Karen was kind enough to send us a nice package of goodies to review this fall, and it’s time we publish some more reviews! I thought we’d go with a pad I’ve been especially enjoying: the Dot Pad — especially after the announcement of the Dot Webbie, which might be one of the greatest notebooks available.
Cover Material: Coated cardstock.
Paper: 80 g acid-free; light lilac grid with 5mm intervals between dots.
Size: Assorted; 6 ” x 8 ¼ ” as tested.
Page Count: 80.
Unique Characteristics: Foldable cover; dot=grid.
As you can guess, the Dot Pad has dots in place of the squared lines regular Rhodia paper has. While this might seem like a small deal at first, I think this means several things. First, this paper photocopies better. Second, one can more easily ignore the dots, easier than ignoring purple lines, anyway. Third — and most important to pencil users — it makes what you write or draw easier to see! I have long loved Rhodia pads, but I have usually felt compelled to use a dark/soft pencil because the graph lines are a little heavy. It never bothered me enough to steer me away from Rhodia pads — to be sure — but the Dot Pad is still refreshing and, well, fun. While I appreciate the orange of Rhodia pads, I like the departure for black, and I really like the graphic/logo work for the Dot Pad.
As as always the case with Rhodia, the construction and design are both solid. The way the cover folds over and the extra cardboard backing are just intelligent and functional. Period. The paper is smooth and wonderful. While Rhodia paper usually wins praise from Comrades who love fountain pens, the pads are also excellent for graphite. (It’s no accident that the first post on Pencil Talk was about Rhodia pads.) Smearability on Rhodia paper has never been a problem for me at all. What’s more, strangely, the Dot Pad seems somehow extraordinarily smear-resistant. Ghosting is not an issue with a Rhodia pad because of the construction of the pad itself. I mean, I suppose one could write on the back. But it would be pretty difficult, at least if you have meaty hands like I do.
Another thing I always like about Rhodia pads are that they are easy to find in person and relatively inexpensive. I’m willing to bet that if you live in even a medium-sized city, you can find them at an art shop or even Target. I can walk to several shops from my office in midtown Baltimore and find them, for instance (though none of these locations sell the pencils).
I’ve been using this particular pad as a bedside reading notebook, and I definitely plan to get more when I fill this one up. Right now, it’s recording all the pencil mentions in For Whom the Bell Tolls.