Tada A5 notebook corner

TADA Handcrafted Letterpress Notebook review

8 May 2014 By ian

Tada A5 notebook corner

TADA notebooks are handmade by Elisa and Fabio, a husband and wife team based in London. They are clearly made with a lot of care and with much love. That attention to detail and passion reveals itself from the moment the package arrives.

Tada A5 notebook envelope

The joy only increases upon opening the envelope. These cards are just wonderful.

Tada A5 notebook packaging

The notebooks are available in a wide range of colours and in A5 and A6 sizes. This is a review of the A5 Striped Yellow.

Tada A5 notebook stitching outside

The cover is made from stiff card and holds up quite well. I’ve been carrying mine around in my bag for a few weeks and the cover is still stiff and undamaged. I am careful when putting it into my bag, though.

Tada A5 notebook

The cover designs are handprinted using vegetable-based inks. Each notebook has a message embossed on the back cover. This message varies from batch to batch and this one makes me smile every time I see it.

Tada A5 notebook back cover message

There’s also a cardboard pocket inside the back cover. This is glued on and I managed to pull a corner away almost as soon as I looked at it.

Tada A5 notebook back cover pocket

There are 96 pages (80 in the A6 version) and they’re hand stitched in the centre. This is a good strong binding but means the notebook is reluctant to stay opened flat.

Tada A5 notebook stitching inside

The paper is lovely. It’s recycled, thick (90gsm) and white with tiny little flecks in it. I love the flecks, it gives the paper so much character, but I guess it might put some people off.

Tada A5 notebook sketch

The paper shows off inks beautifully. For almost all of my pens, it’s wonderful. It does seem to suck the ink from some though, which means that for a couple of my broader-nibbed pens the feeds struggle to keep up and after half a page or so they start to dry out. It only affects some pens. It’s a shame but I think with every kind of paper I’ve used, there have been one or two pens that it hasn’t suited. For me, the vibrancy of inks on this paper more than compensates for not being able to use a couple of my pens.

Tada A5 notebook ink tests front

There is virtually no feathering, hardly any show through and no bleeding (other than the Sharpie, as always).

Tada A5 notebook ink tests back

This is a beautiful notebook. It won’t suit everyone – what notebook can – but it is one of those products that fills you with joy every time you pick it up. This is why we spend so much time on pens and paper, isn’t it?

Made in Clerkenwell

If you happen to be in London between 15 and 18 May then you have the chance to meet Elisa and Fabio and see TADA notebooks in person. There are also rumours of possible new products! Admission to Made in Clerkenwell is £3 and there will be 100 designers there. Details here.


There’s more! You have a chance to win one of these gorgeous notebooks. TADA are very kindly offering one up for one lucky person to win.

What you need to do is visit the TADA website, have a look through all the beautiful cover designs and then come back here to tell me, in the comments, which one you like the best. You can only pick one, which makes this quite a difficult competition.

The giveaway closes at 9am GMT on Saturday 24 May and the winner will be picked randomly. It’s open worldwide but I won’t be held responsible for any loss, damage or customs charges during shipping.

Good luck!!

Tada A5 notebook handwritten review