Leading UK print specialists WithPrint approached us to collaborate on their 2021 desktop calendar — with the aim to produce a useable piece that would push the possibilities of environmentally-friendly materials and print processes.
Keeping sustainability in mind throughout, we worked with partners chosen for their commitment to the environment. The selection of papers were all chosen from G.F Smith’s environmental range, while foil details use animal-free materials from Foilco (and WithPrint ensured all waste foil was fully recycled). The wrap is a letterpressed seeded stock from Frogmore Paper, which grows a meadow mix when planted. Finally, the reusable base is produced by Smile Plastics from recycled yoghurt pots — approximately 20 pots for each base.
The set of month-at-a-glance cards take a utilitarian, industrial design approach to ensure the calendar remains functional; but this is paired with a sense of craft and an attention to detail that really allows the materials and processes to shine. A different stock is used for each month, with environmental credentials highlighted along with notable dates and seasonal information on the reverse — encouraging a small way to live more sustainably throughout the year. Each card is digitally printed with black and white ink, and finished with a copper foil that perfectly complements the palette of papers.
A further four ‘figure’ cards are more experimental in their approach; expanding the print to CMYK + white, each featuring a different holographic foil, and demonstrating just some of the in-house techniques that WithPrint provide and have built a reputation for (such as embossing and duplexing). All cards were die-cut on a Heidelberg Platen to create the office stationery-inspired tabbed shape, with only 3 separate dies required due to their mirrored design. Together, they serve as inspiration for future design and print projects.
To complement the overall design language, we used CoType’s Ambit typeface — a sans serif with quirky details to give a modernist, crafted touch. Information is legible even at a very small scale, and the particularly distinctive ‘tabular oldstyle’ numerals lend themselves to being prominently featured for dates.
A truly collaborative project, the result is a functional, sophisticated piece that explores the beauty of sustainable print.
“A calendar for everyday use — a stunning design and a great reference piece for sustainable, conscious design and print decisions.
Alan Smith, Director, WithPrint
Print — WithPrint
Typeface — CoType
Paper — G.F Smith
Foil — Foilco
Seeded Wrap — Frogmore Paper Mill
Base — Smile Plastics
- Art direction
- Graphic Design