When I set out to design the first collection of the new Whitney English planners, I had a clear objection. Create something that helps people go from overwhelmed to organized. I am obsessed with the Week on One Page format planner because I believe it’s the best planner for those that have less daily appointments than to-dos. This planner combines your weekly schedule with tons of space to take notes and make lists. This is the ultimate list lover’s planner with over 75 extra pages for notes, plenty of room to get all the lists and to-dos out of your head and onto paper. We’re all trying our best to be the most productive, the most efficient, the most to everyone and I wanted to design something that would help you do just that.
And yet, it had to be beautiful! A planner is something you look at multiple times a day and it needed to feel at home on your desk, on your shelves or in your bag. It had to spark joy and make you smile. If something is just functional, but not beautiful will we use it? Sure. We’re busy mamas. We use whatever we have to make the most for our families! But if have something that is both functional and beautiful, will we love it? YES.
I have always been drawn to timeless design. From my early days of creating stationery to designing planner cover patterns that sold in Target, I have used the influences of the past to create collections. I have studied the history of design, researched why certain patterns exist and how techniques have been used throughout the years. I love tracking how something that was used in ancient times becomes new again in modern culture. Historical references have always been my greatest inspiration and that is exactly how this pattern collection came together. This is the story of the three exclusive pattern designs in the first Whitney English planner collection.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SIGNATURE STRIPE DESIGN
You know I love stripes. I’ve forever wanted a “signature stripe” — something that is versatile, scales well, and doesn’t look like plain lines. Our new stripe echoes the idea of vintage ribbons, maybe something you would have found in a milliner’s shop years ago, or maybe similar to a piece of trimming from an upholstery shop. This interpretation of a stripe comes across as tailored, lighthearted and fun, classic, bright and almost preppy. It was a no-brainer for one of the new Whitney English planners. Needless to say, I adore it.
THE STORY BEHIND THE BLOCK PRINT DESIGN
Traditional woodblock printing has a history that spans thousands of years. Originating in East Asia, the printing technique existed in China as early as the 2nd century BC; one of the earliest surviving woodblock printings was done before 220 BC! Images and text were cut into blocks of wood and printed on silk cloth. Eventually, the print technique made its way to paper, and by 600 BC the process was used to reproduce religious texts, calendars, and textiles. The paisley pattern traces its origins back to Persia around 221 AD, and the popularity of the design migrated to India. In the first half of the 17th century, imports from the East India Company made paisley even more popular. Our Paisley Block Print has been interpreted in subtle shades of blue and an all-over print, creating a vibrant yet soothing piece in the new Whitney English planner collection.
THE STORY BEHIND THE ENGLISH CHINTZ DESIGN
Naturalistic floral designs appeared on textiles in the mid-19th century. At the time, many people condemned the designs for being a ‘Direct Imitation of Nature’, while another party declared that ‘the decoration of chintzes, in particular, seems at present to be of the most extravagant kind…the use of imitative floral ornament is particularly unsuitable on account of the folds…’. Despite these opinions, consumers obviously adored floral chintzes, which continue to experience popularity until this day. Our chintz was inspired by historic English textiles from my personal archive of historic textile designs. It’s also a nod to timeless blue and white transferware china, collected by my mother, and now me, throughout the years. The appearance of this pattern is on the inside of the new Whitney English planner design, complemented by a subtle gray-blue, almost periwinkle, leatherette cover.