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’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.
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:
- French Ruled Paper – Clairefontaine
- School Notebooks – Clairefontaine
- Art & Music Notepads – Clairefontaine
- Disc Bound Notebooks – Clairefontaine
- Loose Leaf Paper Sheets – Clairefontaine
- Blank Paper Notepads – Rhodia
- Ivory Paper – Rhodia Webbies, Rhodiarama, R Premium
- Dot Grid Paper – Rhodia
- Top-staple Notepads – Rhodia
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.
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!by