Design Stories

There’s more than meets the eye in every Paper-Oh notebook. Get insider details on our design decisions and inspirations here.

The Infinite Loop of Creative Potential


Sophisticated. Subtle. Logical.

It’s with good reason that we’ve made Circulo (along with its square, but still hip, counterpart Quadro) the cornerstone of our Paper-Oh product line. The circle, a simple shape of Euclidean geometry, has become an enigmatic and mesmerising symbol that provides infinite possibility for the imagination.

For something as seemingly simple as a dot pattern, Circulo notebooks are decidedly complex. We began experimenting with perforated card, but when it came to colour choices and pattern size, we realised the existing options just weren’t quite up to snuff. The next steps in Circulo’s evolution were our exactingly precise, hand-made prototypes, with each circle painstakingly punched out using a screwpunch (see our Bookbinding Tools poster for more information on this great tool).

Even once a mechanised hole-punching system was in place, Nadine, Wade and the rest of our design team were still not ready to rest. Hours went into developing a system to ensure that each complete dot is precisely contained within the confines of the spine and covers, while still maintaining the illusion of perfectly even spacing. The magnets, too, were carefully selected for the ever-so-satisfying *snap* they exclaim when you shut Circulo’s front cover.

The great part about our Circulo notebooks is that we’ve already put in the years of development, meaning you don’t have to. For instance, we experimented with holes that go straight through the cover and coloured endpaper and right to the front page of the book block, displaying the pieces of text or artwork behind the cover. While that version of Circulo didn’t make our first season, we’re happy to pass on the idea to you! Even if your bookbinding workshop isn’t quite as stocked as Wade and Nadine’s, a needle or an awl will work just as well as a screwpunch to punch out some holes. Have fun creating designs on your Circulo notebook – and don’t forget to show us the results!