We've been busy bee’s behind the scenes here at Socolo working on our latest collection and first-ever stationery collaboration with neurodivergent and disabled content creator, Dyslexicdayna. We’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of this collaboration set to be released on the 19th of October 2022, (with the presale opening today!).
Socolo recently had its first birthday and we had a lot to celebrate! In the last year, we have released 12 notebooks, as well as created and hosted the very first World Unmasking Day event online. Now we are launching our latest collection, Dyslexicdayna x Socolo, and what better way to celebrate than sharing the development process of our latest launch with you?
Our collaboration with Dyslexicdayna started unofficially on a rainy Tuesday evening when Chantal (founder of Socolo) and Dayna (Dyslexicdayna) were sharing voice notes about the latest news to hit the neuroverse. Out of the blue, Dayna asked if Socolo would ever be interested in a collaboration of a collection of stationery and in that moment this collaboration was born! Together, we created a list of functionalities we wanted the planner to have and its impact on our community! And we landed on our key theme:
Neurodivergencies are best thought of as a continuum, meaning we’re all individual and we each have different strengths and needs, alongside different ways of working…
So with this as our compass, we designed the planner to be un-dated, and to have week and month view pages and include a variety of ways for note taking, planning and organisation (blank, dotted, lined and square). We also wanted it to be a source of balance, therefore we created one-of-a-kind colouring and doodling pages alongside. Furthermore, we wanted to outline key information, including open letters to our community, for navigating neurotypical spaces such as applying for government funding and attending important appointments, as well as working on mindset.
Socolo and Dyslexicdayna are all about colour but in different ways. I mean all you need to do is look up @dyslexicdayna and @so.co.lo on instagram…. So we knew that we wanted the planner to be bright and colourful, and one way utilise this in a useful way was to use colour as a visual cue for the user to help them stay organised and remember where they wrote down information.
From hours and hours of colour matching over video chat and looking at various shades of orange (this was a particularly tricky colour), we landed on our six key pastel colours that set the tone of the rest of our design journey.
During an evening get together Susie (a close friend of Dayna’s) described her dyslexic brain as being ‘a series of unfinished doodles’ and years later this stuck with Dayna and she felt like it was a fitting name for a planner designed for neurodivergent folk. This title set the tone for the planner's style and graphics, with a doodle-like quality we wanted the planner to have a ‘rough around the edges’ look and more than anything ‘be inviting of chaos’. We often find ourselves protective over paper when it comes packaged in perfect design. In actuality, planners and notepads are meant to be messy, they are processing tools, extensions to our brain and who’s brain isn’t a little chaotic?
We worked with Dorset based photographer, Kinga (link to website) who specialises in colourful moving portraits, with her can-do attitude and openness to wild ideas that might fail, we knew we were in good hands! Together, we created a shot list depicting ‘a day in the life of Dayna’ and how she uses the planner to navigate life both at home and at work. This shows Dyalexicdayna fans a different side of Dayna, a side outside of the TikTok POV videos that they have grown to love. Keep an eye out for our pictures on social media and the website.
If you’ve ever worked in the stationery industry you will know that there are so many options available when it comes to printing manufacturers and a lot of these decisions have ethical implications. However, it was extremely important to both the founder of Socolo and Dayna that everyone involved in the production of the collection was paid fairly for their contribution, as well as being made in an environmentally conscious way and thus, we decided to print the entire collection here in the UK. The stickers are printed on paper rather than vinyl as they are biodegradable. The pads are made using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based inks and are carbon-zero products.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your journey through our process and we can’t wait to share them with you!