Presenting “names of colors,” a 2016 calendar created by D-BROS art director Yoshie Watanabe of Kigi. We talked to her about the calendar’s concept and her thought process.


–I think that the postcards accompanying the calendar are its main feature. Did you have this idea right from the start?

“Yes, I did. Because a calendar’s usefulness is done when the year ends, I thought that people can enjoy it for a very long time by making the calendar this way. So that’s why it was structured in this manner.

–It’s nice that there are 12 postcards.

“Yes. The calendar mount is simple, but to make up for this, the postcards are gorgeous.”

012-1024x616–The dates on the calendar are displayed two weeks in succession; was this done to use up the space up until the margins?

“Yes, that’s right. From the beginning, I decided to make it this way. The postcards were basically to be typographically printed and embossed, and the rest printed in silver. Going into the specifics, I did different kinds of things like laying a matte varnish.”

–From a non-designer, lay person’s perspective, the only way I can imagine typographical printing is that the craftsman sets up the type and creates printing blocks, just like printing was done in the old days (laughs).

“Yup, it was like that in the old days. These days you just give the layout paper to the printing shop and they will erode metal to make the printing block. There really are only a few places now where a craftsman sets up the type just like in the old days.”

cb21c53e01edf9fb25f6ab527a681e991-1024x768–Just like last year, this year’s calendar also has lines in Japanese written on it; and it has “colors” as its theme.

“I thought that it would be nice if the postcards also had words written on them. Words like “apple green,” “mint green,” “tomato red,” and “poppy red” are easy to imagine and have a harmonious sound to them. There are made-up names that I thought of myself, but most of the names are actually used as colors’ names.”

–For the names, you didn’t look for Japanese names – you used English names.

“Yes. I thought of names that already exist in English. Japanese names are also really nice but I thought that the names in English have a good ring to them, and are cute.”

–So when the postcards were done, you then thought about the lines in Japanese on the calendar mount?

“First I had a rough idea of what the pictures would be like in my head, then I gathered names of colors in English, then placed these names on the pictures that they matched. Lastly, I thought of the lines in Japanese for the mount.

–I see.

“But the words in Japanese are just as they are in English, for example, “malachite green,” and “ivy green.” But I also thought that translating them into Japanese is also nice.”

–That’s right. The lines in Japanese really suit (the pictures) well so I thought that these lines came first.

“No (laughs). The English words have a certain cuteness and the lines in Japanese have their own beauty as well, so based on the names of colors I just wrote a few lines in Japanese.

–That’s cute.

“The postcards are too big to use as actual postcards and are elaborate so I wonder if there’s a feeling of having scored a bargain?”

–There is indeed. I’m very happy when I think that the calendar comes with 12 cards.

“I’m glad. It’s nice that the cards could still be used even when you’re done with the calendar.”


▼Buy the 2016 D-BROS calendars here