During National Stationery Week, there was a Notebook Day and in honour of that day, I just couldn’t resist ordering two notebooks from Chroma Stationery. I’ve been using those for a little while now and so, thought I would share my opinion of them along with some pictures. If you have not heard of Chroma Stationery before, it’s a website where you can purchase fully customised notebooks. Everything from the cover of the notebook to the paper inside – all included in the price so you know what you’re paying from the onset.
Chroma Stationery was founded by a lady called Gabi. She wanted to be able to provide notebooks to people that came exactly the way they wanted, without breaking the bank. Chroma Stationery is all about colour. Each colour is named after an important person in her life and I love that you can see the story behind the colour you pick. You can also choose to emboss the front or back colour, in either Gold or Silver foil & personalise the notebooks right from the start.
Now, if you’re anything like me and you are in love with the card making world then you will know that foiling is the new thing. It’s completely trending right now. It has been for a while. Foiling is basically making a card, or getting patterned paper, or anything with that beautiful shiny foil on it. Most commonly, I see it being done with Gold Foil but there are many other colours out there. Chroma Stationery uses this beautiful foil to personalise the cover and I obviously did not need an excuse to give these a go!
What notebooks can you get?
Currently, there are 3 different ranges of notebooks and 20 different colours to choose from. All of the notebooks are A5 sized and can be personalised in Gold or Silver embossing. The “Nebraska Perfect Bound Notebook” range offers either lined or plain paper. I choose to get one of these to use as a Journal in the “Annie” colour (a beautiful Grape colour), which was named after Gabi’s mum, with lined paper. With gold embossing, I got the quote “believe in yourself” that I love written on the front and “handwritten by aumsome” on the back. I asked for the font “Daydreamer” be used but didn’t realise that there were multiple fonts with the same name! So this was not the font that I had in mind when I got it embossed but I like it nonetheless! Just a tip to be careful what font you ask for and be clear about it!
You can also get two different types of spiral bound notebooks. The first range is the Ryton Spiral Bound notebooks, whilst the second is the Denia Spiral Bound range. They both offer the choice between lined, plain and also a third option that is grid paper. Both the ranges are similar. The difference between the two is that the second one has an opaque, polypropylene protective cover over the front and back. This is the Denia Spiral Bound notebook that I picked. (Please note, that the picture does not show the protective cover! I turned it as it is hard to capture the colour of the notebook & the embossing properly on a camera with the cover) I choose the colour “Daniel” (a turquoise green that I absolutely love!), named after her younger brother and went with grid paper. This I am using this book for this blog, to write down the ideas that I have and make notes. So I embossed the front cover with an Arthur Ashe quote that is very appropriate for starting a new blog and embossed the back with the URL for the blog.
These are the two that I went with – but there are many more combinations with 20 different colours, 3 notebook ranges and 3 paper types! I am sure that Gabi will continue to bring out more options to increase these combinations in time.
What about the paper and using the books?
Whether you will like this paper or not is a matter of opinion, I think! For my notebooks, I write on them with a Cross Fountain Pen with black ink. The paper has some showthrough on the reverse but there is no feathering and very minimal bleeding. The only bleed I have so far is an area where my fountain pen accidentally leaked a bit more ink than it should have done. Other than that, I have had no bleeding so far. The showthrough itself doesn’t bother me, as it’s something I get in my Leuchtturm too. However, some people will choose to only write on one side of the paper because of this and if you do that, you will get 50 sides to write on – rather than the 100 you would normally get from 50 pages. It is definitely something to bare in mind.
I particularly love that the lined pages have small lines (approximately 6mm widths), which is perfect for my handwriting style. If you prefer your notebooks to lie flat than the Spiral Bound ranges are the better option for you. By their nature, it’s easy to open them up and even bend them over on themselves. The Perfect Bond notebook, on the other hand, won’t lie flat in the same way. At the start of the book, this isn’t a problem as the cover bends enough for it to be almost flat. However, as you get into the book, it becomes harder to lie flat without damaging the spine. This may become a problem for me later but for now, I can deal with this! The small problem with the spiral bound is that, more often than not, the pages tend to bend and start curling at the binding. This can make turning the pages difficult. These are problems that you will find with other brands too and are more cons for the binding – rather than the company.
What about Chroma Stationery’s service?
One of my favourite parts of Chroma Stationery is Gabi’s customer service. If you tweet her, she will definitely respond speedily. She’s incredibly friendly and happy to help whenever she can. Gabi is contactable via email as well and her customer service is great! The Perfect Bound notebook that I received was slightly damaged. The damage seems like a part of the front & back cover has been ripped and stuck to the first & last pages. Having spoken to Gabi, I believe that this damage is a rare incident that has not happened before but it’s something to watch out for. What I think is great is that if you send her a picture of the damage, she will happily deal with it effectively and replace the product, if appropriate. For mine, I choose to get a partial refund as the book is still usable.
These notebooks also arrived incredibly fast! I ordered the notebooks on Notebook Day (a Thursday) and by the following Tuesday, they were sitting on my desk – even though the Monday was also Bank Holiday! I was definitely shocked to see that they had been embossed, packaged nicely and sent out in time to actually deliver within 2 working days. As you can see in the picture on the right, the notebooks come wrapped in tissue paper with a sticker closure. Gabi also includes a little notecard with Chroma’s story on it, which I think is a nice personal touch.
What about the embossing procedure?
When you select the notebook, you will be asked to write any embossing details into a box. Here is where you can pick what you want written on the book. You can also give the colour of the embossing (Gold or Silver), the font and the position of the text – front or back cover / top, middle or bottom. It is apparently also possible to get an image embossed – which is definitely something I will have to try the next time! My only suggestion here is to be as clear as you possible can. There is a word / character limit on the box and if you do run out of space, I highly recommend emailing her with more information regarding the order. For my Annie notebook, as I mentioned before I asked for the font “daydreamer” but didn’t realise that there were other fonts by the same name. The font embossed on my notebook is also called daydreamer – but unfortunately, it was different to the one I had in mind! So it is definitely worth sending that extra email just to be clear. You can link up to any fonts or images you want in the email. I don’t think Gabi would mind at all!
Overall, I am enjoying using my notebooks a lot right now. The colour choice is fantastic and I would definitely would love to get one in every colour. It is possible to get an image embossed too so I would love to try that option out on one of them! I really like that these notebooks can be personlised with the paper type too. My favourite of the two notebooks, currently, is the spiral bound. I personally love the protective cover that my Daniel notebook comes with, which I think will help to keep it clean. When doubled up, it also provides a great support that helps me to write in the book on my knee or lap. Normally I am not a fan of spiral bound notebooks so this has actually come as a surprise to me, however I am really enjoying using this notebook for my blog ideas and it is certainly encouraging me to keep writing down ideas (and hopefully continue on with this blog!). I can foresee having trouble with the binding on the other notebook as I get to the centre, since it doesn’t lie flat. However, for now, this isn’t causing a problem for me. I am considering using the Perfect Bound notebooks with plain paper to store some photos and a bit of journalling alongside. With minimal writing and instead mostly just sticking photos down, I think it will not be a problem if it doesn’t lie flat! Although there are some small issues, for the price these are definitely a bargain! The notebooks vary from £8.50-£9.00 and this price includes the embossing – which is great! As mentioned before, I suggest you’re as clear as possible with the embossing instructions & email her with more detailed instructions should you need to (as there is a limit to how much you can enter in the box on the website).
These notebooks are so affordable and definitely a place to look at if you are interested in getting your own personalised stationery. So far, I love using both of these books and definitely will keep Chroma Stationery in mind for future personalised notebooks. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this little beauty and where it goes – I’m sure Chroma will just keep expanding!
Disclaimer: Both of these notebooks were brought with my own money and were not sponsored by Chroma Stationery, in any way. I used a 10% discount that was available to all during National Stationery Week and also received a partial refund for the damage in my perfect bound notebook (as explained above).