I’ve wanted for quite some time to break down by month and process the calendars I’ve designed. One of my most and least favorite parts about the calendar design is the second rush of activity and design work that happens once the calendar is off to press as I figure out the accessory designs: binding, packaging, branding, photos (in this case, they were taken in the waning light of November, with a point and shoot rather than a DSLR, preferred for its ability to handle the black background and more accurately represent colors without as much post-production fiddling).
This year was the first since my favorite local paper store closed up shop. They were more functional and industrial than Paper Source, with a much broader range of options and a more paper-obsessed crew. Barebones in many ways, harder to get to for me, and certainly much further off-trend, but sometimes you just need someone who can discuss the environmental pros and cons of different ecological options, you know? Paper Source moved further away from me after a freak car accident took out their store about ten years ago (no fatalities!) and settled itself into the most fully gentrified part of Minneapolis. While a good move for them, it’s changed the way I interact with them, especially when frazzled and trying to decide between A7 and A8 envelopes. Sometimes I just like a place where the dark circles under my eyes aren’t the least polished part of the scene, you know?
Anyhow, I’d like to start with 2015 and move back in time, sharing more of the explicit details of how I pull together a calendar. I’m not a formally trained graphic designer, despite a handful of undergrad art classes and some extension courses through MCAD, and my production management skills date back to a childhood of rub-on letters (sometimes you just don’t HAVE another “e” (but a “c” and a steady hand can cover the difference), copy machines, and typewriters.