Rhodia has the distinction of being one of the most highly recommended papers when people are looking to upgrade from cheap paper to fountain pen friendly paper. Indeed, it is very fountain pen friendly and fairly easy to obtain! What makes it so popular? Is there something special about it or is it just a good choice for fountain pen users? In this review I’ll take a look at the Rhodia Dot Pad and try to figure out why Rhodia paper comes so highly recommended.
“After using Rhodia paper, it should become obvious why it comes so highly recommended.”
Rhodia notepads are pretty straightforward. They have a cover and backing piece of cardboard and are filed with paper. That’s it. They are made for writing. The cover design on the Dot Pad is simple and attractive. The paper feels nice and smooth and the dots are fairly light and non-invasive. I don’t think the design of the notepad is meant to impress you. The paper is.
Here are some details for the Rhodia Dot Pad:
- Pages: 80
- Paper Weight: 80gsm
- Binding: Staple (top), Spiral
- Page Style: Dot (5mm)
- Size: A4, A5
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: Low
- Shading: Medium
- Bleeding: Low
- Ghosting: Low
- Feathering: Very Low
- Dry Time: Fast
- Micro-perforated sheets
- Semi-rigid cardboard backer
- Available Colors: White, Black, Orange
Let me start out by saying I have both a regular lined Rhodia Notepad and the Dot Pad. After writing on both, I can’t tell any difference and all of the ink behavior seems to be the same on both. With that being said, the following info can be applied to both Rhodia Notepads and Dot Pads.
As I mentioned earlier, the notepads aren’t very fancy. The glossy cover material wraps around both the front and back of the notepad. Because of the way the notepad is constructed, the staples don’t appear on the back, so you don’t have to worry about them scratching your writing surface. On the back, there’s a semi-stiff piece of cardboard that should allow you to write without a surface underneath. The cover is creased so that it should cleanly and easily bend at the points where it wraps around the notepad.The paper is a bright white, making it stand out from so many other papers that are not as bright or not as white. The light grey dots that make up the dot grid serve as great guides but don’t get in the way. I didn’t experience any ink resist when writing on them. Fun fact: Rhodia claims that the dots do not show up if you photocopy the paper. I didn’t get to try it out, but I thought that feature might be useful to some people.
After using Rhodia paper, it should become obvious why it comes so highly recommended. It handles fountain pens extremely well! Across a variety of different pens and inks, I didn’t observe any feathering. Bleeding was low and only occurred when very heavy applications of ink (like a drop or very wet scribble) were applied to the paper. Ghosting is also low, so almost everyone should be comfortable using both sides of a sheet.
Rhodia paper has fast drying times. If waiting for ink to dry is an annoyance you can do without, you should seriously consider this paper. That’s not to say it’s instant, but it’s faster than many popular papers. Due to the lower dry times, not much sheen shows up. While some sheen is visible with very sheeny inks, don’t expect it to blow you away. Surprisingly, this paper shows some nice shading. Again, it’s not as much as many other papers I’ve used, but it’s more than I would expect from such fast dry times.This paper is extremely smooth and nice to write on. Although Rhodia is owned by Clairefontaine, it is not nearly as slick as Clairefontaine paper. It has almost no feedback, but does offer a bit of resistance when you use it. Still, I have heard people say it is too smooth for them. Personally, I think it’s nice to write on, but the feeling is nothing special.
Rhodia has a reputation as being a reliable, easy to obtain fountain pen friendly paper, and for good reason. It handles pretty much anything you can throw at it with ease. It has great dry times and still shows some of the fun properties of ink like shading and sheen. In addition to being available from almost every pen retailer, it can be found in most office supply stores, as well as some art and hobby shops. If you’re ever in need of some good paper, it should comfort you to know that a pad of Rhodia is probably available nearby. If dot grid is your thing, you can’t go wrong with a Rhodia Dot Pad.
If you have a few extra minutes, give this fun history of Rhodia a read. I found it to be quite enjoyable.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Rhodia Dot Pad Review
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Fast dry times, widely available, works great with fountain pens,
Cons: Not much sheen
Value Rating: 3.57 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.09
Who this notebook is for: Anyone who wants reliable paper and fast dry times
Upgrade to this notebook from: Fabriano EcoQua Notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: Apica CD15 Notebook