Sketchbooks and notepads are a big part of life for artists and creatives so we have been looking at new offerings from Magma Sketchbooks and Rhodia.
Rhodia is a French brand of unassuming notepads, each held together at the top by staples. We were sent the Essential box of orange pads to examine, which includes narrow pads of strongly-printed squared paper, 7.4cm wide and either 10.5 or 21cm tall. The paper is better quality than in other pads of this size, but the squares are off-putting if you’re not into maths and though the shape makes them ideal for shopping lists, they are really too narrow for notes. There is also a larger A5 pad, which suffers the same drawbacks. The best is a separate dot pad, which is A5 sized and has paper printed with pale dots. Perfect for playing the dots and boxes game, it is more restful than the graph paper for taking notes.
In July Magma sketchbooks are releasing two new pocket edition formats titled Art & Illustration and Design & Art Direction. Each is a 112 blank pages followed by advice and information relevant to the targeted users. The Art and Illustration pages are blank, mainly cream though with a few darker brown pages for sketching with pastels. It includes information about topics such as printing techniques, framing techniques and types of brushes. The Design and Art Direction pages are blank and squared (though much paler and more welcoming than the Rhodia version), with information at the back about, amongst other topics, book binding, typography and green design. Both include explanations of the Golden Ratio.
The pads are approximately 16x13cm and the paper is of good quality. The pages are numbered, which will be annoying when drawing. The information at the back feels like a gimmick. Little of it is something that you have to carry around with you all the time.
Available to buy here from 20th July
Winner: Magma (Art and illustration version)
Runner up: Rhodia’s Dot pad