At the height of COVID, after years of lockdowns and social distancing, there was one thing we all eagerly anticipated: worry-free get-togethers with family and friends. It’s a yearning you can practically feel in this calendar from our friends at Japan’s Ichikudo Printing Co. [projects / website]. Through their lavish use of UV screen printing and screen foiling on each card, they recreated everything from snowmen to outdoor barbecues. And this being Ichikudo, they couldn’t resist throwing in a few surprises along the way.
Designed by frequent collaborator Hosoyamada Design Office [projects / website], this 12-piece calendar comes packaged in an impressive file-folder-like box made from 350 gsm (237 lb.) James Cropper Coffee Espresso paper. Upon this are the months of the year screen foiled Black on Black in tiny type, perfectly in keeping with one of this year’s hottest trends: the tone-on-tone look. (PRO members, check out my exclusive PRO Tip on how you can get this look here.) Undoing the button-and-tie closure allows you to lift open the flap and remove the cards inside.
Each gloriously chunky 770 gsm (520 lb.) month card – printed on triple-laminated Iggesund Invercote Duo [PRO members: Get Swatchbook!] – is designed as a tongue-in-cheek invitation to a type of party appropriate for that particular month (think: a Halloween party for October). On the front are colorful, equally appropriate illustrations – a jack-o’-lantern wearing a party hat for October, for example – created through an eye-catching blend of offset and UV screen varnish printing, as well as screen foiling. (PRO members, you don’t want to miss my exclusive PRO Tip on this little-known foiling technique!) While all the cards have an attractive gloss to them, the foils used range from shiny to matte, and vary in color depending on the illustration.
But wait, what’s this? Somewhere on each card is a die-cut thumb notch that allows you to actually remove its illustration; on the back of the cut-out piece are the days of that month. Simply turn the illustration around, press it into the die-cut space it once inhabited, and presto – there’s your calendar for the month!
Before you do, be sure to take a peek inside that space first. There you’ll find a fun fact related to the card’s theme. Behind the snowman, for instance, you’ll discover this: “4,700 meters high: The highest ski slope in the world.” On the back of the card itself is a simple rundown of the next few months.
For that elegant final touch, they’ve also included a pedestal made from FSC-certified European oak, allowing you to display the current card on your desk while you, too, count the days and months until we’re at last able to get together and party!
Dimensions140 mm x 90 mm (5.5” x 3.5”)Page Count12 piecesPrint Quantity1000 setsProduction Cost~2000 yen (~$17.30) eachProduction Time3 weeksPrinting MethodOffset printing, UV screen varnish printing Number of ColorsCMYKFinishing and BindingScreen foil, die cutting
With all the focus on digital, print-loving graphic designers often feel left out.
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