Design Feature: October Desktop Calendars
Something Unwicked This Way Comes: Three Desktop Calendars for the Month of October
Oh my goodness. I’m so excited for this month’s desktop calendars. Back in the day (about four years ago) Britton Marketing & Design Group had a client for which we designed a variety of stationery products, ranging from agendas and notepads to paperweights and pens. We would visit print shows and buy archival artwork (some of which we used in previous desktop calendars).
This month’s desktop designs come from one of my former stationery team members, Amy Reff, art director. Amy is a fan of black, glitter, and many other girly things (Kate Spade, unicorns, raccoons—you get the gist). When we first set out to produce monthly calendars, Amy was quick to ask if she could take October because she correctly assumed the color was black. And with that as her main focus, she created three very different calendars. One uses one of my favorite literary characters, another drives home a single word we can all strive for (kindness), and the final one picks up a pattern from our stationery days, which Amy has recolored.
This version obviously contains the floral print that is also seen in the blog header above. If you can imagine it, the archival pattern she picked up was originally colored in bright pinks, various shades of green, and a bold yellow. Very different from the muted greens, slate gray, and orange hues we see here.
Here’s a Q&A with Amy.
Q: What was the motivation behind the designs?
Amy: When I saw the list of color options at the beginning of the year—pastels, orange, neons, metallic—there were so many ideas flowing, but my choice was easy. Even on my 5th or 6th birthday, I vividly remember the demands I made for my balloons: pink, green, and—black. Safe to say, not much has changed. Black is my perfect neutral, my constant, my go-to for all things design, wardrobe, and décor. When it came time to design this month’s desktop backgrounds, there were so many different aspects that could be explored. Black could convey elegance, simplicity, or it could embody the month’s festive and eerie magic. Black could go a million different ways, and I went with three variations.
Q: Where did you pull your inspiration for these calendars from?
Amy: The first is a floral that harks back to my first days (years!) at BMDG working on paper-and-gift products. Depending on the project, we would combine varied elements, such as botanical illustrations, aged-map artwork, reclaimed autograph books, faded Polaroid frames, and found vintage treasures, like wallpaper, which may have been the original purpose of this charming floral. Originally shown in more electric hues, I gave this print an autumnal spin with gray, mustard, and a pop of color grounded on rich black.
The second interpretation is more personal. While I’m surrounded by countless “fall is my favorite season” people in my life, I find my joy in the rebirth of spring, so I looked for a silver (or black?) lining and found other favorites that October brings. From sloths to kitties, tacos to eggs, October has days that embrace bits and pieces of life that make me smile. And when the temps outside start to drop, I’ll find myself agreeing with Anne, the redhead of Green Gables, who knew what she was talking about with her love for October!
Finally, the last exploration bears a brief message that never goes out of style. Sue Britton, BMDG chief creative officer and co-owner, has a phrase that she occasionally shares with us: “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” I thought a lot about this while I was lettering the word. Kindness is simple, it’s timeless, it’s always in good taste. As it turns out, kindness and black have a lot of beautiful things in common.
To use our desktops, choose your screen size below: standard screen size (1600 x 1200) or widescreen (1680 x 1050). Then just right-click and choose “Save.” A la peanut-butter sandwiches, your calendar is set for viewing!
Enjoy this month’s desktop calendars!
- Version 1 (kindness) (standard | widescreen)
- Version 2 (web) (standard | widescreen)
- Version 3 (floral) (standard | widescreen)
Here are our previous calendar designs.