Stylish calendars

Calendars get a makeover with innovative messages

Every year the New Year brings a change, or so we would like to think. And one of the first things that changes is the annual calendar. Until a while ago, printed wall/desk calendars were either bought or people received them as gifts. They would then find a place in the living room or study room of many homes. With digital calendars easily accessible with a simple click or swipe, print versions may not be taking off like they used to, but they still seem to be finding takers; thank you to those who offer innovative and message-carrying ones.

Stay innovative and relevant
Chennai photographer L Ramachandran has just launched his first calendar in association with actor Vijay Sethupathi. Interestingly, the calendar is based on Therukoothu. “Last year, I had the opportunity to interact with some Therukoothu artists for a documentary. During the interaction, I realized how difficult their life was. To highlight this aspect, I decided to launch this calendar. Their work and life have already been documented, but little has changed. So, I knew if someone like Vijay Sethupathi got involved, he would get attention,” says Ramachandran.

The calendar has Vijay Sethupathi in four different looks across three categories. “The whole thing is designed by eight Therukoothu artists. The actor was busy with several projects and he finished this shoot in one day. He was very respectful towards the artists and their work too. Therukoothu played a huge role during the independence struggle. But artists struggle even after gaining independence. We hope this schedule will create more opportunities for them,” he adds.

This year, Prathiusha Saravanan, a designer based in Chennai, designed wall/desk calendars and table organizers, all based on the book Ponniyin Selvan, which she read last year. “I chose 12 characters from the novel and created the designs based on my visualization. The reception has been more than I expected. There are many fans of the book and they want this to be their home because they can connect to it easily,” she says and adds, “People always want calendars, but now many see it as a decorative item. It just adds artistic or aesthetic value to their living room.”

Those with photos of deities and landscapes still preferred by many, sellers say
“Sales are better than last year, but it is much less than before COVID. We have lost commercial orders. These customers, who used to give bulk orders, have reduced the quantity. By For example, earlier, if they needed 70, they would order 100 and distribute them generously. Now the numbers don’t exceed 70,” says Yobu, who has been in the printing business for more than 10 years.

Balaji, who owns a shop on Broadway, says, “Although there are many innovations in calendars, the biggest sellers are calendars with images of deities, rulers, landscapes, quotes, etc. . This year we started selling gold. – framed and crystal framed calendars. Although bulk orders are down 30%, individuals are buying. So we are able to manage.

Calendar with a message
It is also used as a means of transmitting messages. Sunil Menon, a fashion choreographer who is also the founder of Sahodaran, an organization that supports the LGBT community, releases calendars with different messages every year. “This year, the calendar is based on rare musical instruments. These instruments are not seen often. So we have also added information about them. The intention is to take on the cause without losing the aesthetic factor. In the age of electronic calendars, physical calendars are conversation starters,” says Sunil Menon.

According to Swarnalatha, the founder of the Coimbatore-based NGO Swarga, which works among people with disabilities, the calendars help get a message across. “We are working to create better access for people with disabilities on several fronts. Our calendars are called “I am special” and have a theme for each year. For 2022, it’s called the Changemakers. We profile professionals with different abilities from different backgrounds, ranging from a doctor to a stand-up comedian,” explains Swarnalatha, who is the founder of the NGO.

A calendar to raise awareness of endangered mammals
The Blue Cross India (BCI) Calendar has information on all 12 endangered mammals. “This year’s calendar features 12 mammals from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s endangered species list. I chose them and sketched the design of the calendar. Initially, we wanted to opt for Indian species, but we did not obtain references for all of them,” explains Tyag Krishnamoorthi, its curator. Dr Chinny Krishna, one of the founders of BCI, adds: “This calendar is only intended to raise awareness”.