Every year, Bath based design studio Mytton Williams creates a unique and exciting calendar for the upcoming year. I was lucky enough to get a really enjoyable two-week placement at the company back in late April of last year and whilst there, I saw some of their impressive calendar designs from previous years and discussed the plans for the 2014 edition with one of the designers. This got me really excited about the 2014 calendar, which I was lucky enough to recently receive a copy of (apologies for the poor quality photos).
The 2014 calendar takes the unique form of a pack of playing cards and there are many reasons for this being the case. With 52 cards in a pack, each one can neatly cover a week and the four suits give a link to the four seasons. One of the first known card games in the world is the ‘leaf game’ in the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the year 868. This allowed Mytton Williams to use leaves as the visual element on each card, signifying the number of it and further linking back to the four seasons idea.
Each card follows the standard card layout model, with the month and dates being applied on both sides. The centre of the card of course, is where the card number is visualised through the use of suit symbols designed to look like leaves. The ‘leaves’ do not follow a rigid structure though, instead placed sporadically around the card face, as if they were actual leaves blowing in the breeze.
Perhaps the best links though are the ones that create the most simple connections to the year 2014. They may not actually be references and I might just be interpreting them as such, but they are in my mind really clever. Playing cards first appeared in Europe in the 14th Century, which provides a nice numerical link to the year 2014, whilst the side of the card pack says ‘2014 CALENDAR / 1 YEAR 4 SEASONS’, with the 1 and 4 of 2014 neatly splitting to describe one of the main inspirations for the calendars design.
References aside, the 2014 calendar is simply a great, unique piece of design. It is incredibly well crafted and presented and I can’t wait to see what interesting new calendar 2015 brings!
Many thanks to Mytton Williams, both for a fantastic placement last year and also for sending me a copy of the calendar. If you would like your own 2014 calendar, or want to see some better quality images of it, visit their website here.