25 Jul 2013

review: paper republic!

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Paper Republic. They are only eight months old so you can be excused for not having heard of them :) Anyway, they are based in Vienna (how glamorous!) and pride themselves on using premium 100g/m2 paper that is FSC-certified and wood-free. Interested? Wait until you hear that... All notebooks are hand-numbered and there are limited numbers of each design. 

Onto the review. I was sent two notebooks - a Noto #2 and a Noto #3 (both in the middle-size) and a Grand Voyageur Leather Journal.

From left to right: Noto #2, Grand Voyageur Leather Journal and the Noto #3.

First up, the Grand Voyageur Leather Journal.

I was sent the one in dark blue leather with an orange elastic band. When I first saw it, I instantly thought 'Midori Traveller's Notebook!'. Having never possessed a Midori (though I have seen one in person), I cannot do a direct comparison but I would be willing to bet that this one is very similar.

My initial thoughts were that the dark blue and orange band contrasted magnificently. It is a lightweight journal and would be ideal for travelling with - and with a name like the Grand Voyageur, I would assume that is the point of this product. The leather feels supple, but also thick enough to be sturdy too.

According to their website, it is made of cow leather that has been vegetable-tanned in Toscana and hand-cut in Vienna, with the paper inside the pocket-sized notebook being hand-made cotton paper made in a Slovenian mill. With only a small number of companies opting to enlighten customers of where their goods are made, Paper Republic is refreshing in that they are quite open about how their products are made and also where they source them from too.

The interior of the leather journal is suede and in the sample I was given, there is a strip about three-quarters of the way down that is a bit lighter than the rest. This may be due to the tanning process or may just be an error - I don't know. According to the leaflet that came with the journal, it can hold two notebooks, a passport and a pen - but this does make me worry about how the elastic will hold up if it is constantly overstuffed. At the moment, the elastic is quite tight so this is more of a long-term worry than anything.

Each notebook has a gold lion embossed on the front and the paper inside is really quite thick (100g/m2 again!) with a twinge of ivory in colour. I like.

Each notebook is hand-numbered and the one I received is number 91 out of 150.

There is also the option of engraving of your initials onto the bottom-left of the back cover (for free!).

One thing to note is that the smell of the leather is amazing. When I unboxed this journal, there was a faint smell of leather - not dissimilar to the smell you get from premium leather handbags - and it immediately made me feel that this is a journal that will age beautifully.

Overall, a very well-made and aesthetically pleasing notebook. However, it is a pricey alternative to the Midori Traveller's notebook in passport size. The Midori version retails for £35 on The Journal Shop whereas this Grand Voyageur retails for 40, which according to Google, equates to £34.43. It must be noted that the colour options for both are different though.

The notebook refills retail at 14.95 for two.

Noto #2 and Noto #3 Notebooks

These notebooks really do look stunning in real life and the pictures really don't do them justice! They are hardcover notebooks with the covers being handcrafted Chiyogami covers. Each notebook comes with a leaflet that includes information about the notebooks: it says that the paper is fountain-pen friendly, the notebook always lies flat and also where the notebook has been crafted (Japan, Sweden and Hungary).

My initial thoughts were 'wow'. These notebooks are pretty without being overly girly or manly and they also look good enough to be used by royalty (maybe it's the gold causing me to think that?).

Inside, there is the Paper Republic logo:

And the same Swedish plain paper with that lovely ivory tint:

Again, each notebook is hand-numbered on the back page:

In terms of price v quality - they retail at 19.95 (approximately £17.17) each, which is on the pricier side of a notebook with only 96 pages of paper. However, the fact they are hand-crafted and so well-thought out in terms of quality justifies that price tag. With Paper Republic, you know how and where your notebooks are made but not only this, they pride themselves on using traditional paper-making, printing and bookbinding techniques.

Overall, if you're looking for something a little bit different and luxurious, Paper Republic is where you should be looking. The higher than average prices are also offset by the fact that shipping is free worldwide. You can also find them on Facebook :)

Thank you, Jerome, for sending me these products and affording me the opportunity to write this review :)

Note: Although these products were sent to me as samples, this does not affect my opinion in any way and I am still reviewing them as I would if I had paid for them.


  1. So cute!

    Not sure if the idea of limited supply would work in their favour in terms of marketing, but a neat idea.

    Thanks for sharing another awesome brand.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this post! :) I think the limited quantity of each is a good marketing point - considering the techniques and resources they use to make these, I think it's justified :) xxx

  2. Oh, you post about the most amazing notebooks! Love these!
    I think they would be great as gifts! (Well, I'd probably only get them as gifts because they are a little pricey!)

    1. Thank you :)

      I agree; they would make a brilliant gift for a stationery-holic :) They really are beautiful and the quality is so good! x