7 Sept 2012

review: Oxford notebooks part I (Pink and Black, Signature and Campus)

The lovely people at Oxford Notebooks sent me some of their products to review. This does not affect the review, however, as I will still try to be as honest as possible. I was sent products from five ranges: Pink and Black, Black 'n' Red, Signature, Office and Campus. I will evaluate the key features of each as well as the pros and cons too. This review has been split into two posts otherwise it would just be too picture heavy!

Up first:

1) Pink and Black

Here are a few products from the range:

If you hadn't already deduced, this range is aimed more at females. One good thing about it is that 20% of the proceeds go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. As you can see from the picture above, all of the notebooks come with a pattern on the covers - but it looks more obvious in these pictures than they are in real life. To the naked eye, they are more subtle and tasteful than it appears in these pictures. Also, with regards to the pattern, if you were to run your fingers along each of the covers, you'll find that with the ringbound notebooks, you can feel the pattern, whereas with the pocket notebooks, the pattern is a printed one where you won't be able to feel a thing.

Here is a closer look at the black A5 ringbound notebook. Due to the lighting, the sticker isn't visible but all it says is that 20% of the proceeds go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. You can see the pattern clearly here. 

And here are the notebooks viewed in a pile so you can guage how thick they are: 

Overall, I find this range very appealing. If you didn't know, I'm quite a girly girl - I dress mainly in skirts and dresses, love fashion and try to keep my Filofax as girly as possible; so obviously, this range will appeal to me. The pocket ones are especially good for notes you need to refer to on a regular basis - something my mum does (she also has her eye on them...!).

Both the A4 and the A5 ringbound notebooks have perforated sheets if you ever want, and the good thing is that once the sheets are torn out, they are a full A4 or A5 size. They are neither too thick, nor too heavy to carry around and the design isn't overly feminine if you go for the black version (if that is important to you). 

In terms of value for money; having done my own research on this front, I have seen that they are marked up when compared with the Campus range (more on this range later) but are on a similar level to other business-aimed products. 

And finally, the paper quality. It is the usual high quality Oxford paper we have come to expect and they really are telling the truth when they say that you can write on both sides of the paper (trust me, I've tried it with all types of pens)!

2) Signature Range

Here is a picture of the Signature range products that was included in the package: 

From having a look at the website, it appears that there is a feminine and a masculine range. This is good news for those who care about the colour of their notebooks :) To be fair, a few of the colours in each of the range can be considered neutral (as in neither masculine nor feminine). The design is a basic one that will appeal to everyone - the elastic closure ensures that any loose bits don't get lost. But why would there be an elastic? Well, the next picture should explain why...

As you can see, there is a pocket on the inside of the back cover where you can store any loose sheets or notes. 

The sizes I was sent were an A5 size and an A6 size; the A5 was in the black colour, and a grey and a pink A6 notebook too. It must be noted that the back pocket colour matches the notebook colour too. 

Finally, one last picture - in my attempt to show how thick the notebooks are. The height of each of them is about 15mm. 

What I find good about this range is that there is a wide range of colours to choose from. In my opinion, these books would be ideal as a journal. The paper, again, is of the standard high quality that we've all come to expect. 

However, I don't personally see anything special about these notebooks. Yes, they are very nice and luxurious; however, they don't have that bonus factor that Moleskines (for example) do. The higher price point doesn't make this range as attractive as some of the other ranges Oxford notebooks have.

3) Campus Range

I recently reviewed one of the Oxford Campus notebooks and here I'll just be giving an introduction to the other products in this range.

Here is the rest of the range: 

The ringbound notebooks come in different sizes: A5, a reporters notepad and an A6 size. They also come in a variety of colours. 

The sheets are perforated and so are perfect to stick into a folder if needs be. The refill pad is already hole-punched too and so is ideal. The target market for this range is clearly students - though, judging by the presence of a blank timetable as seen here, I think it would be aimed more at sixth form/college students, or for university students who had a more regular timetable. (My timetable was different every week!)

Overall, this range presents the best value for money. The design is good and not too extravagant but at the same time, it is eye catching and bright. If you just want paper, this range is definitely the one to go to, but if you want a notebook, I think another range (possibly the signature one?) would be more appealing due to more neutral design. 

Again, the paper is of a high quality and is ideal for the person who gets annoyed at thin paper (as this paper has little to no show through whatsoever!). 

Stay tuned for part II - coming in less than two weeks time! I will be reviewing the Office Book and the Black 'n' Red diary range then.

I hope you have enjoyed part I - I have tried to be thorough and fair and my pictures have not been colour-edited in any way. This is so that I can show you, as accurately as possible, the true colours of the notebooks.

1 comment

  1. love those notebooks, they look really nice and neat!
    would you like to follow each other?

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