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MMXIV: Star Chart Calendar


Production Method




Ethan Allen Smith

Justin Dickau at Fairweather Press, print guidance



Fairweather Press

This limited edition 2014 calendar and star chart engages a winsome combination of gold and cyan inks on Nightshift Blue French Construction paper — in which the gold is particularly well paired. Designer Ethan Allen Smith used actual star charts to lay out each of the almost 3,000 stars in this abridged version of the night sky one at a time. In other words, the tedium of careful design pays off once again. 




Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

4 weeks

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

25 × 9.5 in

Page Count

Paper Stock

French / Construction / Nightshift Blue / 100

Number of Colors

2 (original run), 3 (limited edition)




Monotype Grotesque
ITC Motter Corpus
LTR Federal

This piece is available for purchase for $35

Description ---

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Project Description

I created this calendar as a New Year's "thank you" to some of the wonderful people in my life. I was excited to use metallic gold ink in a project (after having wonderful success on my previous project using copper). After sketching out the concept, I used star charts to lay out the night sky. Each of the nearly 3,000 stars were placed individually.

Along with the original run of 80 posters, an additional 10 were created with a third screen. This EXTREMELY limited edition included the birthdays and anniversaries of all of my wife's and my family members.

Production Lesson(s)

I don't know that I've ever had more fun with a design project. Both I and my printer were determined to push his equipment to its limits. Getting the fine lines and small shapes required was a challenge, especially because of the consistency of the metallic gold ink. We were also meticulous in the placement of the layers, especially the final "family" layer.”

Post Author

Author Picture

Duncan Robertson

Former intern at UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

February 18, 2014


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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

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