The Fun in Designing Simply

–What were your thoughts that generated this calendar?


I designed the 2016 version simply by using the typeface Helvetica which I really liked. I remembered how much fun I had designing simply.

The calendars I’ve designed so far have had elaborate processes, but designing simply feels like a life-or-death chess problem, where the design is increasingly pared down. It’s the kind of fun you feel when you’re playing a video game. I thought I wanted to do that kind of designing again.

▲The 2016 version “Roll 12” launched in 2015

In the 2016 “Roll 12” calendar, the Helvetica characters were lined up in a matter-of-fact way, with the numbers of the months enlarged, the paper rolled, and it had other design elements. This time, I’d like it to be even more matter-of-fact, and I tried to think if there was a way of not “designing” even more.

–Why did you choose Helvetica?

Helvetica will surely never go out of fashion, because it is the “king” of typefaces. Depending on how you look at it, it can have a classical feel. It will always be a good, modern typeface which I think is interesting.

–Do you also use it often in your work for clients?

Actually, I don’t use it often in my usual work. I prefer Helvetica for numbers because I feel letters in Helvetica give a heavy impression. I think it (Helvetica) probably has a gap with the work that comes my way. Also, most of my work is designing logos from scratch anyway.


A Modern and Digital Approach to Expression

–What are the design aspects of this calendar?

In this calendar, the numbers 1 to 12 at the header can all be seen. When you turn the page, the under bar is also designed to shift.


–It’s a design that hasn’t been done (in the calendars) until now.

I incorporated a modern approach to expression like the ones found in the digital world such as apps and software into analog-like graphic design.



Enjoying Awareness in a Calendar

–This year’s calendar is rather large.

I made the numbers’ size large enough to be enjoyable when people are looking at the calendar. I think it’s interesting to have the numbers all in the same size and lined up in a matter-of-fact way. Having same-sized blocks stacked up simply, a lot of people lining up properly, the same products being made in a factory with the same manufacturing rhythm – looking at things in order and following the rules is interesting, right? My mindset was close to this kind of feeling during the design process.

–I see. But looking at the calendar closely, the way the numbers are lined up change little by little.


When there is order, there’s a subtle mentality of wanting to disrupt that order. When things are matter-of-fact, it can also feel unpleasant, so I think any person would have this slight feeling of wanting to do something to it. Seeing (the numbers) on this calendar lined up in such a straightforward way, I thought of breaking it up a little.


If the calendar had a somewhat playful feel, the user would also enjoy it. I think that he or she would have some sort of discovery every month if the under bar moved a bit, or if the numbers were skewed a little.

–Like something’s out of place?

If it were simply a calendar with the numbers lined up perfectly, and you’d simply have to turn the page when the month’s done, it would end up being just any old calendar. Because a calendar also helps in “switching” your feelings at the start of the next month, I think one of a calendar’s functions is making the user enjoy some kind of change when the page is turned.


Also, I included some design elements that most people wouldn’t notice. Those who do will be aware of it after 2 to 3 months, which is something to look forward to.

–Lastly, what is the meaning of the calendar’s name, “365’19?”
A year is composed of a buildup of days. Even if it’s just an ordinary day to someone, that same day may be special to someone else. If this is so, all 365 days have the same value. With this in mind, I named the calendar “365’19.”

–It would indeed be nice if we could spend each day as if it were an anniversary. Thank you.


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