The oldest known calendar was constructed in Scotland in the eighth millennium, but it wasn’t until 1592 (and several adjustments later) that the familiar Gregorian calendar was introduced in Italy. Today, a calendar is more likely to be printed on paper than carved out of stone, and the challenge of organizing numbers and fonts into an easily readable chart has proved to be catnip for graphic designers over the years. Several notable talents from around the world have risen to the task by creating classic (and future classic) typographic calendars. Here are some timeless examples.
Five to Buy
Above: San Francisco design firm Studio Hinrichs creates an annual Typography Calendar featuring 12 familiar and revival typefaces, each accompanied by a description and history. The calendar is 12 by 18 inches; $29 at Mark and Graham.
Above: The classic Formosa Perpetual Wall Calendar was designed in Germany in 1963, and adorned many a post-Kennedy American kitchen, including my own. It’s made of PVC and is 12.4 square inches; $250 at Horne. (Note: The example shown is in Italian, but Horne sells an English version.)
Above, top and bottom: The single-page Postalco Wall Calendar was designed in Tokyo by a transplanted New York designer. Measuring 18 by 22 inches, it presents the entire year, with room for long-term planning and notes (see detail, above). It’s available at General Store for $24, and in the UK at General Good for £15.
Above: The Stendig Wall Calendar was designed in 1966 by Italian designer Massimo Vignelli (who also designed the New York City subway signage) and was immediately added to the collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The Stendig is 48 by 36 inches, and is available at Schoolhouse Electric for $36.
Above: Snug Studio of Germany creates another notable broadsheet. The Memo Calendar in pink on pink is 23 by 33 inches. It’s $25 via the firm’s Etsy shop, as well as at Snug Studio for €19.90 ($24.50).
Object Lessons columnist Megan Wilson is the owner of Ancient Industries and the curator of the Remodelista 100, a collection of essential everyday objects presented in the Remodelista book. Watch for her column every Tuesday, and have a look at her past lessons on iconic designs, including The Indispensable Desk Stapler and The Iconic Eames Lounge Chair.