Product Review - Dialann Bhliantúil Ghaeilge
This week I launched a brand new colour way in the dialann so this week’s blog is an in depth look at that very product; it’s one of my favourites.
If you have followed for a while you’ll know that the dialann was a long time in the making. It took me a couple of years to finalise the design and find a manufacturer I was happy with so when the first print run of the original dialann arrived at my house last December (literally in the knick of time to dispatch for Christmas after some courier drama) I did a literal happy dance.
So what is the dialann? In a nutshell it’s an Irish language 12 month undated diary. Let’s take a closer look at some of the different elements.
A stunning high quality product was at the top of my list of must haves. I searched high and low for a manufacturing partner who could bring that vision to life. Sample after sample arrived but nothing ever met the standard I wanted from the product. One of the very first companies I found had my actual dream dialann. The quality was superb and it had everything I wanted but it was just too expensive so I had to let it go. I continued with my search and even considered looking to manufacturers in China in an attempt to bring the vision to life. I wanted something produced locally though and outsourcing manufacture to China was also massive risk. Yes, I could get it for a fraction of the price but I would never see a physical sample and I would need to do big print run. I couldn’t risk being left with thousands of crappy quality products.
In the end I came full circle and ended up partnering with the ‘dream dialann’ company. The cost was definitely more than what I had initially anticipated and the profit was going yo be slightly smaller, especially on wholesale, but I couldn’t argue with the quality. To this day it is probably one of the best decisions I have made for the business and thankfully lots of you who have the dialann agree.
Choosing the dialann cover took quite a while. I toyed with both a printed design, leather cover and various other materials but I finally settled on the cloth cover. The next big decision was colour and this took even longer. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking bringing out a new product and deciding on the quantity to order is challenging - I need to order enough to make it profitable but I don’t want to order too many in case they don’t sell. I could only afford to do one print run which meant one colour so there was definitely pressure to choose colours that would go down well. I knew that I wouldn’t please everyone though and once I accepted that it made the final decision slightly easier. I wanted something pretty but not overly girly and something that would also look professional so I settled on a green/ grey colour with a pink ribbon and elastic closure.
Size was also important. As a teacher I always had a big A4 wire bound academic planner so I didn't want to create something that would remind me of that. The dialann is A5 sized, with a hardback cloth cover that can be popped into a handbag. It has 192 thick FSC certified pages and is really lovely, even if I do say so myself!
Over the years I’ve had lots of diaries but I always found that I if I missed a week here and there that I ended up not using them so after lockdowns and covid and cancelled plans in 2020 having something that was undated became even more important.
The dialann has 12 months and 5 weeks per month but because there are no days, weeks, months or years mentioned anywhere it really is a timeless product. You can start in March or June or November. One week spans two pages with space for notes and if your week begins on a Tuesday that’s no problem; you write in your own days.
Each month begins with a title page where you write in the month (and you can even go crazy and doodle and colour) followed by a 2 page planning spread; an undated planning grid where you can map out your month and add in your events/ meetings/ birthdays etc. 5 weekly spreads come next and the month is closed out with an overview page - a chance to look back on the month and reflect.
You’ll also find plenty of space for lists and planning and brainstorming but you get to decide the title of each page. If you don’t want a birthday section or a contact list you don’t have to. Those pages are all open to interpretation and you can use them how you see fit.
I like a good doodle. It used to get me through meetings and I find it, along with colouring, to be a good way to focus. For me in was important to incorporate opportunities to doodle and be creative throughout the dialann. I didn’t want specific colouring pages though, I wanted them to feel like part of the overall design - like if you didn’t doodle or colour that it wouldn’t matter and I think I managed to achieve that. Each month starts with a monthly divider that can be coloured in, doodled on or just left. There’s also a different background theme every month - lines, leaves, dots and lots more. Lots of people have sent picture through of these backgrounds being coloured in and I love that. I’ve also seen multicoloured shooting stars, patterned umbrellas and cute little triangle people to name but a few.
So there you have it - Dialann Bhliantúil Ghaeilge, a beautiful undated Irish language yearly planner. £25 plus postage and available here: https://connectthedotsdesign.com/collections/planners