Known for their high quality, exacting standards and timeless design; Rhodia are becoming a prominent force in the notebook industry. Founded in 1934 by a pair of brothers, Rhodia are now celebrating their 80th anniversary with the release of the Ice Pad notebooks.
Rhodia have been gaining a reputation for consistently going above and beyond when it comes to offering quality products at an affordable price and this reputation continues with the Ice Pad notebooks. This article will discuss what makes these notebooks bring to the table besides the classic double tree logo with their vintage black and orange combination.
Price: Anywhere between £10 and £20 at different retailers.
- Size: A5 / 5.8” x 8.25” or A4 / 8.3 x 11.7 in
- Weight of the paper: 90g ivory paper, acid-free & pH neutral
- Pages: 96 sheets, 192 pages
- Page Style: These notebooks are lined
- Dot grid squares measure 5mm
- Binding: Staple
- Ghosting? None observed
- Bleeding? Yes, for wetter inks
- Feathering? None observed
- Sheen? Low
- Dry time? Fast
- Numbered pages: No
- Comes in various colours: White/Black/Orange
- Rounded corners
- Metallic logo
The Rhodia Ice pad immediately draws attention due to its stunning aesthetics. The minimalistic, smooth and sleek design combined with their bold famous orange and black colour coordination results in a notebook that looks as luxurious as it is unique. The addition of the silver lettering for the ice design leaves the notebook looking even more premium than they usually do. Furthermore, the decision to deboss the logo for this series adds to the minimalistic design as it merges with the background colour; it's subtle enough to not overshadow any other aspects of the notebook yet prominent enough for the user to notice it's a Rhodia notebook.
Inside the notebook, the paper is a muted white whilst the ruling is also a muted grey; a change from their usual violet ruling. This results in a clean, stylish finish which is a lot less intrusive than their usual ruling. This is some of the most aesthetically pleasing ruled paper you can find at this price range.
Additionally, the dotted variant provides structure to your notes whilst being subtle enough to not distract from the contents of the notebook; this is a rare case where a dotted notebook perfects the balance of the dots going largely unnoticed but protrudes just enough to guide the user. Rhodia goes as far as to claim that these dots do not show when you photocopy the paper, further proving their keen eye for detail. Another nice touch from Rhodia is the dot placement has exactly the same placement on each page, subtle details like these go a long way in producing an aesthetically pleasing notebook.
The notebooks are engulfed in a very glossy, sleek cover. Despite it not being a hardcover, these covers are far from flimsy. The glossy finish combined with the firmness of the covers results in a sleek, premium and unique feeling notebook that you'll struggle to keep your hands off. Additionally, the covers of these notebooks are near impossible to ruin. They do not stain and are hard to crease; perfect for fountain pen users.
Despite being staple binded, the staples go largely unnoticed and do not protrude enough to scratch any surroundings. A great addition from Rhodia is the inclusion of pre-made seams to make folding the cover back over the notebook a simple and sleek process. This also means the cover does not get in the way when you're using the notebook.
Another strength of this notebook is this notebook has some of the most efficient perforated sheets you can come across. There is no struggle, fight or wrestling when ripping out the sheets, in fact once ripped out the paper leaves some aesthetically pleasing, clean lines behind. Unlike other notebooks with perforated sheets, once you are left with only a few pages this notebook looks far from raggedy and worn.
Behind the back cover of the notebook, there is a firm, stiff cardboard cover therefore you're able to use this notebook without a smooth surface or even if you're on the go in and find yourself in awkward positions. Finally, something worth mentioning is these notebooks are PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified, meaning Rhodia contribute to sustainable forest management; further proving Rhodia are a brand worth investing in.
If there is one reason why you should invest in a Rhodia notebook, its the luxurious paper quality. Simply put, it's near impossible to find such high quality paper at this price range. This notebook is compiled of 90gsm Ivory paper, leaving not only a better aesthetic than the usual regular white paper but it also feels far superior than the usual paper you get at this price range.
If you're a fountain pen user, these Rhodia notebooks are perfect for you. Even when using the wettest fountain pens or the widest caligraphy nibs or the fattest brush pens, this paper leaves no ghosting, no feathering and no bleeding. The only downside is this paper has a slight coating meaning there might be better paper elsewhere if you intend to use sheening inks.
Additionally, this fountain pen dries ridiculously quick making it a dream for fountain pen users. This therefore means you can write without any fear of smearing or making a mental note of exercising caution. Lastly, unlike many other notebooks at this price range which are rough and create friction with fountain pens, this paper is buttery smooth resulting in no skipping when writing with a fountain paper
These notebooks are widely available in most retailers within the UK. The amount of retailers who sell these notebooks should be on the rise due to the rising popularity of the Ice Pad's. Rhodia's notebooks are also sold at all the biggest online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
Value for Money & Conclusion
One of the key selling points of the Rhodia notebooks is their affordability. Despite being similar in quality to very lavish notebooks such as the moleskin range, the Ice Pad series is priced at just £9.99 at the time of writing this. For £9.99, you are getting a notebook with sleek, minimalistic aesthetics, a premium feel and some of the best paper you can buy. Additionally, you are buying from a growing brand that also pays its dues through making sure their production is sustainable and beneficial to the environment.