Saturday, 19 July 2014

Design for Filofax - The Filofax Cover Story Competition

 As you know I am taking part in the Pimp My Filofax challenge set by Filofax and I was very kindly sent a cover story floral burst. In planning how I was going to pimp it up I decided to dig around a little and look into the history and further information about the cover story. It was then that I found that Filofax was looking for entries to design the cover story for 2015.

Oh my goodness! I would love to be able to design a Filofax, I think any of us in the planner community would, it would be like a dream come true for us it really would! So I looked into it just that little bit more. I saw that it was open to graduates from UK based art and design courses which although I have been graduated for a little while now, I am still a graduate and there was no age limit or any reference to 'recent' so I decided to give it a go. It took a massive leap of courage but you know, unless you try, you will never know. The very very worst is that I never hear back or I get a no and that is OK at least I will have tried and I will never regret not trying.

The Brief:
  • Create a cover design to be applied onto one of Filofax’s best-loved personal organiser constructions.
  • The winning design will be applied to a product / range of products to be launched during Spring 2015.
  • The design must appeal to women who would prefer a more fashion led Filofax personal organiser and probably have a love of prints and patterns.
  • The end product is likely to be used more in a social than business context.

So what did I want to do? My mind was absoutely buzzing with ideas but I only found out about this three days before the deadline. Three days....ahhhhhhhh!! And those three days just happened to be some of the busiest days that I had going on but I decided that I wanted to do this, I really did. So I tried!

From being in the planner community, I have noticed that most people prefer the leather Filofax covers or at least rather plain ones. I am terribly sorry Filofax but I never see any pictures of the cover story. It is nice but I started to wonder why this was not massively favoured in the planner community. I then started to think about this more and think about the sorts of images that I see popping up time and time again. What are the people using and purchasing planners also purchasing?

I started to see a trend emerging with names like Kate Spade, Henri Bendel and Michael Korrs being amongst the top contenders fashion wise. On the stationery line people are opting for more geometric patterns with lots of purchases being made from the Target dollar spot and project life cards being incorporated into planners. More and more people are customising their planners with paper from scrapbook lines who are again opting for more and more geometric patterns.

So ideas started popping into my head to design covers with polkadots, chevrons and stripes. I personally love geometric designs so this was right up my street! I also started to think about colours. I wanted to design something that can be quite versatile. I love the nude patent from Filofax, I think it is so elegant and chic and you can style it with anything. I wanted something that could co-ordinate well with most things yet still being totally stylish and fashion led. Oh and of course fitting the brief of having a bold pattern.

Thinking of the popular brands emerging I started to do a little research around the net and found a few items that matched what I was thinking in my head perfectly and I created this little moodboard:

If you like any of the items and would like to know more about them, this is what they are:

1. Nail Varnish from Butter London
2. Michael Kors Dylan Watch
3. Project Life Heritage Collection
4. Notebook - Sugar Paper Cabana Stripe from Bloomingdales
5. Kate Spade - On the dot idiom bangle
6. Kate Spade Denim Kimblery Dress
7. Henri Bendel phone case
8. Crown Pen from
9. Mally City Chick Smokey Eye - Nolita Navy
10. Chanel
11. Michael Kors Jet Set Navy Tote

As you can see, such chic, well complimented stylish colours which then led me on to coming up with my colour palette:

As you can see I have included many of the colours seen in the mood board to create my palette of creams, navy and gold. The gold doesn't show at all well as a flat colour but the gold I intended for use of the eyelets, outer rim of the closure button and if at all possible for the inside rings.

So on to my design. I really wanted to submit the five designs that you were able to but in all honestly I genuinely did not have the time to do this. My only critique of the entry pack is that it was not at all clear which template they wanted you to use. There were a few templates contained in the pack and I really wasn't sure if I was supposed to use all of them or one of them. I kind of did a few, which may not stand me in good stead, I don't know, it may be that I failed for not completing the entry properly. I have never entered or done anything like this before so I hope not. It would be so sad if I failed not because of my design but for not completing the entry templates properly. Oh well we shall just have to wait and see!

So here is the main design that I submitted:

I would also really like to see Filofax design dividers to match their Filofaxes. It is a big bug bear of mine that just lately whatever FF I buy, they all have the same mint and purple dividers in. I would really like to see pattern dividers to match the FF you buy or at least colour co-ordinating ones. With my design I would love to see matching dividers, I just think it would look fab and very classy! Kate Spade Planners all come with lovely dividers with beautiful art work on them and I would love to see something similar for Filofax planners too!

Image Credit: Kate Spade

If I had more time to work on designs I would have also submitted this one with a cream background and gold hearts:

Being a multiple planner user myself I can see these designs both working really well together and also can you just imagine them against these...

I just love the nude patent original so much, so classy! I would love to see both my designs alongside these two originals.

In the entry pack there was this...

Before submitting your design ask yourself;

  • Is the design based on consumer insight?
  • What does the woman who will use this product do?
  • How does this design express her personality?
  • Is your print design something she would be able to carry around and use everywhere?
  • Does the design fit in with the season of launch?
  • Is it truly original?
  • Does the design have broad appeal?
  • Is it eye-catching within a crowded retail setting?
  • Is it something you believe in, rather than something you think we expect? 

In all honesty my answer to all of these is I sincerely hope so but it would be really great to hear what you guys, the Fiofax fans think. I would really love to know what you think of my designs. Do you like them? If I won would you consider buying one? In fact wouldn't it be great if as consumers we could input more into Filofax as to what we want to see. I think that would be great so if you have any thoughts please leave them in the comments (you can do so annonymously if you would like to) and I will forward them on to Filofax in one go so they can know what we all think!

What do you think of the current 2014 cover story? Did you buy it? If you could design your own what would the design be like?

Anyway I shall let you know any developments, I am not expecting anything but unless you enter you don't even stand a chance, right? If I had known about this sooner I would have shared the link around so that if you didn't know about it you could have a chance too, hopefully I will know in plenty of time next year and will also know more of what to expect in completing the entry form templates so that I can pass it on to you too.

Much Love friends,
Anna x


  1. I hope you win, both of your designs are lovely. Fingers crossed for you xx


  2. Thank you sweetie, probably out of my depth but you never know unless you try lol x

  3. Great designs. Very current but also classic and timeless. Very appealing.

  4. Absolutely love both. I have never bought any coverstory before because I have found the designs quite 'teenagerish' but i would definitely buy both if these. Good luck!

    1. Thankyou my lovely, unfortunately that has been my thoughts too, nice but not my thing, I want something more stylish x

  5. Much more refined than the ones I've seen previously. They look really good