For many of us planning doesn’t come naturally and, while Google calendars are useful, they’re not the most inspirational. Further, everyone looks for something different in a calendar: whether that’s plenty of space for itemizing a day or a broad stroke of the year as a whole. The following eight options offer lots of structural diversity, in an effort to find one that matches the way your brain wants to schedule. But each also carries more than a hint of inspiration. From obscure sponge references and ’70s nostalgia to watercolor paintings and CMYK swatches, these selections in our 2016 Calendar Guide are above and beyond your average desk planner.
1970s Desk Calendar
London-based Present & Correct, purveyors of new and old office items, have sourced a unique vintage desk calendar ($47) from the ’70s that’s reminiscent of friendly flip clocks. This one can be used year after year (no batteries required, as it’s a hand-powered rolling mechanism), but you’ll have to learn how to read months and days in Swiss, Dutch or Portuguese—the languages it’s available in.
For those who favor seeing a year as a whole, artist Michael Leithner’s 2016 Kalendar Poster ($24) portrays each month as a ray extending forth from an off-set, vibrant number 16. Each line is placed at 16 degrees from the other, offering space for notation and a striking visual presentation. It’s a clever, graphic take on an annual planner.
Watercolor Painting Calendar
More than a monthly schedule, this exclusive Poketo calendar ($45) sets the mood for each month with artist Satsuki Shibuya’s delicate watercolor paintings. Printed in the USA on high-quality card stock, the 14-page calendar measures two-feet long and is bound together by a single silver clip. A convenient puncture-marker even makes it easy to hang the ethereal, pastel-toned images on a wall to show off.
This minimal black-and-white calendar ($17) from Inkblot is printed on matte black PVC paper, making it possible to mark down important events and reminders with chalk—and easily erase mistakes. Each date has also been printed with white and silver scratchable ink, which leaves different traces depending on the material you use to scratch it off with. Measuring 50 x 70cm, only 100 copies of this calendar have been made.
CMYK Color Swatch Calendar
There are few experiences as satisfying as tearing a page from a calendar when all of the events and tasks have been completed—unless, of course, that page is a color-streaked series of CMYK swatches. With artist Peter von Freyhold’s CMYK calendar ($40), you can actually tear off a swatch every day—meaning the calendar will never look the same two days in a row. Each swatch is the exact CMYK values of the respective color—and the box the calendar comes with doubles as a collection case for those who don’t want to let go.
Two Zero One Six Calendar
Copenhagen-based designer Kristina Krogh’s beige and gold 2016 calendar ($54) bears “Two Zero One Six” in bold lettering, legible from across the room. Up close, the 50 x 70cm print presents the calendar for each month in a muted gray hue with gold-foil detailing. This poster is also available in a more stealthy gray and copper colorway.
Made by Antalya, Turkey-based illustrator Gulsah Suzen, this vinyl-inspired 2016 calendar ($40) features the days of each month flowing through the grooves of a record. The print is available in two different sizes and is available on glossy or matte paper, or even canvas upon request. Each calendar can be customized by changing the color of the record’s inner ring.
Sponge Calendar 2016
London-based designer Freddy Taylor captures “12 unintended uses for the sponge” in his deadpan 2016 calendar ($30). Artistic photographs depict the squishy yellow household cleaning tool in glamorous alternate lives: gloves, ear muffs, a sleeping mask, a plate for spaghetti and more. It’s hilarious and charming without being the least bit tacky.
Tan & Loose Calendar
Printed in an edition of 350, this year’s Tan & Loose ($12) calendar is a collaboration between artist brothers Wiley and Clay Hickson. Each page displays their distinct styles—both of which are entirely charming and strange. Spiral-bound for the desk and hole-punched for hanging on your wall, the weirdness within doesn’t mean it’s any less functional.
Perpetual Wall Calendar
Designed in 1987 by Dan Resigner, this perpetual wall calendar ($78) never gets old. It features the bright and bold blocks of color often seen in Reisinger’s artworks. The plastic and PVC calendar encourages owners to start their day with the meditative process of creating their own color combination by arranging cutouts—and with nearly 40,000 combinations possible, it’s likely to outlive you.
Images courtesy of respective brands and designers