The Visual Display of Temporal Information

I’m not very good with calendars. I used to get an engagement calendar each year but would write what had happened rather than what was supposed to happen. Now I use MacJournal for that. Then for a while the Palm Pilot calendar worked for me, beeping me to my appointments as long as I remembered to keep live batteries in it. I fell out of the habit of carrying a PDA, though, and at present I’m kept in line by Entourage at work, since I have to use it for e-mail anyway, and Google Calendar for personal dates. The only paper calendar in my life comes free from my college each year. I dutifully post it on the fridge and try to remember to turn the page every four weeks, give or take. I never write on it, as doing so would be a sure way of making me miss the event in question.

So the calendar whose corner is shown below, which the friendly and obviously brilliant W. Bradford Paley was giving away yesterday at a soiree I was lucky enough to attend, will be no more useless to me than most. I hope to find a wall for it in my new office.

W. Bradford Paley's calendar

I may even write something on it occasionally (very small, very neatly) and upload a photo of it, thus defaced, to the calendar’s discussion forum.

You can download a PDF to print for your own use or order a three-pack of prints for $16 from Information Esthetics. I recommend the latter, as otherwise you will miss out on the flecky, creamy paper and the thrill of paying money to a clever person who has earned it. Also, unless you have a large-format and high-res printer, you will probably find the type in the body of the calendar unreadable: it’s about 2 points. The Stinehour Press was able to render it crisply and accurately, but your micronage may vary. Then again, if you have a very large–format printer or are handy with X-Acto and glue stick, you could print the PDF larger than life size and rock it that way.

My head felt stretchier after talking with Brad for a few minutes, and I am delighted to have scored this excellent party favor. I am especially glad since I clearly didn’t deserve to get one, having missed its being Boing Boinged earlier in the week.

Should you be in the market for a more traditional calendar, you might try Typotheque’s elegant little datebook/sketchbook (12.5€), which I succumbed to last year and then didn’t write in, or Pentagram’s desk/wall blah ($22 or $36).

7 thoughts on “The Visual Display of Temporal Information

  1. Well, yes, it is, though I prefer the word eccentric. And it’s not shaped in the way I visualize the year, which is a sort of gently swooping line from right to left. But it’s pretty, and I honor Brad for designing and executing it.

  2. That is so cool.

    I had a giant calendar for 2005 that combined visualizing the year as a circle and graded colours for the seasons. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it, though. Argh.

    When I was in kindergarten, the teacher had a calendar up on the wall; with just the months, but in a circle with January roughly just after 11 o’clock. I imprinted that and can’t shake it. But I’m all right with it. (:

  3. Speaking of can’t shake things, I have been thinking about that Typotheque calendar/sketchbook ever since you linked to it, India. It looks very elegant, and fun to use. My only regret is that it’s available only in a bright red cover.

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