What’s the difference between Clairefontaine and Rhodia?

Clairefontaine vs Rhodia
Clairefontaine vs Rhodia

Both Clairefontaine and Rhodia brands of paper notebooks have some of the best paper in the world for writing and they are loved by writers from many lands. What makes Clairefontaine and Rhodia different?

Today they are owned by the same parent company Exacompta Clairefontaine, but originally they were two different companies. Clairefontaine began making paper in the Vosges region of France in 1858 and began making stationery products in 1890. They were the first company to make school notebooks in France.

Henri and Robert Verilhac, two brothers from a family of paper merchants, created the first Rhodia notepads in 1934 in Sechilienne, France. The name Rhodia comes from the Rhone River and legend has it that the Rhodia logo with two fir trees symbolizes the two founding brothers. Rhodia was purchased by Clairefontaine in 1997.

Clairefontaine Side-Wire Notebook with 3-hole punch
Clairefontaine Side-Wire Notebook with 3-hole punch

Clairefontaine’s signature notebooks are for students and come in a variety of sizes, colors and binding styles. The paper inside is bright white 90g French ruled or college ruled.

Rhodia’s signature notepads are top staple bound and contain bright white 80g graph paper with a violet 5 mm x 5 mm grid. They are easily recognizable by their bright orange cover and appeal to artists and designers.

Rhodia Top-Staple Graph Paper Notepads
Rhodia Top-Staple Graph Paper Notepads

Clairefontaine manufactures both their own paper and the paper contained in Rhodia notepads so it is consistently of the same high quality. This paper is well known for its extra-smooth finish and its ability to handle fountain pen ink, reducing or eliminating any ink bleeding through or showing through the paper.

Over time, both Clairefontaine and Rhodia have expanded their selection of paper notebooks to include a wide variety of products for all sorts of different writing and creative needs. You can take a look at a large selection of their extensive product line at Writer’s Bloc.

Which one should I buy: Clairefontaine or Rhodia? Both are great choices! If you’re looking for specific features, in the USA the brand that has the best selection is as follows:

If you like plain, conservative notebook covers try the Clairefontaine Basics series or get a Rhodia notebook with a black cover. Most Clairefontaine paper has a weight of 90g. If you prefer a lighter weight of paper Rhodia has a good selection of 80g paper (although they have a lot of 90g paper as well). Take a look at the Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper writing tests at the bottom of this blog post if you’d like to see a comparison.

Clairefontaine Basics Cloth-Bound Notebook in Black
Clairefontaine Basics Cloth-Bound Notebook with a black cover

If you’ve never had the opportunity to try Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks and you want to find out for yourself why people love this paper so much, we’re giving away a limited quantity of sample paper packages. Each package includes:

  • 2 sheets of Clairefontaine 90g ruled paper
  • 2 sheets of Clairefontaine 90g graph paper
  • 1 sheets of Rhodia Ice 80g ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia “R” Premium 90g ivory ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g dot grid paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g graph paper

To receive one of these sample packages, please send us an email with your mailing address (USA mailing addresses only) or request a sample with your online order by mentioning it in the comments box during order check out. Once you get started with this fabulous paper you’ll never want to write on anything else!

Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Back
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Back
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test - front
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test – front
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test - back
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test – back
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Space Saving Paper Notebooks

If you walk, bike or take public transportation to class or work, keeping your stationery supplies compact and light weight is a necessity. Paper notebooks that keep you organized while at the same time reducing bulk are much appreciated! Here are a few ideas to keep you streamlined while on the go.

Myndology Disc Bound Notebooks with 5/8" Discs
Myndology Disc Bound Notebooks with 5/8″ Discs

Myndology Disc Bound Notebooks

Myndology disc bound notebooks give you the flexibility of a 3-ring binder along with the compact size of a paper notebook. Specially shaped discs with matching punched paper allow each page to be removed and then put back into these notebooks. College ruled, blank and graph paper refills are available and so are folder and tab inserts that divide your notebooks into organized sections. These features are offered for both Myndology Letter (8.5″ x 11″) and Journal (6.5″ x 8.5″) sized notebooks. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try this style of notebook, take a look at our previous blog post that answers frequently asked questions about disc bound notebooks.

Myndology Notebook Folders and Tabs
Myndology Disc Bound Notebook Folders and Tabs

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks use two different methods to divide your notebook into sections: by tabs on the right side of the page and by varying the pastel color of paper used in each section. You get anywhere from 4 to 12 sections, depending on if you buy the small, medium or large version of the notebook. The paper in this notebook has a 5 mm x 5 mm grid, so if you write small you can get a lot of notes into one notebook! For more information check out our detailed review of Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks.

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook - Medium
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook – Medium

Clairefontaine Twinbooks

Clairefontaine Twinbooks have extra white 90g paper that’s divided into two sections by 2 tabs cut into the right side of the paper. These notebooks are side-staple bound so they have a slim profile and there are no wires or discs to get in the way – great for left-handed writers! They come with either a 5 mm grid or ruled paper.

Clairefontaine Twinbook
Clairefontaine Twinbook

Clairefontaine Wirebound Notebook with Pockets

Clairefontaine Notebooks with Pockets are divided into three sections of 20 pages by 3 dividers that have 2 storage pockets – one on each side of the divider. These pockets are handy for storing paper receipts, notes, tickets, business cards or whatever slips of paper come your way each day. These medium size notebooks have micro-perforated pages so you can neatly remove them from your notebook. Available with tan, black, red, green, blue or multi-color covers.

Clairefontaine Medium Size Notebooks with Pockets
Clairefontaine Medium Size Notebooks with Pockets

What are your favorite space-saving notebooks?

 

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Back to School 2016 for Stationery Lovers

Back to school for students who love stationery is an exciting time that means backpacks full of shiny, fresh school supplies with that brand-new stationery smell! Here are some of our favorite supplies for your stationery fix in the new school year.

Clairefontaine Side-Staple Notebook
Clairefontaine Side-Staple Notebook

Clairefontaine Notebooks

Clairefontaine notebooks rock some of the best paper in the world for writing! This paper has a super smooth coating on it that reduces writing fatigue by allowing your pen to easily glide across the page. The quality of the paper minimizes any instances of ink bleeding through or showing through the paper which allows you to write on both sides of each page. Clairefontaine notebooks are especially awesome if you like to write with a fountain pen. There’s a huge variety of notebook styles and sizes from Clairefontaine, we’ll mention a few of our favorites here and you can check out the rest yourself.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue

LAMY Safari Fountain Pens and Pelikano Fountain Pens

A fountain pen is the perfect companion to go along with your Clairefontaine notebooks. Fountain pens help with writing fatigue by reducing the friction required to write and Clairefontaine paper has a satin smooth surface to reduce the fatigue even more. If you’re going to spend a lot of time writing you may as well enjoy it! For school or college purposes we would recommend a pen that’s not too expensive that can be filled with washable blue ink cartridges (more info on that in a moment). When you’re on the go, ink cartridges are easier to use than bottled ink and both the LAMY Safari and Pelikan Pelikano have washable blue ink cartridges with a decent ink capacity: LAMY Blue ink cartridges or Pelikan Royal Blue giant ink cartridges.

Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator
Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator

Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator 

The Super Pirat Ink Eradicator can erase mistakes made when writing with royal blue fountain pen inks and then you use the blue correction tip to correct the mistake. This correction pen is a fantastic addition to your fountain pen and Clairefontaine paper. If you’re wondering how it works take a look at this blog post: What is the Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator?

Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planner with a Red Chelsea Leather Cover
Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planner with a Red Chelsea Leather Cover

Quo Vadis Academic Planners for 2016-17

Academic planners are special because their dates correspond to the school year instead of the calendar year. They begin with the month of July or August and end with the month of July in the following year. Quo Vadis offers a variety of high quality planners and covers to keep even the busiest students organized.

  • Textagenda Daily Student Planner
  • Minister Weekly Student Planner – fountain pen friendly
  • University Pocket Size Student Planner
  • Scholar Weekly Student Planner – fountain pen friendly, open format
  • Monthly 4 18-month Monthly Planner
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook - Large
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook – Large

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks get their own mention because they accomplish more than one purpose. In addition to tabbed, different colors of paper to keep your notes on different subjects organized, they also help save on space and weight to minimize the number of supplies you need to carry with you. These multiple subject notebooks have paper with a 5mm x 5mm grid so if you happen to have small handwriting you can get a lot of notes on one page. Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks are available in small, medium and large sizes.

Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Pink Ballpoint Pen - 0.7mm
Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Pink Ballpoint Pen – 0.7mm

Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Ballpoint Pen

If you’re not into fountain pens, check out the space saving, smooth writing Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Ballpoint Pen. It conveniently gives you 3 choices of ink color in one pen body. The pen comes with blue, black and red ink ink cartridges with a 0.7mm tip but can be refilled with any colors you wish. The pen is available with your choice of a pink, light blue, lime green, black or transparent body.

Clairefontaine Basics Blue Oval Leather Pencil Case
Clairefontaine Basics Blue Oval Leather Pencil Case

Aston Leather or Clairefontaine Leather Pen & Pencil Cases

Carry your writing instruments in style with a leather zippered pen and pencil pouch from Aston Leather or Clairefontaine. Both cases are reasonably priced and durable enough to last for years.

What are your favorite new school supplies to buy at the beginning of the school year?

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New! Clairefontaine Notebook with Numbered Pages

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook

If you have the need to refer back to specific notes at a future date after you’ve written them, the Clairefontaine My Essential paginated notebook is a useful organizational tool. It’s similar to some other notebooks in the Clairefontaine Basics series (Age-Bag in Europe), but it has it’s own special features that make it unique.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – numbered pages

Besides the fantastic paper, the most important features of this notebook are the numbered pages and table of contents. The first numbered page starts with a 1 in the lower right corner and continues all the way to 184 on the final page. In front of the numbered pages is an eight page table of contents for keeping track of what’s in your notes and where. Each page in the table of contents has 24 lines to write in a page number and a subject.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – table of contents

This notebook contains ruled paper with an 8 mm space between the lines. The lines and numbers are printed in a pale grey color and there is a header box on the top of each page to write in a title, date or whatever else you can think of. The lines do not go all the way to the edge of each page.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – date and title space

The ivory colored paper in the My Essential notebook is 90 g – similar or the same as the paper in Rhodia Webnotebooks. It is extremely smooth to help your pen glide across the page. It works great with fountain pens and there is very little (if any) ink that feathers, bleeds through or shows through the page. You can easily use both sides of each page without worry (see the results of our writing test at the end of this post). The paper is acid-free and PEFC certified.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – perforated pages in back

The last 8 sheets in the notebook (pages 169 to 184) are microperforated along the inside margin so they can be removed if you want. The notebook binding is stitched to keep the pages from falling out, so these microperforated sheets are handy if you need to remove a single piece of paper. The stitched binding allows you to open the notebook and have it lay flat on your desk.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – pocket

Inside the front and the back covers is a small corner pocket handy for holding a few notes, receipts or business cards. It’s about 4″ x 4″ in size with a rounded corner and it is not expandable. The pages in the notebook also have rounded corners.

The My Essentials paginated notebook has a matching elastic strap to keep it closed and one matching ribbon bookmark. The endsheets match the ivory color of the paper. I’m not sure what the weight of the endsheet paper is other than it is heavier than the 90 g paper inside. The front endsheet has a few lines to write in your name or other information. The back endsheet has some printed information about Clairefontaine.

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook – red cover

This notebook is A5 size, or about 6″ x 8.25.” The cover is made from textured hardboard, the same as the cover material used for other Clairefontaine Basics notebooks. It’s semi-flexible, and this particular notebook does not have a cloth spine. The cover is plain except for an embossed Clairefontaine logo in the lower right of the front cover. Currently the cover colors include Black, Tan, Red, Green and Blue.

What would you use the Clairefontaine “My Essential” Paginated Notebook for? Recipes? College notes? Travel Journal? Meeting notes? Labs?

Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook Writing Test - Front
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook Writing Test – Front
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook Writing Test - Back
Clairefontaine Paginated Notebook Writing Test – Back
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Dot Grid Paper is Here to Stay

Rhodia dotPad
Rhodia dotPad

2010 is when Rhodia first introduced us to the dotPad: a familiar Rhodia bloc filled with a paper unfamiliar to many, dot grid. What is this dot grid paper you say? Instead of lines or graphs or nothing at all this paper has a grid of tiny dots that guide your writing, notes and sketches. It feels less cluttered than lined or graph paper, but it still provides a subtle way to organize where to place things on the page.

Rhodia Webnotepad with Dot Grid Paper
Rhodia Webnotepad with Dot Grid Paper

The original dot grid paper offered by Rhodia is 80g bright white with a 5 mm x 5 mm grid of pale violet dots. The following year, in 2011, Rhodia brought us Webbies with 90g ivory paper and a 5 mm x 5 mm grid of pale grey dots. Both of these types of paper live up to Rhodia’s high standard of quality and are fountain pen friendly.

Clairefontaine Graf it Dot Grid Sketch Books
Clairefontaine Graf it Dot Grid Sketch Books

For those of you who like to do your drawings and notes with a pencil, Clairefontaine created Graf it Sketch Pads with 90g dot grid sketchbook paper. They have matte textured paper with a bit of tooth to it, making it especially suitable for drawing with pencil. We stock both the large and medium size sketchbooks.

Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Dot Grid Journal
Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Dot Grid Journal

When it comes to dot grid paper, another company worth noting is Leuchtturm1917 from Germany. They have many colors of classic hardcover and softcover journals that include 80g off-white dot grid paper. These notebooks have numbered pages and a table of contents to help you find your notes. (We’re expecting more to arrive in July.)

Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Link Dot Grid Journal
Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Link Dot Grid Journal

Leuchtturm1917 also has a Whitelines Link journal that contains light grey paper with a subtle 5mm grid of off-white dots to guide you while you are sketching or writing. The dotted background disappears when you copy, scan or fax this paper. Handwritten sketches and notes can be digitalized using a smartphone app with automatic capture and then the dots disappear. Pretty high tech for a notebook!

Dot grid notebooks first arrived in our shop way back in 2010 and they have been best sellers ever since. What’s your favorite dot grid notebook?

Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Link Notebook
Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Link Notebook

 

 

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