Calendar contest by AYY and TOKYO for the academic year 2020–2021

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) and Arts and Design Students (TOKYO) announce a design contest for the Design Calendar for the academic year 2020–2021.
Kuva viime vuoden Design-kalenterista

Will you be the next designer of the Design Calendar? 

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) and Arts and Design Students (TOKYO) announce a design contest for the Design Calendar for the academic year 2020–2021. TOKYO has published the Design Calendar since 1975. In the academic year 2020–2021, the calendar distributed to all Aalto University students will be implemented for the third time together with AYY. The designer of the calendar will be chosen from among the students in the traditional contest. The previous calendar contest was won by Jolanda Jokinen, Master’s student in Visual Communication Design.

The upcoming academic year calendar will be designed for the period 1 Aug 2020–30 Sept 2021. The contest will start on Monday, 13 Jan 2020. Please submit your contest entry no later than 4pm on Monday, 10 Feb 2020!

Contest rules

1. Contest duration and the right to participate

The contest will begin on 13 Jan 2020 and end at 4pm on 10 Feb 2020.

The contest is open to all Aalto University students. Fluent skills in Finnish or English are required in order to execute the calendar design.

2. Submission of proposals

Entries must be submitted no later than 4pm on 10 Feb 2020. You can attach your entry either onto white cardboard or board and deliver it to AYY Services Office (Otakaari 11) or by e-mail as a PDF file titled “Design Calendar” at [email protected].

Entries will be handled anonymously. To protect anonymity, please add a working title to the document you are returning. If you submit your entry electronically, please include the designers’ names and contact information in the email message field. If you return your entry to AYY Services Office, please bring a sealed envelope containing the names and contact details of the designers.

3. Content of the design

The entry must include at least the following designs:


calendar cover


weekly spread with space for possible adverts at the bottom


student union information pages


possible project calendar


suggestion of materials

The calendar is pocket-sized, with a maximum size of A6 (approx. 105 x 148 mm). Flexibility depends on the final design and the printing company to be selected later. Calendar pages must be displayed in their actual size.

Colour: The calendar begins and ends with four-colour announcement and info sections. The actual calendar pages and part of the info section are in two colours.

Printing volume: Will be confirmed in the spring of 2020. In 2019, 8,000 calendar copies were printed.

Language: Finnish, English and Swedish (holidays and info pages). The main language may be English but the use of the three languages is a plus.

4. Choosing the winner

The winner of the calendar contest will be chosen by a calendar jury appointed by AYY and TOKYO. The jury consists of representatives of AYY, KY and TF as well as a member who is expert in visual communication design. Those invited to the jury cannot participate in the contest.  The jury will give feedback on the entries and select the winner.

5. Winner’s commission

The winner or winners of the contest are commissioned with the final design for the calendar for the academic year 2020–2021.  The final design work will be completed in early 2020. The designer will be paid a fee of EUR 1,800. The second prize will be awarded a fee of EUR 150.

6. Content of the design work

Design work includes making print-ready files in cooperation with AYY’s communications sector. If necessary, AYY will provide facilities for work in its office at Otakaari 11. The final plan must consider the requirements of the customer, which are due to the usability of the calendar and its production costs. Other terms for the work will be agreed upon when making the contract.

7. Other issues

The marking of national holidays must be considered in the design. The design should consider the following features: user-friendliness, durability, clarity and accessibility (e.g. dyslexia), individuality and environmental friendliness.  Based on experience, other good features in a calendar include plenty of writing space, paper that suits various pen types and durable cover material. However, these are not necessarily the features of all calendars.

The jury will emphasise the following when evaluating entries:

♡ The calendar should reflect the whole Aalto community in terms of its appearance.

♡ The jury also emphasises the aspect of technical presentation of the entry.  What does the calendar look like? How does it work? Please present your entry in a sensible rhythm, preferably with posters and a visual model. Also present the materials, paper types, fonts and colours you have used. Names alone do not tell anything to the jury, please also include samples in your presentation. Please avoid the jargon of graphic designers.

♡ What is special about the calendar? Please ensure that the jury understands the new and amazing features of your calendar. Please write explanatory descriptions of how the calendar works. Please justify your solutions briefly and concisely.

♡ Have you thought your entry through? Lead the jury’s imagination by submitting an assertive entry. The entry is not a finished calendar but do present it as such.

♡ Are you able to complete the project? Your knowledge of graphic design and the ability to create the calendar from a design to a finished product must be apparent from your entry. You do not have to be a graphic designer, but the work requires knowledge and experience in print technology. Please submit your entry on time  – being late suggests that the calendar itself will also be late.

For more information, please contact AYY’s Communications Specialist Saana Lehtinen ([email protected]).

You can read more about the calendar and its history on the TOKYO website. For more information on last year’s winner, Jolanda Jokinen’s design, please visit the AYY website.

Unleash your creative power and create the world’s best calendar design!

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