Exercise: Birthday list

For this exercise you are going to make up a poster list for yourself. It is intended that you keep it pinned to a noticeboard or wall to remind you of the dates and, as it will be there a long time, it needs to look good.

Start by collecting all the birthdays of your friends and family. You’ll need their name and birth date, to decide whether or not you buy them presents or just send a card, text message or email.

When you have all this design a page to include all this information for example:


Below are some of the calendars which I liked in a Google search.

I like the idea that the whole year is visible. The colours are a bit dull.

I love the wooden background. The pegs are a little impractical as the birthday papers would fall off.

This would work over an office work station as it looks like anyone’s peg board.

The calendar I have in mind is a little like this.

My handbag birthday calendar will be a little like this.


  1. I made a list of family and friends birthdays.
  2. I decided to have vertical boxes for each month. The month would be indicated in a box X25, Y-10, W25, H15.
  3. The month name is the letter in Trajan Pro 24pt.
  4. The baseline shift is -5
  5. The boxes are at 5mm from each other.
  6. The bounding boxes are opts and the colours are from the swatch list
  7. The ‘birthday boxes’ are 25 x25mm and filled with the border colour of the month. I had to reduce the opacity of the dark blue and red to make the print legible.
  8. The date is Ariel 10pt Regular
  9. The name is Ariel 12pt Bold
  10. The symbols are screen shots for Gift, Text, Facebook or Card. Depending on what I send someone for their birthday I use the symbol. If the calendar was to be used for other members of the family it would be better if these were separate and it was possible to stick them on the calendar. Different members give or donut give gifts, cards or messages.
  11. When compete I tried to line up the text horizontally by placing a grid line at the point where I wanted the text to line up. I found this difficult to get precise – not sure why.
  12. Finally having printed an example I realise that some of the background box colours were too strong. I reduced the opacity in these.


I decided to make three different versions of the calendar


A simple  wall version

I used a   simple photo image I had of birds in the sky. I then laminated my wall calendar. I will use this on my wall and expand it.

A mounted wall version or a handbag version

I found a nice piece of old drift wood and sanded it down. Because it was still very wet I dried it out on a radiator. This caused a split to open wider. I used wood glue on this and clamped it. The calendar can be fixed to it with a stud.

But I wanted to keep it for my handbag!!


…..the birthday list is a good, functioning document and a solid example of how mocking-up and making a physical version of something very much helps to inform its application

This task seems to have been completed satisfactorily.