Writing on colored lines

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Here’s a question for the Notor fans out there, or anyone with an opinion… next year’s edition of the Notor features blue lines and page markings, rather than the light gray that’s used in the current version. The decision was made in France (I’m told they felt that blue was more youthful), and globally we needed to comply.

But we’ve already gotten a complaint about the new color, and I’m wondering what others think. As our Notor correspondent explained, the lines are there to guide your writing, not to clutter it up:

The small writing to indicate Holidays, etc. ” in blue type it is taking space away from me, as I can not write on top of it, it wouldn’t be legible. On the other hand, the light grey type and ruling I just use as a guideline, and it does not interfere with my writing.

I realize it’s hard to tell from the photograph above, which is why I scanned in a page from each planner:

Notor compare

The blue ink is definitely more intense than the gray, especially at the top and bottom of each page. Does this bother anyone else? If so, please let us know in the comments, and Karen will take your opinions to our annual company meeting in June.

17 thoughts on “Writing on colored lines

  1. Nate, Jeff – some of the smaller planners have no lines; for instance, the Sapa X, which just has hourly markings at the side of each day’s box (unnecessary, in my view, but unobtrusive).

    I will ask Karen if there are any other formats that are totally blank… Exacompta makes an undated planner, but that’s not quite the same thing, and it does still have lines.

  2. Too dark for me. I don’t like dark lines. I love Rhodia paper, but don’t buy it because the lines are hideously dark and obtrusive.

  3. Although I don’t use this planner, I do like the blue better. Before I saw the scans, I thought I’d like gray better, but the blue is more cheerful and even seems to make the paper seem whiter. I have a suggestion – how about doing dots instead of lines? That would take care of the overbearing quality of blue lines and keep the cheerfulness of blue. I like what JoniB said about different colors. Would be nice to have a different color each month. Or not have lines at all like Jeff mentioned for those who plan by mind maps or doodles.
    It’s wonderful that you solicit feedback and use it in design of your products.

  4. I’m using a Notor for 2009 and loved it! I decided to try Space 24 for 2010, and I’m glad now. I saw the blue type in a Textagenda at Barnes & Noble, and don’t care for it at all. The gray was nice & subtle. Even though I seldom wrote over it, the gray didn’t detract from my writing or the colors I wanted to use on each page. My vote would definitely be all gray, or something equally subtle! Thanks for this blog, and for caring about your customers. That is rare in this day and age!

  5. I hate really bold lines with a passion, simply because I often include pictures, etc that doesn’t need the lines. As a result the more inconspicuous the better. However I would see no real problem with having everything in grey except for the date circle at the top and the box at the bottom of the page. If everything else was a pale grey, the planner would suit my purposes nicely.

  6. I do think the circle at the top containing the date looks better in blue. It would be nice if the circle were blue and the print and lines were gray…but then we are getting into increased costs with two colors of print, which would increase the cost of the book, which of course people wouldn’t like…

    I suppose there’s no way to make everyone happy!

  7. I’ll have to be the somewhat different commenter here. I love color. HOWEVER I get bored with just one color. I use a DayTimer and I go for the Flavia inserts because it changes every month. So, blue, grey, doesn’t matter to me – it’s boring.

  8. A perfect example of someone “fixing” something that wasn’t broken. Lump me in with the others that want lines that are gentle suggestions, not prison bars. When you go past a light gray or even light brown, it interferes with our use of the page. It’s the same difficulty I have with the address pages in some of the products where the lines are so dark it makes it difficult to write across them when I have far more information than the space allotted.

    For some of us, our pages are so jammed and overwritten that darker lines simply make our lives more confusing than they are.

    Obviously someone’s decided “youthful” also means “time to be bored” or perhaps “unemployed!” Empty lives?

    Definitely a victory for style over function. Maybe they should remember, “With age comes wisdom” – not to mention the paycheck to buy these things!

  9. Thanks for your suggestions, everyone! I suspect that the designers meant something like more “modern” than “aimed at 16-year-olds,” but then, you know, I’m 31, and not so youthful either…

  10. for me, i like gray. I like to use different colors in my agenda, and no matter what color people pick for them, they end up clashing with some. i like the information and lines to be subtle so my notes stand out more.

    but perhaps, at 28, i am not has youthful as i once was… hahaha…

  11. I have a Textagenda and don’t mind the blue.

    But I cringe when I read things like this:

    “The decision was made in France (I’m told they felt that blue was more youthful)”

    You can imagine why.

  12. I happen to like the blue lines, if not prefer them. But then again I prefer to use black pen, write along the lines and have handwriting that fits perfectly – so maybe it just suits my style.

  13. I don’t use the Notor, but I do agree that lines should be as inconspicuous as possible. Also, when holidays and other things are printed in blue, it interferes with my color coding system. I use blue ink to indicate certain things in my planner, and blue type interferes and adds confusion.

    Earlier this year I tried to use a Visual weekly planner and one of the problems I had with it was that holidays on the monthly and semi-annual planning calendars are printed in blue ink, which was confusing next to my own items written in blue ink. I prefer the lines and print to be gray so that my color-designated items stand out.

    Just my 2 cents as a general opinion!

    • Here’s my follow-up years later! I used a Textagenda last year with the blue and really liked it. The blue is definitely cheerier than the gray, as Gini said. I compared the blue pages to the gray from my older Textagendas and definitely prefer the blue.

      Yes I’m fickle! ;D But after using it for awhile I realize I really do prefer the blue, it’s nicer to look at.

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