Rhodia Pencils and dotPad Review

This review has been a long time coming. Michelle from Exaclair graciously sent these Rhodia products out to The Leaky Pen for review months ago .  Life however got in the way of writing about them.  In fact the Rhodia dotpad and pencils have been sitting on my desk winking at me every time I sit down.  Now, I have finally had an opportunity to take a closer look at what Exaclaire sent us.  Specifically, we were sent two black and orange Rhodia pencils and with them a Rhodia dotPad.  Both products scream designer style and appear to be high quality.


The pencils were packaged in individual see through plastic sheaths with the Rhodia logo neatly printed on the front.  The bright orange paint of the black stained pencil wood not only looks attractive but is attention grabbing.  Even the eraser at the end and the metal eraser holder are painted black. The shape of the pencil shaft itself is triangular with soft edges and has a pleasant tactile feel to it.  The Rhodia logo is subtly printed to one end of the pencil on each of the three sides.  The colour and shape of these pencils are a subtle departure from your standard wooden pencil. The overall look is stylish.



I normally don't use wooden pencils.  Instead I almost always opt for the mechanical alternative.  But, I always stow my mechs away in a pencil case so I left the Rhodia pencils on my desk at work for quick and easy use.  I sometimes have to write quick notes on the fly, even in this digital age, and so I got to use the pencils several times a day over the last few weeks.  I also encouraged my colleagues to use the pencils when they remembered to and feedback from them was positive.  They liked the look and feel of the pencils and they thought that the quirky colouring was 'trendy', as did I. We have all been impressed so far.



Part of the reason I don't use wooden pencils is the constantly breaking leads and the requisite resharpening.  I shouldn't have been concerned however because the Rhodia pencils we were given kept their lead integity very well.  The eraser at the end of the pencil also worked soundly but not as well as my Staedtler eraser stick.  This is to be expected of course because the Staedtler stick is a dedicated eraser.


Whilst I enjoyed using the pencils, my favourite item was the Rhodia dotpad.  As soon as I unwrapped the pad I knew I would like it.  The dotPad has a hefty feel to it, probably because it has 80 pages of what certainly feels like quality paper.  Again, I am not a paper expert and you will find plenty of other bloggers who will go into much more detail than this review should you need it.  But, I like it.  It feels like a quality product to me.


The front cover of the dotPad is black with the Rhodia symbol and 'dotpad' printed.  The writing isn't overwhelming and the predominant colour is still black.  There is nothing worse than tawdry logos covering most of a notepad cover and thankfully Rhodia don't fall into that trap.  When you flip the cover back to start writing another Rhodia logo greets you just above the top of the writing page.



The back of the notepad is another story however.  It appears to have been dedicated to descriptions of the Rhodia notebook range.  It is at odds with the rest of the dotPad's visual appeal and could easily have been tucked away as the 81st and last page inside the dotPad.  But honestly, who looks on the back of a notepad anyway except for stationery nerds like me?  And yet, I suppose therein lies my issue.  Rhodia is for lovers of French fashion and stationery, and those that notice the data covering the back cover will probably dislike it.


But, this is the pad's only fault and the rest of its characteristics are redeeming features.  Quality paper, dots instead of lines (to cater to diagrams and drawing as well as text), and a size not too small for drawing or copious notes and yet not too big to compete with other books in your bag or briefcase.



The dots in particular have me sold.  The Rhodia website markets the dotPad and its dots as -

Functional black stapled notepad with a dot grid for creative minds! An alternative to traditional lines and boxes... the Rhodia stapled dotPad has a light lilac geometric dot matrix that provides a subtle guide for notes and sketches. The dot grid offers great results with scanners and photocopiers.

The dots themselves are quite subtle and served to guide my written work when I wanted them to rather than corral my words rigidly like traditional lines do.  I would definitely entertain the idea of buying another Rhodia pad once I fill this one and that is high praise from me.

Once again I would like to thank Exaclair for providing the stationery for this review and Michelle for waiting the age it took for me to write it.

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