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The humble calendar. Year after year, all over the world, calendars of all shapes and sizes are sold in their millions. Some of them are ugly, some of them are rude, and some of them are filled with cats. But every now and again a calendar comes along that displays some of the most striking and beautiful design work you could imagine.

Really, the calendar format is an ideal canvas for creative design. It offers a basic structure which can be manipulated and interpreted in countless ways, making it a great way to show off your design chops.

So then, to honour this all-enduring time-keeping icon we’ve brought together 6 of our favourite calendar designs. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Stendig Calendar

Created by design legend Massimo Vignelli back in 1966, the Stendig may be one of the most timeless calendars ever conceived. It’s so incredibly simple and striking. And its sheer size makes it a standout feature in any room it inhabits. This is the gold standard calendars for anyone who has an eye for design.

The V Calendar by Stendig Calendars

A smaller calendar inspired by Vignelli’s original, and created by his former associates Yoshiki Waterhouse and Beatriz Cifuentes. The V Calendar is elegant, subtle, beautiful and, of course, supremely simple. It makes for an excellent alternative to the orignal Standig, especially for those with smaller spaces to fill.null

Rissotto Calendar

This vibrant risograph calendar is wonderfully designed. Featuring popping colours and a tidy-looking layout, it would make for an eye-catching centre piece on any office wall.

Timor by Enzo Mari

Other than the fact that this calendar is written in Italian, it’s one of the most standout and practically designed entries on the list. Simple but striking, the real beauty of this design lies in its timeless function: use it again and again, year after year.

Formosa by Enzo Mari

Another Italian calendar, again by the fantastic Enzo Mari. This one boasts a classic design, with a clean, practical, and bold aesthetic.

The Mini by Rissotto

Another beautiful calendar by Rissotto Studios, albeit a little smaller. The Mini, as the name suggests, is printed on 80mm x 190mm recycled paper. It’s every bit as striking and well-designed as their larger calendar, just a little more understated due to the size.

V&A Mini Wall Calendar

You can always count on the Victoria & Albert Museum for a good calendar, and their 2022 entry is no exception. Featuring wonderful illustrations from William Morris, J.H. Dearle, Walter Crane, Sidney Mawson and L. P. Butterfield.

It has a very classic and elegant feel about it, and its floral patterns and beautiful colours are offer lots to gaze at and admire.

Perpetuum Calendar by Studio Yonoh

“Inspired by the architecture of the industrial boom, Perpetuum’s shape is a nod to the “sawtooth” roofs of factories built in the 1920s and 30s”.

For us, what’s special about this calendar is the simple fact that it doesn’t look like a calendar. It’s small, boasts an incredibly minimalistic aesthetic, and is a testament to the enduring nature of simplicity.

The craft of the calendar

For more on utilising calendar design, take a look at our previous post on how to use a calendar as a promotional tool.