Designing a Planner? Here's What You Need
Updated: Feb 28
Despite all of the digital tools available to plan out our lives, planners are still an ever growing market (print is not dead!). Planners come in all shapes and sizes with additional features to make them stand out. But not all planners are created equal, so it begs the question, “What does my planner actually need?” Let's explore that question together.
A Great Cover
Despite all of the directives not to do it, people definitely judge books by their covers. So be thoughtful with how you design it and put your best foot forward. There are a few options for the cover material—paper, fabric, or leather—and what you choose depends on what you want on the cover. Want beautiful custom artwork? Paper is the way to go. Want a texture and feel? Fabric is your best option and still leaves you with the option to utilize foil stamping and add your custom branding touch to it. Want luxury? Leather is your answer, and embossing or debossing text or logo will personalize it.
Most planners on the market feature a twin ring or coil binding. These types of binding offer the user flexibility to easily flip back and forth through pages, all while having an easy to write lay-flat surface. If you'd prefer a more sophisticated or custom look, case bound binding works very well with fabric and leather planners. The text pages are enclosed or bound to a greyboard material and wrapped in the desired material. You can learn more about binding types here.
The importance of text pages is often underestimated. A planner could contain the most wonderful artwork and beautiful features, but if the paper does not work with ink well, your customer will be sorely disappointed. The best material for absorbing ink well is woodfree paper. It's not as smooth as matte art paper, but the material will quickly take in and hold color. If you desire more of a “buttery” feel to the text pages, matte art paper may be best. But please keep in mind that, because the surface area is smoother, the ink could smear on the page, depending on what pens or markers are used. Learn more about paper types here.
These are the pages that are glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and are usually the “thicker” pieces of paper that you'll have before the pages switch to text pages. End sheets provide an opportunity for you to add design work (if desired), or to subconsciously say, “keep going” on to the text pages if you opt to leave them plain. Both formats work well as long as it is in sync with your overall design concept. Learn more about end sheet types here.
An easy way to upgrade your planner is by adding a space to keep important documents or momentos, such as tickets, bills, invitations, etc. You can either build this pocket page into the inside front and back covers, or you can form a pocket out of end sheet paper and include it in the front or back of the text pages (meaning the pocket would form its own “page” in the order of your text pages). Either way, it's a simple addition that we believe should be standard in your planner design.
Ribbon or Bookmark
Though not a necessity, offering your user the ability to mark their spot without having to find a loose piece of paper or fold a page corner, a grosgrain or satin ribbon or a small bookmark may be helpful. Ribbons are helpful tools and can be added to any type of binding. Bookmarks can be used as an extra branding piece and/or another useful tool for the planner (like a ruler).
Each year, more and more stickers are being added to planners. Stickers provide an additional tool for branding and showcasing your designs, as well as adding helpful tools for the client. With numerous options including color and cut, you can create custom options just for your planner that help it stand out from the crowd.
Countless items can be added into a planner, depending on your brand and the needs of your customer base. Perforated recipe cards, verse cards, quote stickers—the options go on and on. There is flexibility when creating a planner, so don’t be afraid to dream big!
If you're ready to create brand-developing products that connect with your customers and enhance your brand, CōDRA is the collaborative partner you need. Contact us here.