The Year Ahead, Beautifully Designed

James Cropper's 2014 calendar reflected on the beauty of the Lake District

The natural splendour of the South Lakes, the home of James Cropper for nearly two centuries and the inspiration for generations of manufacturing innovators, artists and writers, was uniquely captured in the pages of the company’s stunning 2014 calendar.

Celebrating the natural beauty of the region, the never-ending evolution of technology in paper manufacture and unrestrained creativity in contemporary design, the lavishly presented calendar offered unexpected views of the National Park’s famous, untamed landscape. Aiming to engage the viewer in twelve consecutive moments of contemplation, each month revealed a small part of the region in abstract form, the flowing geological ridges foil pressed into specially selected, coloured papers from the James Cropper range.

Each body of water was made to stand out as a die-cut in the design, making the most breath-taking features of the landscape affect the same sense of drama on the calendar’s design. Almost at random, these jagged cuts formed new versions of the map, triggering frequent colour-clashes as the paper selected for later months appeared randomly through the holes in the previous pages.

Created by Manchester design studio, Hand, in collaboration with James Cropper, the calendar was designed to reveal its full glory at the end of the year, when the pages can be stripped of a perforated panel denoting each day of the year, leaving squares that make up a the complete map of the dramatic lakes and fells when placed side-by-side. It is a gift that the team at James Cropper hoped would communicates not only their goodwill for the year ahead, but the versatility and sustainability of their processes and papers.

Mark Cropper, company Chairman and sixth generation of the Cropper family, said: “The calendar was a gift that we hoped our friends, colleagues and collaborators recognised as typical of James Cropper’s capabilities when it comes to innovation in paper production, offering a world of possibilities to everyone from international fashion labels to prestige car manufacturers. It also reiterated how proud and protective we are of the beautiful region we call our historic home and continue to gain inspiration from the nature around us every day.”

Progressing through the year, the palette chosen for the calendar pages was purposefully selected to reflect the seasonal climate. Opening with light colours of cream, pebble and ash that denote the muted hues of winter, the calendar moved through to the sunshine of June with a vibrant yellow named Citrine. The lush green of August gave way to the purples and reds of autumn’s leaf fall, before ending the year in the luxurious Bright Red of Christmas.