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Jane Gleissner

visual communicator

89

4

perpetual calendar

Help! What day is it? I know it’s December. I know it’s Wednesday. But the date? I can never remember dates, so I’ve displayed a perpetual calendar on my desk since 2007.

Over time I’ve moved this calendar from office to office to office. Every day at work I touch it, flip the day of the week, the date, every few weeks I flip the month. Although I enjoy this object because it’s a paper promo – without looking directly at it I’d be hard pressed to create a good visual of what it looks like with words. It certainly, until this moment, has been compartmentalized in my mind as utilitarian.

Made entirely of paper and a metal coil binding, a cover weight triangle serves as a stand. Having flipped to the cover for the first time in many moons, I’ve discovered that not only is it made of Mohawk paper, but it’s all Via which at the time came in seven finishes and 35 tones*. (Still true?) The coil binding neatly displays three stacks of squares that share the details necessary to get me through the day. The stacks are spaced slightly apart so that the gap presents a border effect for the details; I have often contemplated how this was achieved. As you flip through your week, month and year you see an ever changing display of typefaces printed simply in red and black on an assortment of textures, colors and paper weights.

The reasons, aside from my forgetfulness, that I think this has survived on my desk for so long are many. I love paper, and good paper promos make we want to keep them forever. This can create storage issues, but a functional item that serves a purpose of course earns it’s keep. I also love type, and although the display may be as minimal as ‘W 10 December,’ (as it states today) I enjoy the opportunity everyday to see another style of number or letter, however short lived. I’ve also had this exact item on my desk at every job I’ve had since my second one out of college. When I think about it that way I become nostalgic and very attached to the object, unable to part with it for any reason. If the building were on fire I hope I’d remember to grab it on my way out the door, right after my purse and cell phone but before my laptop and paper swatchbooks. I don’t think there is a single other item that I can say has been with me my for as much of my career as this one has. It’s just a calendar, a functional item that helps me get by day after day when I have to plan and date things. And yet, it’s not just. Instead it is a link to my past self, who I was, and a reminder of where I am now, hopefully leading me to where I want to be.

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