I discovered a couple of noteworthy brands last year, one of which is DesignHatch. It’s a homegrown brand of desktop essentials, such as A5 and A6 notebooks, planners, desk pads, and to-do list pads.
I got to sit down with DesignHatch founder Aislinn Kee where she shared her story and how DesignHatch was born. However, I never did take a look at the products themselves. This marks the first feature of a well-designed and Philippine-made brand.
Smart and beautiful cover design
Cover design is the first thing I pay attention to when shopping for notebooks. It certainly informed my buying decision when I was picking out my first set of DH notebooks.
The cover designs are beautiful yet professional where the designs don’t scream at your face. The colors and palettes are subtle yet attractive, all the more positioning DesignHatch at par with the usual foreign brands we ogle at.
The paper quality is impressive
Nothing tires me from using a notebook than bad quality paper—the kind that ink bleeds through, feels thin and rough, and that just doesn’t look and feel nice when written on.
DesignHatch’s paper does none of that. It’s 85gsm (grams per square meter), acid-free, and fountain pen-friendly. I don’t use fountain pens, so the paper is certainly enough for my needs. In the photos below, I used the ruled perfect bound Navy/Squares notebook.
I tested the paper out with different writing tools, including a permanent marker. No drop of ink bled through the back of the page nor did the paper deform when written on. I was seriously impressed.
You can choose notebooks based on the kind of paper as well. There are ruled, dotted, and plain notebooks fit for everyone’s needs.
A teeny problem with age and use
After using the notebook for a few months, I noticed the cover starts to bend on its own where it refuses to remain closed or flat.
This could be because of its type of cover (card stock) and the saddle-stitched binding, but it was a bit frustrating to have to keep pressing the notebook down just to get it to close.
If you like your notebooks flat and well-behaved, you might feel the same way once your DesignHatch notebook ages over time.
Other DH desktop essentials
I mentioned earlier that DesignHatch sells other paper products alongside its notebook product line.
When they released their One Amazing Month undated desk pad, I immediately got one for my daughter, Holly, since I was already training her to organize her daily/weekly/monthly activities.
The paper is still of the same weight as the notebooks and a pleasure to write on. It currently begins on a Monday, so it may take some getting used to if you’ve always used a classic Sunday calendar.
You’ll find other items like their One Fine Day and One Great Week desk pads, A5 undated weekly planners, and colorful ballpoint pens. I’ve not tried any of these yet, but I’m sure they’re just as useful for busybodies like myself.
If you’re a huge advocate of locally-made and handcrafted, I highly recommend including DesignHatch products in your collection of work essentials. They’re simple, beautiful, and functional, making them great tools for capturing ideas or managing your week.
- Main website/shop
- Aislinn Kee: Designer and Founder of DesignHatch.ph
- The Life Well-Crafted series by DH for creativity and inspiration