Planning a Planner v2017, Part II August 11, 2016 05:00
At UPstudio, we try to be as transparent as possible, in an effort to offer the best possible products that we can. Every aspect of each product has been 100% thought out by two admittedly type-a and borderline OCD designers (that's us, hi!). That's why when we can't find a perfect solution to something, it hurts our hearts a little bit. We want to be open about a change in the 2017 planner that might be considered a drawback from the 2016 version (as was alluded to in last week's blog post): there are no tabs.
This change is a direct result of changing the binding and cover type, which we felt were more important and crucial upgrades. Because of the way the 2016 planner was bound, with the wire-o coil, punching holes in different types and more specifically, different sizes and shapes of paper was no big deal. The tab pages were simply collated into the overall book. With smyth binding, the pages are trimmed for a final time after they are bound, which makes having different size sheets extremely difficult. It is not impossible, but it just doesn't look good. In our proof, the tab pages are actually glued to an adjacent page, which makes two pages turn at the same time. We worked with our printer extensively to try to find a way to make this work, but in the end, we accepted that this was something we would have to sacrifice for now. Here is a sample version of what tabs inserted into smyth binding looks like (we didn't even mess this up for added drama, it's really just that bad).
It's obvious that these tabs wouldn't hold up, but we weren't satisfied with simply kissing them goodbye completely, so it was back to the drawing board. We researched customizable tabs that can be applied after the fact, but we didn't love that the buyer would have to purchase something in addition to the planner itself, or that the layout of interior pages would need to address this addition that might not be included on every planner (depending on if the buyer also purchased these tabs or not).
Our final decision was to incorporate printed tabs along the edge of the interior layouts so that when flipping through the planner, the user can easily locate the desired month. We believe that this is the best solution as it will allow for quicker finds and doesn't obstruct the clean look of having one size and shape for all sheets within the planner.
In addition to the integral printed tabs, the inclusion of two ribbons incorporated into the binding will be a huge help for marking a page. We anticipate using these a ton, and might like the idea of them even more than tabs. Another quick way to find a particular place is by utilizing fun clips. Who doesn't need an arrow clip to point them directly to their destination?!
The new binding and cover type also do not allow for the planner to fold back on itself, or to easily clip a pencil or pen to it as is possible with the current coil binding (two things that we felt were advantages with the 2016 planner). Again, these are things that we felt were worth changing in order to make the more important change of durability and simplicity. We use our personal planners all year long and transport them with us to all kinds of destinations. In other words, we need these babies to stand up to abuse, weather, accidentally knocking our morning coffee over, toddler hands, etc.
So, change happens right? We're beyond excited about these planners overall and truly believe that these changes are for the better. We hope you agree, but would love to hear your thoughts. Comment if you have an opinion!