January is the month when you change your calendar so we want to share the calendar we designed for the Museum of Gdańsk.
The Museum consists of several departments, situated in some of the prettiest old buildings in Gdańsk. Each month shows a different department with a picture of the building on the one side and a detail, usually from the inside, on the other, so you can choose which picture you prefer on your wall for the given month. The dates are limited to an ornamental strip on the right so that the calendar is mostly decorative. On the last page you get information about all the departments.
The photos used in the calendar are by Dariusz Kula.
The cover uses an old etching of the city house and the Artus Court, both belonging to the museum.
The dominant color is navy blue from the new identity of the museum. We even got the binding in dark blue, which isn’t always as easy to do as it should be with some printing houses.
January is always a good time to share calendar projects. This year we had the pleasure of designing a calendar for Energa, one of the biggest local providers of electricity. The calendar promotes their experimental project focused on renewable energy sources and is aimed at people whose households participate in the project.
The calendar is relatively small, spiral-bound (which might be our favorite kind of binding, but this time it was chosen by the client) and includes facts about the project and about energy saving practices.
Since plastic was chosen for the cover, a part of the design is printed on the transparent plastic and the second part on the page underneath it so that together they form the whole image when the cover is closed. This bit of fun with the materials turned out even better than we expected.
Colorful pages indicate the beginning of seasonal tariffs when electricity is priced differently: summer, winter and spring/fall tariff. The calendar spreads, on the other hand, are printed with just two Pantone colors, orange and gray.
Each month also starts with a colorful page with the month’s number, while on the other side there is information about saving energy, e.g. about different kinds of electrical bulbs. We created a color palette, based on the colors of the project’s logo and broadened, so that each month’s separator page has a different color. (And if we were Irma Boom we’d love to have a different Pantone color for each month but that was a bit above the budget.)
This year we didn’t do as many calendars as some years but here’s one we did design (well, at least the cover). It is for a company that specializes in special print effects, such as varnishes, hot stamping etc. and the calendar had to reflect that. When you need to show a few special effects, it’s best not to add an overwhelming design to it. We opted for a simple, classic ornament in a limited color palette: blacks, white and silver with the company’s brand orange.
The calendar comes in a simple envelope of thick paper, which repeats the pattern but without the refining printing techniques. The cover itself, however, has all the frills you could hope for (or, well, some of them). It’s printed on a metalized silver paper, which poses certain challenges in print preparation: you need to print white onto it and black will look different, depending on whether it’s on white or directly on silver (we made use of this, as the pattern uses two blacks). Some elements are left silver. Finally, the whole things is covered with satin coating and the dot elements are spot-coated so that they become raised to touch: the tactile effect is actually quite nice but you have to trust us on that.
Well, call us old-fashioned but designing for print, especially when you can raise the budget with all the special effects, does have a very special appeal for us.
Usually the calendars we work on have much less boobs than the one we showed last time – and we count ourselves lucky for that. Today’s calendar was designed for The Atelier of Taste culinary show, whose calendar we also designed last year, and continued it visually with this one.
This year The Atelier of Taste produced a series called Amber Atelier, honoring the historical importance of amber in our region. They cooperated with local restaurants, showing the viewers those restaurants’ recipes for vegan and vegetarian dishes. The calendar presents a choice of twelve dishes illustrated with photos from the show.
Also, each month is additionally illustrated with a piece of jewelry designed by a student of the local Academy of Fine Arts, who used amber in their pieces. While working on the calendar we could choose the pieces to feature freely, albeit from a limited amount, so we made it a point to try and match the piece with the dish presented (which sometimes worked better and sometimes worse, I guess).
Quite obviously, the amber theme also determined the color scheme and so instead of varied colors we used last year, this year we chose primarily orange.
Some things have been happening. Like, the end of the world did not come and so a new year is upon us. Also, Fifty Shades of Grey is the bestselling novel ever despite hardly being a novel at all, what with no plot and no sense whatsoever and the heart-wrenchingly bad writing. Also, we’ve been spending hours on stock photography sites for various not-so-exciting projects. We blame today’s entry on all of that.
So, have you ever tried to find a stock photo for an ad of a real estate developer or a mattress seller? It goes something like this: you type in a seemingly neutral term, say “chess” or “chair” and… behold the plethora of barely dressed ladies (I use the term broadly) making sweet sweet love to the chess or chair. Or next to it. Or under it. Sometimes the chair is not even in the picture.
We do a lot of stock searches and every now and then we come upon pictures so horrid they are almost good. For a while we’ve been putting these photos into a special folder called Oddities and finally decided to share the goodness. This is the short story behind our 2013 calendar.
Please, feel warned. What follows after the jump is vulgar and inelegant. But, full disclosure, it was much more fun to work on than the legitimate projects we started from. (Also, none of the photos qualify as actual porn, with all the naughty bits covered, so don’t worry and please don’t flag us.)