I don't think we've ever been so pleased to see the end of a year. We don't need reminding why 2020 has been, shall we say, challenging. So when we started to sift through all your wonderful calendars for 2021, it was pleasing to see you haven't lost your optimism or creativity.
As we all desperately hope things return to normal after Christmas, here are our pick of some of the best calendars and wall planners for next year. Grab one for your home office or kitchen and begin planning all the fun things you intend to do – once you've gotten over that initial fear of leaving the house.
Here's one for all you type lovers out there. The much-anticipated Typodarium 2021 by designers Raban Ruddigkeit and Lars Harmsen, the classic '365 day type calendar'. It's the calendar of graphic design dreams. A "trend radar and typo-inspiration, an up-to-date-keeper and an eye-catcher on designer tables", as the description reads. And this year, there is plenty of cheerful colour adorning the type. Packed in a solid collection box to treasure forever, you also will find notes on the back of each day, talking through the design and typography featured.
This cheerful calendar for 2021 is by Pickle Illustration, the studio founded by best friends Olivia Collins and Lauren Jefferis. Both were born in the Midlands and met at Loughborough University whilst studying graphic communication and illustration. Their calendar is made up of 12 A5 sheets (300gsm high-quality card – for those who must know) and you have the option of purchasing a wooden block to stand the sheets in. When the year is over you can cut down the calendar to get 12 square prints to display on your walls. Now that's something we can sign up to.
London-based illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani, and the person behind 50 Inspiring Iranian Women, has released some downloadable A3 'ready to print' files of some of her latest artworks, including this gorgeous tribute to her illustration, Sisterhood.
As an antidote to 2020, Loz Ives of Manchester-based Idle Letters wanted to create something that balanced some "much-needed positivity with a healthy dose of realism". His calendar is currently on pre-order and will be going to print soon – as a bonus to anyone that places an order before 30 November, you'll also get a digital download of a printable monthly version, with plenty of space to scribble all your plans for "world domination" next year. As we'd expect from Loz, everything has been beautifully hand-lettered by him, including each and every date next year.
Another year has gone, another chance to grab a Slowdown Studio calendar via Brighton-based German designer Susannah Dowse. Each calendar features the art of the Slowdown Art Comp winners, which this year include Mina Wright, Marnie Cox, Livia Falcaru, Kissi Ussuki, Hanna Malinen, Gisela Navarro, Eija Vehviläinen, Tyler Gross, Pascale Maurer, Neringa Mongirdaité, Tefi Copertini and Sarah Naud. Printed on American-made FSC Certified paper stock, the calendars feature a hanging binding for easy wall hanging. Produced in a very limited run, so don't miss out.
Illustrator Ben Rothery marries nature with art in his stunning 2021 calendar, Hidden Planet. Featuring 13 illustrations of different marine species from Sharks to Nudibranchs, all printed on thick uncoated stock with lots of room for notes. The front and back covers are gold foiled and as "2020 has been such a turd of a year", Ben has scattered a bunch of little Easter egg gifts throughout the year with links that'll become active on that specific day. Now that's pretty special.
A classic designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1966, the Stendig Calendar was immediately added to the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Available via Schoolhouse, you'll see that each month alternates between a black and white background with high-contrast graphics. Its perforated sheets lie under a binding strip, which allows each page to be torn away neatly. And you don't have to throw the sheets away either: keep them for next Christmas when you can use them as a unique and graphic gift-wrap.
We just can't get enough of British artist Alan Fears and his welcome annual calendar, bringing colour and humour into our homes once again. Full of fun and cheeky digs at pop culture, celebrities and world events, his paintings always raise a smile, reminding us not to take life too seriously, as we while away the months and weeks of our short and meaningless lives.
Illustrator Aleksandra Stanglewicz, who specialises in editorial and advertising, has released a Botanical Calendar for 2021 that's ideal for those of you who love greenery, and it's eco-friendly too. Hand-painted with help of the community of plant lovers, it has been designed and printed in Poland on fully recycled paper. "It was really important for me to create a product that won't be thrown away at the end of the year," Aleksandra tells Creative Boom. "It is possible to cut out and frame each of the illustrations. The calendar will be a perfect gift for anyone who wants to support small creators this year and for any plant lovers."
After years of intending to create a calendar, a period of furlough meant Chrissy Mouncey (also known as Tushka) finally had the time to create a set of hand-cut stencil screenprints, all illustrating something that kept her sane during the lockdown: "memories of surfing and how great it feels to be in the sea".
The result of that project is this gorgeous calendar, which she's selling online with 10% of profits going to Wave Project North Devon. "Volunteering with Wave Project was partly what has inspired a lot of sea-based prints, as it really brings home how beneficial it is to get in the sea," Chrissy explains. "Wave Project is a charity that provides surf therapy to young people as well as adults. It's amazing as it makes such a difference to people."
After many event cancellations this year (Glasto, Tokyo Olympics, holidays, simple trips down the pub), optimist artist MAMIMU (aka June Mineyama-Smithson) decided to team up with a diary expert Yop & Tom to create The Optimist's 2021 Wall Calendar with "fun and positive days only". Every day is a celebration that's not going to get cancelled with this calendar. Of course, this is just what we need, as neuroscientists believe that positive thoughts produce Serotonin which helps us to be more focused and more emotionally stable.
Next year, there's National Hug Day, Smile Power Day, Dress Up Your Pet Day and many more days to look forward to. Even better? There are 70 joyful stickers to mark your own celebration. Could this be the best calendar for 2021?
Inspired by retro graphic design, this free-standing steel calendar by Block Design is supplied with contrasting magnets to highlight the day and date in colour. Designed to minimally track the day and date, a neat way to organise your desk and mind.
Give some love and support to The Completist this year by grabbing one of its 2021 calendars. Founded in January 2018 by husband and wife duo Marko and Jana, the London-based studio sells loads of gorgeous stationery, phone cases, cards and wraps, plus this A5 size 2020 calendar, with a month per page. Printed on a 350gsm uncoated paper with a gold wire bind, there's enough space to keep track of your days, and a jazzy new print for each month. There's also a drill hole so you can hang it off the wall. Made in the UK and printed on FSC certified paper.
This unique Indian calendar for 2021 combines the passion and creativity of six individual British artists all inspired by their Indian cultural background. Curated by London-based designer, Anila Patel, the A4 wall calendar features her own illustrations, too, and was a project that is aimed at "bringing a youthful, modern and contemporary offering to traditional festivals amongst the next generation of Indians not just within the UK, but globally," says Anila.
Art Deco illustrator Rebecca Pymar can usually be found depicting scenes from Suffolk and Norfolk. But for the purpose of her 2021 calendar, she travels the world, bringing us a monthly dose of her architecturally themed illustrations in her signature style. From Paris and Amsterdam to Sydney and Rome, her Travel Posters calendar for 2021 will take you to places you undoubtedly hope to visit in real life, too.
Printmaker Hannah Turlington has just released her hand-printed calendar this month. Entitled Connections, it's a series of 12 original lino prints celebrating the "power of connections in everyday life". There are, of course, 16 million mass-produced calendars sold every year. Hannah's, therefore, makes quite the contrast and will appeal to any art lover out there. With 2020 being a year defined by isolation, we look forward to 2021 where we can celebrate and re-establish those connections and Hannah's hand-printed calendar is an ideal way to do this.
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