Fashion fun for 2012: Impressed Design’s color-of-the-month calendar

[Alyson Kuhn] Alyssa Louderback’s 2012 calendar will start your new year off with a thematic and chromatic bang: 12 colors on its cover. This is a lot of letterpress — 12 press runs, to be precise. And its designer, printer and wardrobe mistress has 20/20 hindsight, but no regrets, about the labor-intensity of her project.

Inside, each month features a single-color seasonal ensemble. The 12 items on the cover represent all twelve months.

At what point in the process did you decide on your cover concept?
It was very last minute. I was so caught up with getting the ensemble right for each month that it wasn’t until I was getting ready to print that I realized I had neglected to design a cover. Luckily, I knew that I wanted each month to be represented in both color and clothing. So I figured, What better way to do that than to include one item from each month in a smaller version on the cover? Turns out, there was no better way, only lots of other, saner ways.

February’s muffler is featured in miniature on the calendar cover.

My decision to print 12 colors on the cover meant that each cover needed to be run through the press 12 separate times. I knew what I was getting myself into, and I did second guess myself several times for making this decision … but in the end, my inner stubbornness prevailed, and I went for it. One long day later, I had a lovely stack of calendar covers that I couldn’t be happier with!

Alyssa Louderback estimates her official crayon box is home to “I’d say at least 220” crayons.

How did you decide on the colors?
I actually printed some of the months more than once, just because the color was not exactly what I had in mind. I think color is a big part of the design and requires a lot of attention. I can spend as much time mixing the ink as I do printing. And I get a lot of my color inspiration from Crayola Crayons.

Fresh new crayons (a recent birthday gift) comingle with earlier vintages in an old cigar box.

My Crayola stash may not be as exciting as it would have been 15 years ago, but it is still something! This goes way back for me. They always had such a diverse range of colors, especially the shades I tend to be drawn to — fuchsia, bright blues, acid yellow, lime green, raspberry — and the names of the colors really got me excited too!

Crayons have gone global, in English, Spanish and French. Razzmatazz needs no translation.

Who would not love to color something the shade of Screamin’ Green? Or Razzmatazz? There are just so many awesome names — that is probably what made the colors stand out in my memory all my life.

Razzmatazz: It’s raspberry, it’s ruby, it’s jazzy. And it’s February’s color of the month.

Do you ever get stuck choosing a color?
I do, but 99% of the time it’s not because I can’t find a color that will work — it’s because I have found two or three that will work perfectly, and I can’t decide which one to go with. When this indecisiveness hits, I usually turn to my trusty crayon stash. I think I do this because it gives me an excuse to be 10 again. It is much easier to make a decision when you’re in your 10-year-old mindset rather than 25.

June: Summertime, and the living is easy … especially in chartreuse shorts.

Are some of the drawings reminiscent of, or inspired by, garments you actually own or have owned?
Yes! All of my illustrations are pieces of clothing that I either currently own, want to own, or have owned. It was especially fun to include pieces I owned in the past — like 10 years ago — and come to find they still “work” stylistically with the clothes I wear today.

August: You could hand-color your mango shades to become rose-colored glasses.

It was fun trying to make different outfits work for each month — and some of them didn’t make the cut. I felt like I was 10 again, playing with dolls. It definitely felt a little nostalgic.

November: Chestnuts aren’t just for stuffing. They’re tasty on a plaid flannel shirt.

Alyssa Louderback graduated last month from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She started Impressed Design in 2010, having “fallen in love with printmaking” while working toward her degree in graphic design. She is now focused on bringing her studio to life and achieving her next goal, a storefront where she can interact with customers and offer more personalized services. Impressed Design’s 2012 calendar and cards are available at Felt & Wire Shop.



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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by Lauren Pak on 06.28.11 at 7:14 am

    Clearly I remember in second grade that Carnation Pink was my favorite Crayola color. But times change, and as I matured I was more attracted to various Reds. This may be T.M.I. but REALLY liked your project!

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