ixtract Calendar 2013 | 2014

The ixtract calendar 2013 | 2014 shows seasonal stories for each month of a year. Our process started with an investigative research of all topics and finished with a visual transformation and loads of passion for details and diverse graphic styles.

Visual storytelling through four seasons
“God created time, the devil created calendars,” as the Austrian-American chemist Erwin Chargaff once wrote.
But here of course that’s not entirely true, since the ixtract calendar you find beneath was created by us! And in this case, if anything, the devil is in the details.

So ixtract proudly presents its  freshly published calendar beginning with April 2013 and ending with March 2014. We tell seasonal stories for each month of one whole year. Our process started with an investigative research of all topics and finished with a visual transformation full of passion for details and diverse graphic styles.
Making of "ixtract calendar"
Within the following part, we show a few steps of our working process.
First idea: A forest surrounding the ixtract logo to resemble the seasons was quickly discarded. It did not really meet our expectations. The Cover should be simple and quick to understand.
In a second attempt, we just inverted our first idea and got our final rendering with trees shaping the arrow.
January – Time series and comparable measured data
Visualizing over 100 values in a single spread is always an ambitious task to get it comparable and understandable in the same way! Even the research for consistent time series of measured data is sometimes difficult: Free online data have to be validated as well as requested data sets have to be merged into a assimilable accumulation of temperatures.
Several states in our work progress: Many different looks for charts were generated, before we found the best representation of the data.
February – Circular system in outer space
How do you present such a wide-spreading data set as international satellite quantity in a proper and understandable way? After some trial we just visualized our dataset in circular paths around planet earth - a very similar look to the natural composition of satellites in outer space. In the end a proper view and a quite fancy artwork, by the way!

March – Green Mobility
Being an infographic designer, sometimes you have to enforce special calculations. For this evaluation we used two different data sources: the sales figures were extracted from public statistics, the energy classification was researched from the website gruenskala.de. Each auto brand calculation was performed in an own spreadsheet.

This is a new combination and appearance of the existing data - maybe you would think twice before buying a new car now...
April – The percent humankind
You always have to feedback yourself: is this the right and best way to present the data at hand? First we only showed the absolute increase of humans in each country - but dimensions of population were to different between countries so we had insuperable problems to show all values in the same scale. So we converted the graphs from representing the absolute to the percentage increase. Now the circle charts are still showing the absolute values, but the graph connecting the two circles shows growth of pupulation in a comparabel and striking way!
May – Football
Sport tells lots of stories: especially in football they are partly incredible impressive - or even incredible funny! But a funny illustration is not at hand with one glance. It takes some rounds of feedback to get the proper scenes for all of the different football records.
June – Let the sunshine...
Information always surrounds us. So we decided to show this visualized data in a very figurative way and not in a common, businesslike 2D style. Explicit and aesthetic information design - it's summer time!
July – Building lots
The building of a building yard: every page of the ixtract calendar has a special topic, picked up by the logo design. It means a lot of designing rounds to create a complete new scene, which supports the basic information on the page with a introducing illustration. And after all it should not compete against these charts, too.
August – High score in history
Young and successful - many of the most sold video games were created in the very last years. But what about „Tetris“ or „Duck Hunt“? Still in pleasant memories they are part of our top-31-ranking and so we choose a arcade game like style to honour this alltime classics in video games.
September – Big City Life
Computing power for the detail: There is still not only a on-click-3D rendering done. For such a large forest, the 3D-project had to be split into 2 individual scenes, of which the woods alone had to be calculated by 4 computers at once. In a second step, the resulting images were composed back together in 2D. Further adjustments were made on brightness and colors of the trees. This process saved valuable time over re-rendering the whole scene after adjusting the colors in 3D.
October – For bookworms
Let's design some manifest information! Why should we abstract the look of books with the possibility to create a realistic appearing library?
November – The composition of man
Do you know which elements mix up to human beeing? Here we go but remeber it's still not quite easy to find the right look: The proper appearance for elements can prove to be quiet challenging. While the physical state at a certain temperature is the smaller of the problems, contamination with other materials is fairly common in photos.
December – Favorite christmas songs
How to read music without notes: highlighting the different melodies of the most popular christmas songs in a very abstract graphical way. Benefits of this unusual representation are easy understanding even for unmusical people and also the possible comparison between the melody courses of the chosen christmas songs.
Back to Top