All of which sit satisfyingly, neatly together. Each notebook shares a classic design: a stiff card back, a folded page cover, and page micro-perforation.

The varying sizes of the notebooks, and the different types of page ruling, means that you have a high quality notebook for work or play.

The ultra smooth 80gm Clairefontaine paper is bleed resistant, and so whether you’re sketching in pencil, taking notes with a fountain pen, you’re sure to avoid any infuriating smudges, and unwanted fingerprints (…especially if you’re a leftie!) Whether you’re looking for a versatile collection of notebooks for use throughout the home, or a set to use on the move during your travels, the Essential Box and its design continuity is satisfyingly appealing and highly functional.

For all that’s included within the Essential Box it really is great value for money. Retailing online for an average price of £13 the collection reflects high quality, iconic notebooks from a world class brand at the top of its game. Affordable, versatile, with a considered functional design.

If you too are a self-confessed notebook hoarder, hop on over to Rhodia’s online store to browse their extensive range of some 732 notebook variations and discover their latest collection.



Posted on Aug 27th, 15 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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