Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Designer deliberations

If I have failed to mention previously, I am a trained graphic designer. Sadly, my skills are somewhat wasted in my current job; even though I’ve also been trained as a visual merchandiser, I don’t have many opportunities to exercise my creative muscles in 6,000 square feet.

However! As every creative individual knows, one must find opportunity, seek its problem, and discover a solution.

Problem: A lack of creative outlet in my current state of employment.

Solution: Transform, what I normally consider a hobby, into an opportunity to use my design powers for good, e.g. helping you create simple and/or stunning inserts and pages for your organisers.

I can’t help but notice that the box standard inserts for a virgin filofax prioritises function over form. In their context as organisation tools, this is perfectly fine. It provides a blank canvas on which you are free to create the mural of your life. That is, as long as you’ve got enough paper…

Which brings me to...

Problem #1: Filofax inserts are (excuse my French) damn expensive!

If you were to compare the potential creative space and price of a sheet of everyday photocopier paper, to a blank filofax insert (depending on the size of the paper) you would pay almost 400% more, for a quarter of the stock. The only differences being a small amount of branding and holes. Every time we buy pre-made inserts, we also pay for the space where paper used to be. Hurts a little bit, doesn’t it?

Despite this, there is nothing wrong with buying pre-made pages! I must admit, as a self confessed stationary addict, I enjoy rummaging around the shelves in shops, mentally listing all the great things I could do with the little packs of paper. I find great pleasure in it. My bank however, does not.

Problem #2: Function over form isn’t always the way to go.

Yes, it does ensure that their inserts technically appeal to everyone, and it has been said that the best design is the one which goes unnoticed, buy why must the sets on offer be so… normal? Why can’t we buy advent calendars? Moon charts? Season tabs to divide our year by instead of months? Even a mini cook book wouldn’t go amiss!

The filofax community, whilst appearing to be predominantly left brained, has a secret underbelly of right brained creatives just waiting to be set free! Look at any filofax video and you’ll find proof.

Within the next few weeks I intend to create tutorials so that you can have the satisfaction of saying, “I made this!” Whilst proudly flaunting your A5 Holborn at the next Philofaxy meet up, as well as  PDF inserts for anyone who would wish to use them; and for those without access to InDesign.

If I continue to be disciplined with the regularity of my posts, I may even take requests!


  1. Yes hence why I created my own diary inserts.

    Which meet-up are you attending then Emma?

    Steve (Philofaxy)

    1. Your inserts, and your blog, inspired me to start this blog and to experiment in making my own inserts. I'm actually a little bit starstruck that you've taken the time to comment!

      If there's a meet-up in the south west, or even Cardiff, I would love to attend! I've recently obtained an exceptionally attractive A5 Kendal that I want to show off, and get advise on how best to utilise all her extra space.

      There's a depressing lack of filofax enthusiasts in my area, except for the occasional business man/woman in the local coffee shops. I'm not sure they'd appreciate me asking to have a rummage in their binder.

      Thank you for commenting :)

  2. Yes, welcome to the club. I'm looking forward to seeing what pages you produce.