Rhodia: Around the world in 80 years

In September of 1934, an iconic product was born in Rhône, France. This September, it celebrates its 80th birthday. Not a bad age for a simple stapled notepad, but Rhodia's classic head-stapled notepads are a bit special.

The Name: People from the area by the Rhône River in France were known as Rhôdaniens. These notepads from the same area were named Rhodia.

The Logo: Two fir trees symbolise the brothers, Henri and Robert Vérilhac, who founded the company. The story is that Henri's wife drew the logo quite spontaneously, and it represented them so well it has remained in use for 80 years.

The Style: A simple timeless design, but with a certain character to it - a very French combination that has remained unusual and distinctive ever since.

The Product: A stack of really good quality paper that works beautifully with fountain pens (as well as almost any other type of pen). Perforate each sheet at the top, so they tear off neatly. Add a card base, and staple through the top - one, two or three staples, depending on the size of the notepad. Add a simple shiny card cover in bright orange to protect the whole thing, attached such that the staples don't show on the underside to scratch desks, and score it so it folds nearly over the back in use. Perfect. So don't change it.

The company was originally "Papeteries Vérilhac Frères", and was founded in Lyon in 1932, selling notebooks and stationery across France and parts of Africa. In 1934, the brothers came up with the Rhodia pad, and a modern classic was born.  The company was bought by another great French paper company, Clairefontaine, in 1997, and they have looked after the Rhodia brand and logo well. Rhodia notebooks are still made in France, and now sell in their millions, in 87 countries around the world, with a strong following of fans.

A Birthday Treat - Rhodia Ice: To celebrate, there is no cake, but there is a kind of icing. Rhodia are making a new version of the iconic pad. With a design this good, there's no point in changing too much about it, so they've just given it a new look on the outside, and a little change inside to fit in better with modern technology.

The outside cover is white, with the Rhodia name and logo printed in silver. The result is very clean, with the silver giving it a touch of celebration while remaining quite subtle.

The lines or squares inside are grey, instead of the usual purple. This makes them fade into the background a little easier to our eyes, but also makes them easier for scanner apps on smartphones and tablets to ignore. If you scan your notes with an app like Evernote, you should find them looking a bit cleaner with Rhodia Ice.

See the full Rhodia Ice range here. 

Competition Time

Update: The competition is now over - congratulations to Informal Scribble, Michelle C, TC D, Dmitris N and PenPaperJournal!


To celebrate the launch of Rhodia Ice, Rhodia have generously given us 5 black and orange Rhodia polo shirts to give away! To be in with a chance of winning one of these 'money can't buy' prizes, as well as two Rhodia Ice notepads, answer the question below before 24th August. The more creative, elaborate, or comical your answer is, the better!

"Rhodia sells in 87 countries around the world, but if you could be anywhere in the world with your Rhodia right now, where would you be?"

We'll select the best entries and notify the winners on 26th August (and check which size is required), before announcing the winning entries here and on our Facebook page.

16 June 2014


Comments

  • Michelle C 2 August 2014

    Everywhere I've got friends. I'd take my Rhodia pad, my good pens, and a set of markers and have everybody write or draw a page or so each. Much better than an autograph book or photo album!

  • DIMITRIS N 24 July 2014

    Holidays in the island of Rhodes.Under a magical sunrise with my orange Rhodia webnotebook. The perfect RHODination!!

  • kareem k 14 July 2014

    Oh, where would I be with my Rhodia? // Sitting somewhere in distant Cambodia, // On top of a mountain // with a ballpoint or fountain, // and acid-free ink, so as not to erode'ia.

  • Simon C 4 July 2014

    Sitting on top of the Col du Tourmalet waiting for the 24 July 14 and stage 18 of the Tour de France - Beautiful !!!

  • Martin D 3 July 2014

    Sitting at my bench sketching the next amazing masterpiece i will make, only for my Border Terrier (Isla) to demand to go out for a nice long walk, well at least the sun is shining (it won't last).

  • Vladan M 2 July 2014

    I would be writing Latin words on my new pad on the coast in Greece, for example Rhodes, and the plural would be Rhodia... it is not Latin and can not be in plural, but... try writing it with a document black and you will see it, somehow, is ok.

  • Richard L 2 July 2014

    Going to have be the first boring one and mention work, East Midlands, but please bear in mind; like all red blooded males I work to live rather than live to work. spending time away from my 9 month old daughter is bad enough, I do miss her 'Rhodia' Orange/Ginger hair. :) At work taking notes of all of the rolling stock is very time critical, accurate measurements regarding the condition /damage of the Trains wheel-sets and life remaining on the brake pads needs to be recorded and inputted with great care. Taking a photo for archival purposes alongside the original paper copy goes hand in hand with electronic information that I upload. Its a dirty environment and the depot covers a vast area so a small compact, sturdy notebook is a must. the most critical information though is everyone's order for the vending machines, because no matter how many trains are delayed it is nothing if I get the Tea orders wrong!! :(

  • TC D 2 July 2014

    Sitting in the visitor centre overlooking Gullfoss watefalls in Iceland, sipping hot chocolate while capturing my happy thoughts in my Rhodia Ice notepad with my favourite Ohto Tasche fountain pen from Cultpens UK. Did I mention hot chocolate? Gullfoss is astonishingly beautiful but also incredibly cold;need to journal about it indoors until you retail sub-zero inks, and centrally heated anoraks!

  • David L 2 July 2014

    Glasgow enjoying the Commonwealth Games with 71 of these countries

  • Mike S 2 July 2014

    Sitting at the Hotel Terminus in Palma de Mallorca drinking a cafe solo and writing letters to friends on Rhodia paper with a favourite pen (currently TWSBI Diamond 580 and Perle Noire by J Herbin)!

  • Jan B 1 July 2014

    Well right now I'm tucked up in my nice warm bed with my TV on and my laptop, some chocolate to nibble on so I'm a happy little stationery geek!

  • Paul A 1 July 2014

    Roughly riding a rhino in Roehampton? More plausibly sitting in a forest clearing enjoying the quiet.

  • Alan B 1 July 2014

    Island View Beach, Saanich, here on Vancouver Island. The sea in front of me, the Gulf Islands in the distance and, in the far distance, over 70 miles' away in Washington State, the snow-covered majesty of Mt Baker. Plus the odd seal, orca, bald eagle… Alan B

  • Allan E 1 July 2014

    Antarctica, writing on my Ice pad....

  • Andrew B 1 July 2014

    Sat at home with my three small grandchildren, reading them a story that I'd written in my Rhodia Ice notebook. Perfect.

  • Alia S 1 July 2014

    Sunset, magic hour, scribbling storyboards on the set of a film by Ignacio's Pizzaria under Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Garrick P 1 July 2014

    Zanzibar

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