As you may know, one of Linden’s favorite holiday traditions is creating calendars for our clients, families and friends. This year, we felt like it was time to change up the look of it a bit. After many brainstorm sessions, our ever so talented designer David Merkley came up with the theme – Moods of the Seasons. The idea behind it was that every month would have a unique word/theme. The team agreed to search their homes and bring in any treasures they had that fit the theme. Depending on the theme, these items included our wedding photos, our kid’s shoes, our grandparents’ books, and so much more. We would bring together our items and work to create a cohesive and eye-catching look that made sense for that month. While the idea seemed simple at first, we quickly learned that this was a lot harder than we originally thought! Let’s hear from David and how the process went for him.
What was your inspiration for the 2023 calendar?
When thinking about ideas for the next calendar, I ran into this image:
This was a mood board revolving around a specific color with a bunch of random items that fit the color. I thought it would be interesting to do a mood board that focused on a specific feeling or word and items that gave and represented that feeling. I wanted to create something that looked aesthetically pleasing with all the items together, but also an image that told a story with all the different items and what they meant to people.
What was the most challenging part?
Well for one, getting people to remember to bring in items ;). After that though, it was challenging to create a cohesive idea with everything that was brought in. We created a mood board for each month giving an idea about the types of things we wanted and would have a general color scheme that we were looking for. However, that didn’t mean what we actually had to bring in would fit in with the theme or color. Some months, it would come down to basically one person’s possessions. It was difficult to find a cohesive way to represent the different items that meant that word to a certain person. We could sometimes get things that represented the word well, but it didn’t mesh well with the other items so it would need to be taken out. It was also difficult to make the images flow in a way that would carry your eyes across the entire image. We would have to play around with the objects and colors a lot to find ways to make the eye interested to see everything that was in the image.
What was your favorite part?
The fact that it was challenging was also part of the fun and the rewarding aspect of it. We would have a huge pile of stuff, and you would have absolutely no idea how they would work together. Putting it all together and seeing the final product when cropped would always be really satisfying.
How did you come up with the idea to hide the red dog pin in every shoot?
It honestly was a happy accident. We were doing the first shoot and I was looking for some sort of small box to put an item on to give the photo some more depth. I ended up seeing a box with all the old dog pins in it. Since the dog was such a key part of the old Linden brand, I thought it could be a fun little easter egg to hide in the calendars and then would be fun for people to find. Some of them are really tricky!
P.S. Those of you who can spot our beloved red dog pin in every month reserve all the bragging rights for your incredible eyes. Here are some clues:
JANUARY - I want to see some new sights!
FEBRUARY - I do.
MARCH - A well-balanced breakfast goes a long way.
APRIL - I’ll eat healthier this next season.
MAY - Knowledge is power.
JUNE - I’m lost! Thankfully I have a map handy.
JULY - I’m at a concert so I “Might as well jump!”
AUGUST - I’m really proud of all my accomplishments.
SEPTEMBER - I caught a big one!
OCTOBER - Death comes to us all…
NOVEMBER - I love all the colors of this season.
DECEMBER - What a great photographer!
Did you learn anything as you created one month after another?
One interesting aspect we noticed while shooting these is that the elements looked WAY better when we added some sort of background to them. We originally started with just having a white background, but they looked incredibly bland until we added some sort of textured background to the shoots.
Despite some challenges, our team is damn proud of the outcome. It required a lot of planning, participation and creativity. This calendar means something to each of us because there are elements of our personal histories and our Linden story in every month.
Which months are Linden’s favorites? We’re so glad you asked!
Jean says January and March because they make her feel the happiest – it’s all those happy colors! Maggie’s month is October because she loves all things spooky and Halloween is clearly the best holiday.
Courtney loves the textures and composition of the April photo – she says it feels like a fresh spring day when the weather is just warming up and summer is on the way; it’s the type of photo you feel like you can smell.
David also chose April because of the way the dirt turned out the image, and Joel likes November for the fall colors.
Ali’s a girl who loves transitions, like the way bright and bold January moves into the softness of February; rich April into gentle May.
Dixie chose April and July as her favorites because she really digs music and plants.
Becky’s drawn to July because music is her love language. Shawna’s favorite is July too, and we think what she has to say about it is just perfect:
Hands down, July is my favorite 2023 calendar month. Each music format brings a lifetime of special memories with people I love back to me in an instant–a memory heirloom.
I see memories from the 70s as a child hanging out every day of the summer at the pool, long car rides on family vacation and piano sheet music from years of practicing and recitals. Although the recitals and backseat in the station wagon sometimes made me queasy, music was a constant companion. I remember 78 singles that I purchased with coveted allowance. Never once thought what went through my parents’ mind when I was singing at the top of my lungs Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Hi, Hi, Hi,” or the Raspberries’ “Go All the Way.”
In my tender teens, I see my three older sisters’ Carol King’s Tapestry, Beach Boys, Neil Diamond and Carpenters albums. Then my own rowdy high school Van Halen, Foreigner, ACDC, REO Speedwagon and Chicago albums through graduation 1982. Along came cassettes and CDs of much of the same music and 90s Country.
As an adult, I can’t forget to mention an appreciation of my folks’ “elevator” music that my young self endured, like Frank Sinatra, Glen Miller, Ella Fitzgerald, Tijuana Brass and so many jazz musicians.
I love it all! Carefree times balance life at any age.
We hope you find a mood or two to connect with this year, too!
We love our dogs, espresso-inspired conversations, long walks downtown, cocktails on the patio and finding joy in the details. We take our work seriously and we take life as it comes.