Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Tuesday Talk Back: Colored Paper to Relieve Eye Strain



Rhodia Fan Charlotte recently wrote to us with this comment:

A lot of research is coming out about dyslexia being caused by ‘visual stress’ which can be treated by using coloured paper. The traditional ‘Irlen’ pads used for this purpose are great but not such good quality as Rhodia and I just love Rhodia products.  Maybe this is something you could think about as it is becoming every more popular. In my house we use lavender, pink, green and blue colours – a different set of writing paper for each of us!  

As I was unfamiliar with the pads that Charlotte mentioned, a quick Google search shows their colors to be quite vibrant. Do you or does someone you know use Irlen colored paper? Would Rhodia paper in these bright colors be useful to you? Rhodia currently offers a yellow No. 19 lined padClairefontaine offers a spiral bound book with pastel tabbed pages in graph ruling which is available in three sizes. Exacompta Index/Bristol Cards with graph ruling are available in similar pastel colors and are available in 4 sizes.

From the Irlen website:  “The Irlen Method provides a unique service for some children and adults identified with reading and learning difficulties, low motivation, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), discipline problems, headaches and migraines, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The symptoms of Irlen Syndrome are wide-ranging, but our technology focuses on one core problem: the brain’s inability to process visual information. You don’t have to have a diagnosed reading or learning problem benefit from the Irlen Method. Even good readers and gifted students can be helped.”

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk Back: Colored Paper to Relieve Eye Strain

  1. Most of the paper I use is either off-white or lightly shaded. I don’t really like legal yellow paper, despite heavy use of yellow Post-It Notes. I like the white paper in the Webbies, and most of the Rhodia products. The usual Rhodia white paper is not so bright as to blind me when used outdoors, but offers enough contrast with even my lightest inks. I sue a lot of the cheap, 6″x9″ Steno notepads bought at the PX. Most of the Steno pads offered at the PX contain off-white paper, but of very thin stock. I don’t have to have blindingly-white paper, and prefer the off-white color of some of the recycled and alternate paper pulp sources such as kenaf and sugar cane waste. Before discovering Rhodia products quite by accident, some of my favorite paper was Canson, 50g, medium tooth, college ruled paper. The Canson paper is not so bright that I blind low-flying aircraft when used outside, and is heavy enough for survival in an old soldier’s bag. As I switch from the old Canson paper to Rhodia, it will be interesting to see the comparison.

  2. I have been buying KRAFT paper sketchbooks for some time now, usually from China or Taiwan, as the Kraft ‘brown’ is both friendly to my eyes (I have MS, and my vision problems have gone from bad to worse in just a few years) when I feel like drawing or sketching… For letter-writing, I have a ‘Kraft fix for THAT, too: Kikkerland (Sweden?) used to offer a GREAT air-mail weight, kraft paper tablet in a 5X8-ish size that, instead of RULES, has a subtle horizontal ‘ribbing’! Just enough to see the ‘horizontal’ as you write, not so much it interferes if you want to do a nice sketch on the lower half of your letter….But the last few times I tried ordering it, this time in the smaller pad size, it comes up as unavailable… ;-(

    I have found the French Rhodia (Bloc R, No. 16) PLAIN pad, in its A5/8.3X5.8 dimension, has a WONDERFUL silky-smooth fountain-pen friendly paper, in a creamy, almost buttery, Ivory fine-grade vellum surface, that is VERY EASY on my MS-troubled eyes! I am fairly sure they make a RULED version of the French No.16 Bloc R pad…? BUT, imagine my DELIGHT when my RhodiaRama 8X5 webbie, in Anise Green (shrieeeeek! I LOVE IT!) arrived, with its PLAIN, IVORY interior – the SAME color and feel of the French Bloc R No. 16 pad!!! Taking a walk in HIGH COTTON, as they say, tonight as I scribble and notate and test inks and generally PLAY with my sweet green RhodiaRama… ;-)

    I think my need for colored paper addresses an issue with my MS-related vision problems (including a torn retina a couple years ago that left my right eye FILLED with ‘stringy, spiraling’ dark floaters (the blood and detritus from the injured tissues) that might never ‘go away’ (settle to the lowermost part of the inner eye), as I’m told if they don’t, the first year after surgery, they probably never will…. And my other ‘good’ eye, on the left, is immersed in hemifacial spasms and twitches throughout the day (think of having an ‘earthquake’, between the ear drum and the eyeball – best way I can describe it), so vision is not so grat there either. WHether these have combined to make the glare of white paper more uncomfortable to my eyes, or not, I don’t know.

    But I DO know that using colored paper GREATLY lessens the ‘resistance’ in my eyes/vision in facing and working with a blank page…

    Sorry so long, but people with MS or other neurological diseases/disorders that are inherently plagued by vision problems DO need (and are SO GRATEFUL for!) resources that will enable them to continue living productive, artistic lives, and I think this would appeal to a LOT of people with similar health or aging-related vision needs! GREAT piece, as always….

  3. The cream/ivory papers make my eyes tired, which is why I miss the old Habanas and adore the Clairefontaine white paper. Light green paper is an easier contrast with dark inks when my eyes are tired.

    The lavender dots and lines are far less stressful to my eyes than the gray or black lines.

    Strictly anecdotal, I know.

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