DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
XF : Fast-paced lifestyle in China forces many people to race against the clock and brings anxiety more than accomplishment. In fact, we run to problems when we try to beyond the limitation of time. According to the Ecclesiastes, everything has its own time and people should do things in God’s time. The traditional Chinese 24 Solar Terms shows seasonal change to guide people’s farm work and daily lives. Therefore, The ancient wisdom inspired me to design a calendar, which could remind people to know the season, follow the time and enjoy the moment.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
XF : Based on the concept of enjoying the moment, there is a new design expression to show dates in this project. Month is printed in the centre of the page while every date is shown on a gradient arc. Dates and arcs rotates clockwise around it and fade away due to the translucence of tracing paper, which poetically illustrates present and impending loss of time. Tearing of a page means time has passed, while next few translucent pages could be seen indistinctly just like the coming days. This interaction express that we could neither prolong the past nor touch the future. In other words, the only thing we really have is nowness. In that case, we should enjoy the moment rather than regret for the irreversibility or worry about the uncertainty. The Chinese 24 solar terms and daily mottos could also strengthen concept and remind people to enjoy the moment.
Meanwhile, we live in the moment while time is infinite, but eternity is a series of moments. Therefore, the other interesting operation is that users could see rotation of the gradient arc when they jump calendar pages quickly (same principle as frame-by-frame animation).
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
XF : After being rewarding by the A Design Competition Committee, I will have more confident to raise production and share our concept to more people. Moreover, I’m looking forward to an opportunity of releasing this calendar in different languages. It is not only inspired by The Chinese 24 solar terms but also based on the wisdom from Bible.In particular, we are more anxious about uncertainty than ever before: worldwide spread of coronavirus, frequent natural disasters and turbulence in international financial markets. However, I expect this calendar could not only number our days but also remind us that "to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
XF : The whole design process took 3 months, which included design style, visual theme, graphic design, layout, illustration and correction.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
XF : Calendar is calculated by year, which totally is different with clock. Therefore, it prompted me to consider a correct attitude towards time management in a microscopic perspective. We could improve efficiency and finish more and more works as soon as possible. However, we could only organise our days rather than control time or even stretch it beyond its limits. In fact, to realise that we are bounded by time could help us be humble and manage our life in a better way. We could enjoy the moment and release from anxious when we do things in its proper time.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
XF : We decide to individually produce this product in China, but open to the possibility of selling and leasing the production right in other counties.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
XF : There is a big market for culture and creative product in China. Calendar could attract a larger consumer group because it does not require any writing habit. Especially at the end of every year, more and more consumers would like to buy a well-designed calendar for the new year as a ritual and decoration.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
XF : The traditional Chinese ink painting has great influence on the visual effect of this calendar. The expression of date is inspired by some minimalist watch design, such as ZIIIRO Aurora, NAVA Ora Unica and Picto.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
XF : Our target consumer is who are interested in culture and creative product and minimalist design style.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
XF : Considering the value, function and interaction of a calendar in a broader vision made this design stand out from the rest. I believe the calendar is not only a beautiful time-telling tool but a meaningful story-telling media which share a story about knowing the season and treasure the time. Therefore, every elements in design will focus on this topic to share a complete story and our conception of time. Presenting dates in circle symbolises the eternity of time while the graduated colour and translucent paper illustrates the finiteness of life. As a result, the topic of enjoy the moment is showed clearly in such a strong contrast.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
XF : The name of this calendar is a pun on the slogan . I expect customer could enjoy “The Moment” when they use this calendar. At the same time, they could also enjoy the moment.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
XF : Adobe Illustrator
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
XF : The most unique aspect is the new design expression of showing dates. Dates are shown on the gradient arcs and printed on translucent paper. The angle of arcs and layout of quotes are slightly different on each page so that the information of current page would not overlap and be easy to read, clean but layered.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
XF : I individually finished this design.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
XF : The most time-consuming part is to find an ideal material which has required translucency and be suitable mass production. I spend five months on testing dozens of paper to finally chose tracing paper. The other challenge is that tracing paper is very sensitive about humidity and temperature. As a result, the factory have to strictly control the environment in the workshop during printing process.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
XF : I believe that good design could beyond the cultural differences and strike a chord, that’s why I decide to participate in an international competition. I am passionate about sharing the consideration, vision and design on a broader stages. I also looking forward to seeing my design could serve customers in different countries.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
XF : The reflection about social phenomena and application of traditional culture would decide the deep thinking about product function and purpose. It is also the foundation of creative expression. A good design which could not only speak for contemporary but also dialogue with classic will stand the test of time