Since the 1930′s, Rhodia has been a favorite among writers, artists, and designers alike. Easily recognizable by their original orange covers, Rhodia has become a symbol of excellence throughout the world. It doesn’t just stop at the orange or black covers, though – inside is renowned Clairefontaine paper with an extra-smooth finish that provides the perfect surface for your pen to dance.
Rhodia was founded in 1932 by the brothers Henri and Robert Verilhac, who founded the Verilhac Paper Mills in the French Alps. The name was inspired by the Rhone River – legend has it that the two Rhodia fir trees of the logo symbolize the two founding brothers.
& It’s Eco-Friendly, Too!
Rhodia was purchased in 1997 by the historic Clairefontaine company, located in the Vosges region of France. This was a match made in heaven. A paper-making legend itself, Clairefontaine was established in 1863 on the site of a 16th century paper mill and continues to this day. In fact, it’s currently the only manufacturer making its own paper for its own products. This guarantees not only consistent product quality, but also controls the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.
Clairefontaine only buys pulp from sustainable forests that are certified according to recognized international standards (PEFC, FSC, etc.) These certifications also ensure that endangered wildlife habitat is protected, worker health and safety laws are kept, and the rights of indigenous communities are respected. The river Meurthe is the source of water supply for the Vosges mill – the water is so clean when it leaves their facility that local people can swim within sight of it.
Turns out that it was a standard hue for cardstock at the time and it remains unchanged to this day.
Form & Function
The Rhodia notepad, originally a sideline for Rhodia, was to become its most famous product. The Rhodia pad was considered a professional tool, and so was designed to be easy to use and durable, incorporating details like a fold-around cover, hard coated-board backing, and nice paper. It immediately overshadowed other notebooks of the time because of its quality materials and the innovative design of the scored folding front cover. Over time, Rhodia has become the most popular pad in France. Today, Rhodia has branched out into dozens of styles and covers, all melding signature form and function.