International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages: 90-97

New Trends of Small Paper Products Innovative Design——Calendar Design as an Example

Yanyan Gong

College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

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To cite this article:

Yanyan Gong. New Trends of Small Paper Products Innovative Design——Calendar Design as an Example. International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2016, pp. 90-97. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20160406.11

Received: October 28, 2016; Accepted: December 2, 2016; Published: December 5, 2016

Abstract: With the advent of the Internet era, the media structure is experiencing an unprecedented shock and integration. To respond to the market shocks, the design idea and style are gradually changing in the traditional paper media. It’s showing many new trends. The audience's initiative and participation has been referred to an unprecedented height. At the same time, with the technologies and concepts progressing, the paper products design has more possibilities and expansion. The purpose of writing this paper is to explore the new trends of small paper products innovative design, and through the case analysis to help designers find the main design methods of small paper products. Research methods: Pick up some best current design works in calendar design, through the induction, analysis and summary, find out the latest design methods of small paper products. Conclusion: The key of design in the future is to unified the following parts: content and form, plane and 3D, technology and innovation, interaction and experience, style and emotion. And more important is to emphasize spiritual style and sublimation. These key parts will help to show the beauty and charm of paper products. Paper Products will burst out of their irreplaceable function and vitality in the information era.

Keywords: New Trends, Innovation, Interaction, Emotional

1. Introduction

In recent years, with the rapid development of the Internet, more and more information transmits by network media. Today we are living in a very different epoch of a "global village." Through interactive media we navigate the world, at least virtually. What we see on a computer monitor is only the tip of an iceberg of billions of web pages circulating over the global network of the Internet [1]. The paper products seems to drift away from us. However, there are still many small paper products in our life. They have an irreplaceable functions and effects, such as DM (direct mail advertising), business cards, brochures, calendars and so on. Designing these small paper cannot be confined in traditional models and styles. It need pay attention to innovation and advance with the time. In general, the requirements for the small paper products designer will be higher, especially in the following areas: creative thinking, style, material selection, craftsmanship. This article is tried to study the innovative designs of calendar. It will help to explore the new design trend of small paper products

2. Calendar Origin

"Every household shiny new day, the total of the new replace the old ". Calendar is the most familiar item in our daily lives. It has long history. The earliest calendar is able to ascend to ancient times. And the earliest calendar is oracle calendar. In ancient China, the real calendar is originated in the almanac emperor used. It’s namely "almanac" which recorded the big news in state as well as the emperor's words and deeds daily. Later, almanacs go into ordinary person’s home gradually. After the changing from traditional almanac, calendar picture, month’s cards, calendar cards to desk calendars, it develops into today's most common calendar. Western calendar originated in manuscripts. The most influential are the twelve season illustrations in the prayer book which names "when the Duke of Berry's most beautiful prayer book" in the 14th century. They depict people living, labors, festivals and other scenes of life with seasons. They show the beauty of the Gothic style.

3. Trends in Calendar Design and Innovative Design Methods Research

Just as graphic designer Sergiy Chebotaryov said: calendar is a strong social tradition, a modern totem. It serves a sacred but navie purpose to win the battle over the dailu chaos [2]. The basic functions of calendar are planning, reviewing and timing. Right now, calendars also have functions which like certain aesthetic value and business information delivery. From the design point of view, its form has undergone enormous changing. The calendar no longer has a fixed pattern and standard but rather focus on the expression of diversity. It requires designers with innovative ideas, unique perspective, and rich expressions to design personalized calendar which could bring information and causing emotional resonance to the audience. Next, we will focus on the innovative calendar design. We will discuss the latest design trends and innovative design approaches in small paper products.

3.1. Innovative Graphic Design

Kant once said, "as visual arts belongs to the Fine Arts, the most important thing is the form, which build the base of the taste through beauty of the shape ". Graphics are the essential visual element in calendar. Graphics include photography, illustration, digital drawing and other expressions. Through a meaningful combination of graphics design, it could bring the visual and cultural feast to viewers. Much graphic design cannot afford neutrality; it must grab attention in crowded environments [3].

In recent years, calendars and other paper products increasingly focused on creative graphic design and application in order to be personalization and unique.

In the ten anniversary of Habari Media company, designers created a calendar which fully shows company characteristics and corporate culture. This work has the most eye-catching and expression of creative graphics. In the folding calendar, the designer used animal prototype design elements to transform and innovate. It gave the characteristics and definitions of their respective. Finally, basic of the twelve graphics, it printed on the paper. It is similar to the American totem. This bold graphic style spread the Media Habari company's corporate culture and philosophy effectively but also won a lot of potential customers.

Figure 1. Habari Media calendar.

"House calendar" is a large size poster of wall calendar. The protagonist of the calendar is the house illustration. The date information is arranged in the panes of the house. Hand-painted style calendar usually uses traditional painting tools or computer to the creation. It intends to leave strokes, texture, texture and other hand signs. Some traces are simple, fun, fresh, and elegant. It has strong cultural atmosphere. The picture is harmonious overall. After receiving, most of customers framed it as an art to display on the wall. It is no doubt that artistic graphics can add value to the product.

Figure 2. House Calendar.

"The text is the picture of people's thoughts and feelings. Texts are also the essential visual elements in the calendar. Recoding time is the basic functions of tests. They also can be graphical processed to produce aesthetic value. For example, the calendar in figure 3, the main patterns is from the topic of the calendar "let us love winter for it is the spring of genius". Through graphical integration, these words could be bended, combined, arranged and innovated which show a graceful beauty.

Figure 3. Text calendar.

"Interesting shape can pleased eyesinteresting meaning can touch the heart". In the current calendar design, graphics and texts are no longer simple presentations and beautification processing but to transfer the corresponding concept and culture after personalized treatment. The graphic design is the priority of calendar design.

3.2. Unconventional Structure and Morphology

When people look products, the form and structure are the first to see. For the calendar, the format structure and the proportion are the main elements of the form. The common format of calendars are rectangular and square which usually by binding or wire-o way binding. This is the advantage of tailoring format which is convenient and saving paper. Its drawback is the lack of freshness. It reduce the appeal of audience. Therefore, in recent years, designers pay more attention to the overall shape and structure of the calendar and designed some impressive folio shaped calendar. This special structure of the design works are also subtle inspiration to people's ideas. It enhance the fun of life.

There are many ways to do unconventional structures, such as special proportion of non conventional format shapes, structures and morphology of the three-dimensional spaces, cleverly binding etc. Designer, Philip Stroomberg, designed an innovation calendar works named "CUBE" (Figure 4). It has hundreds of paperboard chips that you tear off to keep up track of the days. Quotes are included as well, so you’ll have a little inspiration alongside your daily datekeeping. There is no doubt that the morphology and structure of this extraordinary binding is full of fun for the calendar. It enhance the audience's sense of participation.

Figure 4. Cube calendar.

Rachael McCabe once designed a very unique calendar for 2016. It was inspired by the word "Baseline" which is a typographic term for the imaginary straight line on which a line of type rests. The calendar form shows a tough line style. In the structure, Rachael McCabe design a Z shape base of calendars. He looked at the idea or order, sequence and discipline. Each week is on a strip which is colour coded by month. Numerous strips have two or three months of use, as some week sequences are shared among months. These papers are not bound together by any material but it need bound by consumers themselves. This calendar was designed using just one A1 sheet and is suitable for use on any desk space. This relaxed design shows personalized, but also reduce the cost of production.

Figure 5. Baseline calendar.

The traditional "fold" is commonly method in small paper products design also in structure innovation. By folding the paper, paper can be extended from two-dimensional space to three-dimensional space. The magic effect is self-evident. When the folding surface fully expand, we can see the annual calendar. We can read it as a book monthly when it is closed. It also greatly improves the portability of the calendar. When using this method, the key is to study the form of folding, to determine the way of folding, then to determine the design style. The corresponding graphic design according to the multiple plane which generate by the fold.

In addition to the use of the above methods of structure design, designers can also try some other ways, for example, to simulate the structures in life and transform them cleverly. It will make a retentive memory by the work. For example, Figure 6‘s inspire is from the paper roll structure which design for the bathroom. It is the 365 calendar year with the end together into a roll of toilet paper. Each piece is marked in the calendar month, date and week. The most special is a large digital countdown day display: For example, January 1st marks 365 and in January 2nd marks 364...... As time passed, numbers fallen, the paper roll has become small. It reminds everyone to cherish every day. In addition to the calendar itself, metal components will be installed web designer and also copy, create a sense of freshness and novelty. Imagining, the calendar showing in front of you in home and office, how much humor and fun it will bring to your life.

Figure 6. Roll calendar.

Hagel once wrote in the "Aesthetics": "the content of internal and external form is two elements, when people encounter a work of art, the first thing we saw is that it is directly presented to the external things to us, then we will pursue its connotation and content the external factors, the role of inner guidance meaning and content. [4]" The visual elements are everywhere in the business environment, the well-built visual structure and form will be the first.

3.3. Materials for Change

Recorded in "Kao gong ji": "The year has seasons, the ground has spirit, materials are esthetical, and techniques are skillful proposed in Skillful Techniques." This statement illustrates the importance of materials and processes for graphic design. In small paper products designing, the designer must create form through the material. The material is an important carrier of calendar innovation. Small paper product designers must use the material to create the form. The material is an important carrier of innovation of the calendar. In the past, we own consider basic materials and different texture of paper selection but with the progress of technology, the materials choosing has become more extensive. Except the traditional paper, wood, fabric, leather, plastic, other materials are also used for calendar design. Materials are rough and smooth, bold and beautiful, simple and gorgeous. They all bring different feelings and imaginations audiences. It full of design interesting.

There are two aspects of material innovation in calendar design. One is partly change, that is, using different materials instead of paper. This can be done by special printing later. It can also be obtained by manual processing. For example, the works named of "Bubble Calendar" which is a common use of paper and plastic works (Figure 7). It partly cover by plastic bubbles in a 122cm * 46cm calendar of paper. Bubble Calendar LLC introduces the new version of its classic calendar design -a poster-sized calendar with a bubble to pop every day. Described as "The Cleverest Calendar Ever" in a review by Guy Kawasaki, this modern calendar is appropriate for any design-conscious home or office. "Everyone is looking for an excuse to pop more bubbles. This calendar gives it a useful purpose: marking time in style. " says Stephen Turbek, designer of the Bubble Calendar, explaining the inspiration behind the design. "Kids love learning about the calendar while popping the bubbles." I believe most people love to squeeze the plastic bubble and enjoyed a sound of explosions that "pop". Because of the existence of gas, the bubble plastics will have different transparency after extrusion. It makes different clarity for the printed date in the back because of different audiences’ behaviors. With materials changing, calendars could bring new experience to audiences. Audiences’ vision, touch, smell, hearing, and five senses will be mobilized. New materials give small paper product design an infinite development space.

Figure 7. Bubble calendar.

Besides partly materials change or coverage, we can see some of the more bold design works now. For example, The Hälssen & Lyon tea calendar (Figure 8) is the first calendar in the world to feature calendar days made from tea leaves. Calendars are well known to be the traditional form of big business advertising. When German tea producer Hälssen & Lyon decided to do something different, it created a buzz among the creative design industry. The Tea Calendar is made from tea, nothing else. Real tea leaves were processed and compressed before being sliced into 1 millimeter thick squares. These squares were then stamped with the date and slotted together to show one week at a time. Creating a calendar made almost completely out of tea. A brilliant instructional tea concept was created for its paclaging - peel one off, drop in a mug, and boiling water, and watch as it dissolves before your eyes. Every day, you can pick one leaf. With feeling in the time changing, you also could feel the tea taste of Hälssen & Lyon company. The tea calendar was sent exclusively to selected business partners. Numerous impressed calls from around the world were the result - proof that a good calendar can impress the eyes and even the taste buds, day after day.

Figure 8. Tea calendar.

We can easily find from the case which we mentioned above. The materials are become from "supporting role" to "leading role" and from "carrier" to "subject" in small paper products design. With the conversion materials and processing technology changing rapidly. It greatly expand the designer's creative space and even promote the emergence of design inspiration. "To do good works, must sharpen his tools first". Designers may wish to use "materials" as weapons in the future of small paper products design. The "Materials" will bright works.

3.4. Reading Based on the Game and Play

Play adds dimension to design, enabling the viewer to have more active participation in it. Here’s a fact everyone should know: design is play. Here’s a command everyone should obey: designers must play! Play is how we learn and teach others. "I use the term play," noted Paul Rand in Graphic Wit (1991), "but I mean coping with the problems of form and content, weighing relationships, establishing priorities." He went on to assert, "I don’t think that play is done unwittingly. At any rate one doesn’t dwell over whether it’s play or something more serious—one just does it. [5]"

In the calendar, we can set up some interesting games of reading. In the past years, we are accustomed to reading as from left to right, from top to bottom, front to back. And now, more and more design works began to work in the way of reading. The designer guide the audience to adopt a new way of reading time information in calendar. The changing of reading way also bring the audience a happy experience like games.

There are a lot of ways to change the way you read. For example, setting some obstacles for reading, setting the audience in a strong curiosity driven down to solve the problem, making the problem solving process to feel the culture and philosophy behind the calendar to convey. "Antalis Calenclock" calendar (Figure 9), comprised by a number of square paper and bound. When a month after, to flip the calendar is not readily available, but the audience will need the paper torn down after the one divides into twowho can see the true face of the true calendar deliberate obstacles next month. So the audience is no longer is going smoothly in reading, but need to join the intermediate links in order to obtain the next part of the information. This link is added in order to let the audience know how time flies. One month after the end of the paper that is gone with the wind, to remind the audience in the next month to cherish the time. This provides the possibility of "Empathy" way of reading for the depth of mining information.

Figure 9. Antalis Calenclock.

In the small paper products we could enhance the interesting in the process of reading by show and hide. Figure 10 is a large size calendar which printed more than 360 small color-printing cubes. "Need some color in your office?" This dry erase perpetual calendar would certainly add that (a rainbow=pow!) along with some knowledge: rub each black box and the heat friction reveals an interesting event on that date in history. In addition to morphological repetition and color gradient caused by the attention. The biggest selling point is heat sensitive technology. The top surface of the black area in each cube contains a heat sensitive element. When you put your finger on the black area, the heat will make black area gradually disappear, showing the words inside. These words are often recorded some interesting and meaningful events what happened in the history of the day. For example: August 12, 1851 Isaac Singer, an American inventor, patents the sewing machine. The game designed to obtain the hidden information greatly enhances the fun and fresh in the calendar. And this is a major trend in the current small paper product design.

Figure 10. On This Day Perpetual Calendar.

In order to allow the audience to participate more actively in the product or service, the design can also be considered with some auxiliary props to help the audience to carry out deep reading, Which will interpret the form behind the cultural concept. "ALCOHOLIDAYS CALENDAR" is such a work in order to meet the tenth "ALCOHOLIDAYS" arrival, organizers specially designed this year. This is a festival of the wine. Organizers even hope that participants can fully enjoy the happy dunking. So they will be graphic in two colors, separately printed together with the calendar, bundled together and a small bottle of wine and a pair of special glasses. The hope is that the audience can drink wine to get the calendar after wearing glasses, to feel the double images below, such as not wearing glasses before. What we see in the graph is a white-collar occupation of the image in western dress and leather shoes, but when after you take the red color glasses, white image transformed. You will see a hand holding a bottle of wine in the fashion. The humorous way of reading fully express a host of the pursuit of the festival concept.

Ron Sanchez, professor of management at the Copenhagen business School, affirms that: "designers can move beyond marketing surveys to garner special insights on consumer needs and preferences. They can then translate these insights into concepts for goods and services that result in valued experiences— including the appropriate "image" for a product, as well as the highest-value personal interactions with customers [6]". It is easy to see from the cases above, we can try to bring new technologies for some part of the game in the daily life. We can redesign with the developing of science and technology. And we can hidden these thoughts to paper products to increase the reading interest.

At the same time, we should also be aware that in the future of small paper products, the product will be paid more attention to the initiative to read the information. This kind of the way of reading like games can also make the paper media information acquisition mode as the electronic media is generally lively and interesting.

3.5. DIY

National Geographic Abu Dhabi once was perceived to only have programming focused on wildlife when in fact they have an eclectic range of shows ranging from engineering and adventure to military history and reality TV. They wanted to tell this to media buyers in the Middle East in an engaging and memorable way. So they created a calendar (Figure 11) that invited people to make a desktop model every month while introducing them to the surprisingly broad schedule. Each month’s model coincided with a show that was airing that month and was designed carefully to be simply assembled and function as a working calendar while educating them about the shows content in English and Arabic. The audience can easily remove all parts and assemble them all. After completion of the assembly, the product is a very good calendar function with desktop decoration. The DIY process can increase the audience the love and memories of the calendar.

Figure 11. National Geographic Abu Dhabi - The Crafty Calendar.

"DIY" is the abbreviation of "do it yourself". DIY is a very popular vocabulary in the present life. In the material conditions are satisfied, people pay more and more attention to the spiritual world of the enrichment and pleasure. DIY model can largely help the audience to obtain the spiritual pursuit of material. So in the calendar and other small paper products, in order to meet the audience's sense of participation, many designers will put design works into semi-finished products. And designers will left some work of their own part to the audience to complete. For example Heather Lins's "2014 Stitch it Yourself Calendar Kit"(Figure 12) looks like a simple product on the surface, but it took eight different vendors to create. She worked with Prefer Pack in North Aurora, IL on the tuck box. She also worked to make sure the PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors, Mohawk Britehue paper, and embroidery floss all coordinated. The concept behind the 2014 Year in Stitches Calendar Kit is inspired by cross stitch samplers and it combines designer’s love of typography with DIY. She artistically arranged the letters of each month so there's always a new design to cross stitch! She printed two color offset on Kraft board boxes to keep the package tactile--like doing the crafts themselves. No embroidery or cross stitch experience is necessary. Kids 8 and up can do these. Heather Lins created this fun DIY calendar that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Figure 12. 2014 Stitch it Yourself Calendar Kit.

In general, DIY interactive experience can bring the audience a deep impression unforgettable. As some of the works done by their own independent, the love of paper products will become more durable, invisible to extend the service life of small paper products, increase the value in using.

3.6. Multiple Use of One Thing -- the Superposition of Compound Function

Today, many new materials are being produced. The new materials may be attractive, but the problem we face is to discover how the can best be used [7]. Trash calendar is a very special calendar. First of all, it's an unusual structure. Secondly, the main material is not our common paper, but by the plastic processing. Another very special feature is that it has the function of collecting garbage in addition to the record date. Every calendar day is a new trash bag. Every month is a roll of 31, 30 or 28 trash bags. The Calendar consists of 12 rolls and is divided into 4 quarterly sets with 3 months-rolls This calendar also reflects the trend of the design in small paper products at present. With the development of science and technology, environmental awareness is gradually increasing. And the single function products can not meet the needs of contemporary people's life. We can see a lot of multi functional products in life, especially electronic products, such as smart phones in addition to the traditional phone functions, and the internet, shopping, computing, etc. These additional features make people's life more convenient and interesting. We can also use this multi-purpose in the calendar and other small paper products innovative design. This design concept give people more choice, increasing its value at the same time, and saves the material and space and be made modest for sustainable design.

For example, Ukraine designer works out a "match calendar"(Figure 13). The idea was to create as unique a calendar so that the process of its presenting would become an outstanding event. Alongside with this, it was important to expose the idea of "energy", as it is predetermined by the name and logo of the company. Each page is a month and it looks like a comb made of matches that correspond to the days. The matches are real and the construction of the calendar is absolutely safe. This additional function can bring many small convenience to life.

Figure 13. Match calendar.

Figure 14. One a day calendar.

"ONE-A-DAY Calendar" (Figure 14) is a calendar works make people feel warm. I believe many people will always forgotten the medicine on time. Designers are observed in these small details. The calendar made with cod liver oil tablets. Pop out a tablet every day for a healthy life. When people refer to the calendar, just remind yourself to add the required doses of cod liver oil tablets. "Details show feelings", which is a new generation of designers who are pursuing a new height of innovation.

3.7. The Construction of Emotion and the Sublimation of Emotion

The development of modern society is characterized by the combination of high technology and high emotion, which is a trend of diversification, popularization and consumption [8]. More and more users seeking more emotional satisfaction, to ease the pressure from modern social life, the user’s consumption is not only in the product, but also in the emotional experience, entertainment and individuality forms of psychological value [9]. therefore, the products which have advanced technology and rich emotional qualities become the object of pursuit [10]. In the calendar as an example, it is one form of media which can record the time. Because of the time dimension, the design has more creative space in its breadth and depth. Everything is the passage of time in the world, it changes dramatic or subtle. These changes provide an unlimited creative inspiration for the design. Designers can achieve the goal of emotional sublimation through the intention of emotion.

Figure 15 is a life calendar. It is a series of different calendars which highlights an aspect of life. "How was your day?" is the first of the series. The 365 days are represented by an emoticon that you have to draw as the day has gone (very good, good, regular, bad, very bad). A different way to know and evaluate your mood throughout the days. A simplified daily. The blue circles mark the beginning of each and every month and the yellow circles are or all of the other. This calendar is not for any specific year. You can start it when you want! [11] One year later, you will take this ordinary calendar posters as a collection of treasures.

Figure 15. Life calendar.

The Almost Extinct Calendar (Figure 16) was designed by London firm. The calendar displays an endangered animal for every day of the year, when passing one day, the corresponding endangered species was painted on a striking red fork. At a single glance, without even being able to read, the meaning of the design is painfully clear. Using the interactive calendar, we can click to learn more about each animal and then make a donation.

Figure 16. The Almost Extinct Calendar.

Designers create messages that rouse audiences to support, and therefore engage in, an issue or event, cause or mission—or anything else that falls under the rubric of advocacy. Doing so is a large challenge [12]. How these messages are framed can mean the difference between action and inaction? How to pass the positive energy and the beauty of truth through design? These are the key factors to be considered in the emotional small paper products design.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, the innovation trends of small paper products design like calendar not only Pursuit form but also emphasize the interactive experience. The key of design in the future is to unified the following parts: content and form, plane and 3D, technology and innovation, interaction and experience, style and emotion. And more important is to emphasize spiritual style and sublimation. As Hagel said: "the process of beauty lies not in the external shape, color, pattern and practical to simulate things, reproduction of reality, but the external form to convey and show some emotion, mood, style, taste, make the material become similar to the environment through the symbol of spiritual life [13]". This is the most important part and the key of the paper product innovation design.


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