Yes! It is a real, usable calendar. This typography calendar makes finding dates a fun and creative process. If you read the keys from left to right, they show each day of the year in sequence: JANUARY TUE 01 WED 02 THUR 03 etc.
You can think of it like a string of all dates in the year. To make things easier, every month is marked by two arrow keys. After a bit of practice, you can orient yourself quickly within the grid. It is also possible to write directly onto the calendar.
The calendar is made of two-thousand and fourteen used keyboard keys. The keys are arranged manually in a grid ( 38 x 53 + 1 = 2015 keys) to write out all days of the year 2015.
Then the composition is photographed with a special macro lens to avoid distortion. The print of the calendar reproduces the keys in original size (1:1)
Do the colors of the keys follow a system?
The colors of the 2015 Calendar follow a simple pattern that refers to counting. One black key is placed in the first row, two black keys in the second row, three keys in the third and so forth. When a line is set entirely in black keys the principle switches. Then one beige key is added the next row, followed by two in the second row, three in the following line and so forth…
An oversized New Years Card…
The initial idea for the Typographic Wall Calendar came from a daydream. In this dream I imagined a person in a random office typing in front of a computer. The person writes letters, for example to customers. On every letter the person writes the date, a repetitive part of the job. I imagined that as the person types, the pressed keys would (somehow) sum up or accumulate. Not only would the keys be counted but also collected, ordered and stored. Over days and weeks it would become a mountain of keys. This “mountain of keys” then became the Typographic Wall Calendar.
The project began in 2009 as a (very oversized) New Years card
for my studio in Frankfurt, Germany. The response from friends and clients was overwhelming. People called up to say that they wanted to buy more or already framed it.
In the beginning I was focusing on the idea of writing the year from beginning to end as a continuos text and to break up the common tabular structure of a calendar which divides the year in columns (months) and rows (days).
I still find this a major point of the work. It shows clearly how dependent our imagination of time is to a tabular display and order.
I wanted to focus on the act of writing rather than the outcome, which would be rendered text. To show the act of writing I choose to present all the keys necessary to write the year in front of you.
After starting to work with a typewriter philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said:
“Das Schreibzeug arbeitet mit an unseren Gedanken”
…the writing things collaborate on our thoughts. I like the term collaborate, because it implies that we do not use the pen as a lifeless tool to express our thoughts. The pen itself is working actively on our thoughts. The computer keyboard on screen or physically in front of us is the contemporary writing implement. If and how our writing tools work on our thoughts I leave to your imagination.
With this collection and vast amount of keys in front of me different thoughts arise. All around me people complain about the loss of handwriting, filled with nostalgia a friend buys a $500 Montblanc pen. But I also noticed that other people are talking with nostalgia of old keyboards. This article on Ars Technica is about the IBM Model M
that was build in the 80s, in another article from PC World the same device is praised as the world greatest keyboard
. As a typographer I noticed typographic aspects that I would like to draw your attention to.
The Macintosh Exception
In the picture above you see an Apple Keyboard with an IBM Model M behind, both are build in 1989.
A small detail is the positioning of the letter. On all Personal Computer keyboards letters are placed in the upper left on the key cap. The only exception are Macintosh keyboards. Apple placed the letter on the lower left, until 2007 with the Apple Keyboard A1243.
Apple decided for a rather daynamic italic condensed sans serif typeface, whereas most other keyboard manufacturers until today prefer an extended bold and sometimes rounded sans serif.
In 2007 Apple introduced their flat keyboards model A1243 which also placed the label in the center of the key with an Upright rather airy geometric sans serif typeface.
To me there is no argument for a design decision to place the label in the lower or the upper left. Once hands are placed on a keyboard the keys become invisible but tangible. That is why the little nobs on the J and F are so important to me. I like the placement of the letter in the center, it makes the device less complex and reminds me of old typewriters, where the keys had round caps with beautiful slab serif letters on it.
Here is an overview of different keys with different Typefaces on them.
Click to enlarge
But also major changes in society are reflected in keyboard design.
On the first day of January in 2002 the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign next to the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a european keyboard.
All calendars ship from Germany.
Shipping costs are calculated based on your location. The calendars will be send in a strong protective poster tube (112cm long – 7.5 cm diameter). Top and bottom end of the tube are filled with bubble wrap to cushion the prints. The poster tube is then packaged in a protective rectangular box to make shipping and handling easier.
All shipments that include the Typographic Wall Calendar are trackable online and covered by insurance.
After the calendars are sent out you will receive an email from DHL with the tracking information and status information.
So far the Typographic Wall Calendar has been shipped to 41 countries around the globe: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America.