29 Apr 2013

review: Hallmark Heritage Press range

To me, the name 'Hallmark' is one that is synonymous with greeting cards so when I received an email about their new and recently launched notebook and stationery ranges, I had to read it twice to make sure I'd read it correctly: Hallmark and stationery?! 

Anyway, long story short, I was given the chance to choose one of the ranges to review and I opted for the 'Heritage Press' one. This was the only range aimed at men and that is why I chose it - not because I want to be a man but I saw the word 'dapper' in the description and for that reason, I was intrigued. Moreover, I'm not an expert but I've not seen many specific stationery ranges aimed purely at men and so I was eager to find out more (and plus, even though I'm not the target market, it was the one that appealed to me the most).

This range consists of A4, A5 and A6 notebooks, an address book, mugs (personalised and non-personalised) and a memo block.

From top left, clockwise: A6 plain notebook, A4 moustache print ruled notebook, memo block, A5 ruled notebook and a slim line address book.
So, first up: the A6 plain notebook and the Slim Line address book. I have to say that I'm not the biggest fan of the A6 notebook. I'm not much of an animal person so that might be one explanation but when I showed the notebook to others, they did comment on how 'ugly' (their words, not mine - but I have to agree) the cover was! A pug wearing a bowler hat isn't a design that will appeal to many so I think that is the weakest product out of this range. It retails for £4 which is an average price for an A6 notebook but it is thicker than a Pantone A6 notebook, for example.

As for the address book, the text-filled front is one that will possibly appeal to men. I think it would be better if it was just a plain cream stripe with maybe the word 'addresses' on the front in a simple block print but that's just me. Even though she isn't the target market, my mum really liked the look of this address book. It retails for £5.

The inside of the A6 pug notebook was a lot prettier though. When I opened the cover, I was greeted with this:

And the inside of the address book was equally pretty:

I really liked the contrast of oatmeal and blue inside the address book:

And also how simplistic, yet pretty it was.

Onto the memo block now. The top has a tartan pattern to it...

And on all four sides are moustaches. This memo block retails for £5 - a bit more than I would personally pay for a memo block (I've seen a massive one in IKEA for £3!) but the print could add something extra to a plain desk so maybe the extra few £££s are justified.

Now, my second favourite product in this range: the A5 notebook. Personally, I love the print. I have a slight obsession with the routemaster buses so that might explain why. The front cover is thick and sturdy and the weight of the notebook isn't too heavy.

London A5 notebook - £5
When you open the cover, you're greeted with this illustration of various London buildings:

My knowledge of London buildings is quite poor for someone who has spent three years in the capital but I think the building on the left is St. Paul's Cathedral and I'm pretty sure the one on the right is the Gherkin.
And more...

A London bus, the London Eye and Tower Bridge.
The rule inside is quite a wide one. I'd prefer it to be a bit narrower personally but the paper feels smooth and thick. A pen test will be at the end of this post for those interested. The paper is actually white but due to my poor photo editing skills, it looks cream.

And finally, my favourite product: the A4 notebook. I love the moustache print (I never did like moustaches before...!) and I think it would appeal to both males and females.

A4 moustache notebook - £6

Again, there is the lovely postage stamp 'this book belongs to' detail on the inside cover:

The rule and paper inside is the same as the A5 notebook. Again, the paper is actually white, not cream as it looks in the picture below:

And finally, the pen test. I've still not found any of my fountain pens or a lot of my other pens (a lot of my life is still in boxes after the house move!) but I've tried to use as many pens as I could find. There is no feathering at all (except maybe a little for the Staedtler Lumocolor but to be fair, that one is a permanent pen) and writing on the paper is actually quite a pleasant experience.

And overleaf, it is quite obvious where I have done the pen tests but I do press quite hard and from the looks of it, a lot of the show-through is due to how hard I press down as opposed to it being the paper's fault. The only pen that does show-through is the permanent Staedtler Lumocolor but if that didn't show through, I'd be worried.

Overall, I am impressed with the quality of the paper used in the notebooks. As for the design of the products, I think the moustache print is one that appeals to both genders and Hallmark are surely onto a winner with that one. The London bus print is one that won't appeal to everyone but isn't ugly enough to turn everyone off whereas the pug print was one that I can only liken to Marmite. You either like it or you don't and on this occasion, it just isn't for me but I am sure there are others out there who would love it due to its quirkiness. I am still unsure about the address book - the design isn't anything special on the outside but the inside is beautiful.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality and design of most of the Heritage Press range by Hallmark. In the past, Hallmark probably wouldn't be a brand that you would associate with stationery and notebooks but I think with the quality of these products, they have really arrived in the notebook market with a bang. The price range is on the low to average side but the paper quality is definitely on the way above average side.

Thank you to Hallmark and Lucre for sending me the Heritage Press set. It was a pleasure to review these products :)

Although I was sent these products from Hallmark, this does not affect my opinion in any way. I have been as honest as I would be had I bought these products.


  1. Oohhh! Thanks for the lovely photos. I really don't like the mustache trend(can you call it that?) but I like that the a4 book is cute and colorful.
    I actually really like the address book, I think the fonts on it is gorgeous. However it could be because they are places I want to go to whenever I make it London. I am a bit of a collector of notebooks with cities i want to travel to.

    I'm also so envious of your hand writing!

    1. I wasn't much of a fan of the moustache hype going on either but the notebook really does look good and the quality is a lot higher than expected...! And the moustaches aren't too over the top or too try-hard either :)

      The address book is a great product - it's simple in design and colour scheme.

      Aww thank you :-) xxx

  2. I love the look of the London A5 notebook and the address book is also lovely.

    1. The notebooks are very high in quality (the cover and the paper!) and I love the A5 notebook too hehe :) x