UrbnCal 2012 is our contribution to next years World Design Capital – Helsinki!

We collected all the numbers by bike this summer. Now the different figures have been arranged in neat rows to a wall calendar. For us the number plate is a marriage between architecture and typography, not always happy but always interesting. Our calendar provides a new way to look at a city through its everyday details.

The wall calendar
UrbnCal 2012 is made up of 366 black and white photographs of numbers plates in Helsinki. The pictures are sorted according to area. With an appendix where all the street addresses the pictures come from are listed monthly. Primarily the calendar is meant to be like a physical complement to your digital calendar and provide an overview.

The uncut images from Helsinki, will be published here on the website (in colour!) starting on January 1st, 2012.


Tech spec:
• 12 sheets (jan-dec) + 1 sheet with a list of all street addresses.
• High quality uncoated FSC-certified paper in three shade of white. (Munken Rough,170 g/m2)
• Format: A3 (11,7×16,5 in) with a 20 mm (0,8 in) hole for hanging.
• 2 colors: black & white photographs + colored details
• Packing: paper bag with handprinted logo
• Edition: 500
• Ca price in store: 250 sek (25 euro, $32)


How long does it take to make the calendar?

The first part is ”collecting” all the numbers. We spend about a week biking around the city, one area at the time, shooting pictures. We take turns, one of us is playing with the kids and the other is taking photos.

During the evening when the kids are asleep we go through the days harvest and name the pictures by street address and file them in folders, one for each month.

The next step is to adjust the photographes and place them in Indesign, our lay out-program. We check so the pictures work well together and crop them. This is usually when we have to kill our darlings or at least crop our darlings.

Why is it called urbnCal?

urbnCal stands for urban calendar. The idea from the beginning was to photograph many cities and compare the graphic impression of the numbers plates in different countries. We also needed a nice web address (url) because we wanted to publish the picture on the web, link to a map and get feed back etc. Maybe the calendar will get more of a digital life in the future?

There is no room for notes, how should I use the calendar?

The wall calendar is intended as a visual complement to a pocket diary or digital calendar. We see it more as a poster with a function. But there is some room if you really want to make notes, maybe with a golden pen.

Which other cities have you pictured?

The first city was Stockholm (2010), our home town. The next year we shot Copenhagen, because it’s a really nice city to bike in and we wanted to spend more time there.

How did the idea come about?

We had the idea for a few years before we had the courage to try it in the summer/fall of 2009. We didn’t know if we could complete it or if it was too big a task and who would like to sell the calendar. One inspiration for the calendar was an earlier idea to make congratulation cards out of numbers plates. We have an interest for everyday details.

Which city is next?

We haven’t decided on the next city yet, but we are thinking of a Scandinavian calendar, reuse some numbers and get some new in Oslo, maby Reykjavik as well. If you have any suggestions feel free to contact us!

Have a look!