I first saw a review of a William Hannah Notebook on YouTube, on the Pen and Inkwell channel. First there was the unboxing video and then about a month later the full notebook review. I was really impressed with the design and the colours. I went to the website and subscribed to the newsletter, and talked about it briefly in this post. After that post a correspondence began between myself and David Round, the man behind William Hannah Limited. David was good enough to offer me a generous discount on the price of a notebook of my choosing, and I couldn’t pass that up.
I placed the order and then patiently waited for it to arrive. It took longer than expected and I have to say David’s customer service is outstanding. He emailed me often, concerned about the time it was taking for that particular shipment method, and how he was considering going with another carrier. I was getting ready for my move so was perhaps preoccupied but he was very quick to offer to send another notebook, exactly the same as the one I ordered, to replace the one that had seemingly gone astray. Luckily on the very day he was ready to ship the new one, the original one arrived and I was able to let him know. We were both thrilled that it had finally arrived. The situation cemented his decision to use another supplier for international shipments.
Right from the beginning the experience of these notebooks is pure luxury. And David assured me this presentation is what anyone who orders a notebook can expect. The box reminds me of the boxes Filofax binders used to come in. Beautiful cloth box that opens to the left, embossed with WH for William Hannah. I must ask him what ink he used in his note – beautiful green.
It looks and feels like unwrapping a high end leather good; a little piece of heaven. I ordered one of the off-the-shelf combinations; you are also able to fully customize the cover, lining, stitching and type and colour of paper. More on that later.
There she is! The Whiskey cover. I fell in love the minute I saw it on the website and in real life the colour is just glorious; a very deep, rich brown with light undertones. The covers come in the following colours: Agave, Black, Bordeaux, Red Chili, and Whiskey. Bordeaux is a beautiful choice too; the lady from the Pen and Inkwell ordered the Bordeaux cover with the Petrol lining.
Here is a close-up of the pin, which is laser engraved with WH. The company has just introduced a pen loop that hooks into this pin, and future accessories could attach in a similar fashion. The stitching is perfect. And you can just see the gorgeous Kingfisher lining!
OMG that turquoise blue! Italian suede lining with flawless stitching. The linings are available in the following colours: Lime, Petrol, Fuchsia, Kingfisher, Navy, Orange, Royal Blue, Ultra Violet, and Crimson. All of them are vibrant, saturated colour. And you can customize any cover with any lining.
The binding system will remind you of the ARC system, which is fantastic, as it lets you easily add and remove pages, and move the sections of your notebook around. The rings are engineered in England from 303 gauge stainless steel, which means they will last a very long time and never tarnish. They look great and the paper moves easily around them. And for first-timers a handy instruction page is included. I do not know if William Hannah is planning to release a punch to allow you to add your own pages to the notebook, as the ARC system does. I don’t have my ARC punch with me to see if it works with this system. I will experiment with it once it and the rest of my belongings arrive!
And the paper! The heart of any notebook. William Hannah uses 100 gsm paper, which fountain pen users will appreciate. Just as the cover and lining are customizable, so is the paper. They offer lined, 5 mm dot grid, 5 mm grid, plain, printed week to a page, undated week to a page, and to do list, in 50 and 100 page packs. And the dots, grid and lines can be in the colour of your choice! I love that feature. You can match your paper to your lining or your cover or have a contrasting colour.
Here’s a closeup of my lined paper. When you place your order you have 60 pages to design. I chose 30 lined with Kingfisher coloured ink; 10 dot grid in Crimson; and 20 grid in Lime.
Here’s a close up of the Lime grid.
And here’s a close up of the Crimson dot grid.
David also included a sample pack so I could see the other inks on the different papers. Love that Kingfisher ink in the grid pattern.
The different inks lend themselves to high customization, to make the notebook uniquely yours. You could even coordinate the ink to your colour-coding system in your planner. The possibilities are endless.
And now for the all important ink test! I love writing on this paper. All of the pens and pencil I tried were super smooth. And there was no ghosting or bleed through. Here’s a closeup – no feathering on the fountain pen ink.
The blue ink is Waterman Inspired Blue and a perfect match to the lining and the line colour. Beautiful!
Even Halley approves! And don’t forget to check out William Hannah on various social media; their Instagram posts are truly inspirational.
These notebooks are expensive: £95. In my opinion, worth it. I bought mine with a healthy discount in return for an objective and honest review. All of the thoughts in this post are my own. My experience was amazing from start to finish, truly. From the outstanding customer service to the amazing product, I cannot recommend this company enough. You will not be disappointed with this notebook.
I remember reading in one of the newsletters that the company got the chance to show Liberty’s of London their notebooks, in the hopes of reaching a merchandising deal. From what I understand Liberty is a very popular and high end store, specializing in luxury goods from many different manufacturers. And they were extremely interested in these notebooks, but to make a profitable deal, William Hannah would have to down-grade the material and mechanisms. No agreement was reached because William Hannah would not compromise on excellence. And that commitment to their product and your satisfaction is evident in everything they do. I’m not being paid to say that – I just really love a company that makes a fine product and stands by their convictions.
Thank you William Hannah Limited and David Round for this beautiful notebook, which will become a family treasure I’m sure.