I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to a fun, quarantine-free year of travel. Let’s see, there’s The Netherlands in March, France in August, and Switzerland in December. My secret? This clever, multi-dimensional calendar that transforms our love of paper and our COVID-inspired restlessness into one brilliant, hopeful piece of art.
Designed by Hosoyamada Design Office and produced by my good friends at Ichikudo Printing Co. in Japan, “The Next Journey Calendar 2021” addresses our shared hope that we will someday soon be able to freely venture out into the world once more. It is also a master class in marrying a detailed artistic vision with just the right printing and finishing techniques.
Let’s start with the packaging – a sturdy 330 gm (220 lb.) Iggesund Invercote G paperboard [PROs: Get Swatchbook!] – designed to resemble a suitcase. (Note the enticing way the title wraps around one corner to accentuate the multi-dimensionality of this piece.) What could possibly be inside? Why everything you could need for a fun-filled excursion, of course!
Lifting up the hinged lid reveals a smart-looking passport nestled inside, its eye-catching Red cover boasting a Silver illustration of the world, just in case there’s any doubt how big a journey it is we’re about to undertake.
Next we come to the main event: the calendar itself. And it might be one of the most creative ones I’ve seen in quite a while.
That’s because each month is rendered as a separate travel document offset printed CMYK on 240 gm (160 lb.) Invercote G. Some are airplane boarding passes, others cruise tickets, and still others train tickets, yet all have the same look and feel. And all offer extra embellishments such as foil or raised inks.
January, for example, is a boarding pass for a Japan to Finland excursion, complete with flight number, boarding time and seating assignment. The only thing missing, it seems, is any way to use it as an actual calendar.
And that’s when I discover that what I’m holding in my hands can actually be folded out like a pop-up! The moment I do, I not only find the days of the month running along the edges of the piece, but also an entire three-dimensional winter wonderland scene of a frozen Finnish landscape in different shades of icy Blue, a lone reindeer silhouetted in Silver beneath three looming trees. The effect is overwhelming and, if I’m honest in these times of forced confinement, quite moving.
The remaining cards conceal similar 3D surprises, including several beach scenes, breathtaking glimpses of birds in flight, and architectural wonders inspired by each card’s travel destination.
All are brought to life through a combination of excellent illustration, precise die cuts and effective pop-up engineering, all further enhanced by UV screen printing and screen foiling. That anyone could craft something so beautiful and so right for the times once is amazing; that they could do so 12 times is an inspiring achievement.
Ichikudo Printing found a very inspiring way to share their hope that we will soon be able to talk about our own travel adventures again, while at the same time showing off their print capabilities. Bon voyage!
While this calendar uses screen foiling, there are several other ways in which you can now add foil to your printed project. Get a quick overview of all your traditional – as well as digital – options; download our free Foil Cheat Sheet right now!