Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Guest Blogger Fred Pitts: Yellow vs White Rhodia Paper



Fredric Pitts: Review of two Rhodia No. 19 pads of lined paper – one white and one yellow.

“When I sat down to write with these two papers I will admit that I had preconceived ideas about how the experience would go… and I was wrong. I thought that the white paper would be great for fountain pens and, thus, my favorite. The yellow, reported to be toothier, would be great for pencil but not fountain pens and I rarely use anything but fountain pens. On both pads the lines are nicely spaced for my hand and the page has lots of real estate to write upon which is great for the desk top, not really my favorite size for travel.


I started with the white paper because I’m a desert first kind of person. The paper is, indeed, the lovely smooth surface I’ve come to expect from Rhodia products. The lines of ink lay crisp and wet, glistening as they slowly dried upon the surface of the page. With eight distinctly different pens I wrote, each gliding lovingly upon the buttery smoothness. There really weren’t any surprises with this paper. After filling two pages with ink I thought I should move on to the yellow paper and, reluctantly, I slid the white pad away as I drew the yellow pad into position.


Yes, the yellow paper has more tooth. Yes, the fountain pen nib returned more feedback and an increased scratching sound over the white paper. Yes, the ink is absorbed more quickly and the resulting lines are wider. BUT, the ink is less likely to smear when working quickly, the colors are more saturated , and while the ink spread a little more, the lines retained a nice crisp edge.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I would pick up one pad or the other to make notes and write letters. The yellow pad more often found its way under my pen. Why?


Because my handwriting looks better on the yellow paper. When I write on the white paper, invariably my hand tries to catch up with the speed of my thinking, which it can’t, and my handwriting deteriorates within each paragraph. The yellow paper has the slightest drag on the pen which serves to remind me to write just a bit slower resulting in more legible handwriting.

I really enjoyed both of these pads of paper. My only complaint at all is that they are too long to fit into my clipboard or my satchel and I travel to different offices to sit at different desks every day. Perhaps it’s time for a new satchel!”

Fountain pens and inks used:

  • Montblanc Boheme with a fine nib, Montblanc black ink.
  • Nakaya Naka-ai with a medium nib, J. Herbin Lie de The ink.
  • Edison Pearl with a crisp cursive italic nib ground by Mike Masuyama and Noodler’s FPN LE Van Gogh Starry Night Ink.
  • Franklin-Christoph Model 25 Eclipse with medium italic nib ground by Mike Masuyama and Noodler’s FPN LE Galileo Manuscript Brown ink.
  • Nimiki Falcon with medium nib, Pilot black ink.
  • Pilot Vanishing Point with a medium cursive italic nib ground by Pendleton Brown and Noodler’s Nikita Red ink
  • Pilot Vanishing Point with an architect’s point nib ground by John Mottishaw with Noodler’s Dark Matter ink
  • TWSBI Diamond 540 with a fine nib and Private Reserve Orange Crush ink.

*Note from Exaclair: The yellow tablets are currently available in the 8 1/4 x 12 1/2″ size only. 


4 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Fred Pitts: Yellow vs White Rhodia Paper

  1. Fredric,you mention FPN Galileo Manuscript as being one of your inks.

    If you know of anyone willing to part with a bottle I am looking for some to try.

    I don’t think Nathan is producing it anymore, and they arn’t carrying it at FPN, so I’m not sure where to get it.

    I hope this isn’t an ink that is going to eventually disappear into obscurity.

  2. Nice review but you never actually specified, that I could see, just *exactly* which pads you used. (Premium, Staplebound, etc.)

    I use both and love them.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A modern notebook since 1934

Buy Rhodia