Blank Book Showdown: Habana v Rhodia

…but really, they’re from the same parent company, so think of it more as a “meeting of similar interests” than a showdown.

Rhodia “Webbie” Webnotebook

  • 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″
  • 90g blank ivory Clairefontaine paper
  • Orange Italian leatherette hard cover with an embossed Rhodia logo
  • 96 sheets (192 pages total)
  • Inner pocket, elastic closure, rounded corners
  • Ordered mine from Goulet Pen Company for $18.75 (thanks Brian!)

Quo Vadis “Looking For A Nickname” Habana Notebook

  • 6-1/4″ x 9-1/4″
  • 90g blank extra-white Clairefontaine paper
  • “Leather-like” semi-flexible cover (anyone know material these covers are actually made of?) with discrete embossed logo
  • 80 sheets (160 pages total)
  • Inner pocket, elastic closure, rounded corners
  • Got mine as a free sample for review, but available for $18.75 from Goulet Pen Company

Compared: First Impressions

So, as you can see from the top image (and the macros above), the Rhodia’s embossed logo is front and center, while the Quo Vadis logo is more discretely placed in the lower right corner. Neither are obtrusive, and the Rhodia logo’s placement fits with the rest of their line of notebooks. The  Webbie looks and feels sturdier, which I suppose is the difference between a “leatherette” cover and the Habana’s “leather-like” cover. The webbie is also a bit fatter, as it contains 96 sheets instead of the Habana’s 80.

Snuggling Notebooks

Although they are both square notebooks with rounded corners, the Habana’s spine is more squared off, while the Webbie’s is more rounded.

Pardon my Shadow!

As far as size goes, these are both very, very portable notebooks. Neither of these sizes is going to fit in your pocket, but they’re both definitely “tuckable” –into bags, notebooks, whatever. What the Rhodia has in its small size, the Habana notebook has in slimness.

Compared: Delving Inside the Covers

Inside the Front Cover

Looks like similar construction to me...

So the Rhodia has sort of a monotone-thing going on, when it comes to color scheme. The elastic closure and the ribbon bookmark are both as orange as the cover, and the covers are orange on the inside as well. Depending on your perspective, this could be seen as minimalist chic, or as just way too orange. Compare this to the Quo Vadis’ color scheme: key lime cover, white inside the covers, and black bookmark. Which, again, could be chic or gaudy, depending on your perspective.

So keep in mind that I’ve been using the Quo Vadis as a journal for a while now, which is why it looks a little stuffed in the above picture. But this image might give you an idea of each notebook’s color scheme. As an artist and graphic designer, I honestly would never have picked ivory paper and orange covers, but between the two of us, the Webbie’s combination does seem a smidge classier than the Habana. (It’s a shame that the Habana comes in my least favorite notebook colors: raspberry, red, lime, and black. I was really hoping for the taupe version with blank paper…)

Back Pockets-- both equally handy!

One of the most significant differences, though, is the actual paper that you’ll be writing on. This is, after all, the reason that you buy a notebook in the first place, is it not? Although both these paper are listed as 90g, I find that the Habana’s paper seems a bit thinner. I think this is because the bright white color seems more transparent than the Webbie’s ivory paper, and the larger size makes the paper feel more, um, “floppy.” In any case, both papers perform superbly with fountain pens– and there have been enough tests on this already that I don’t really need to do another.

So, there are the varied hues of your new writing surfaces. Ivory and bright-white are very different to write on, and both have their pros and cons. If moleskine-lovers are having trouble transitioning, they may enjoy the Webbie’s ivory tint. Designers, comic book artists, and some illustrators may prefer the bright white of the Habana for more color pop.

The Big Difference, Though…

…is that I’m using one as a journal:

and one as a wine journal and a recipe book:

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