The Design Calendar 2020–2021 reflecting elementary school nostalgia

AYY’s and TOKYO’s calendar for the academic year 2020–2021 is here – ready to organise and brighten up your days. Graphic Designer Mirka Larjomaa talks about her inspiration behind the design.
Kuva design-kalenterin 2020-2021 kannesta

New calendars, fresh out of the print, are finally here! This year, the academic year calendar, i.e. the Design Calendar, was published for the third time in cooperation with TOKYO, Students of Art, Design and Architecture in Aalto University. This year’s calendar has been designed by Mirka Larjomaa, Visual Communication Design MA Student.

The chequered design calendar is inspired by elementary school nostalgia. The animals illustrating the monthly views were inspired by childhood animal stickers. At the beginning of the calendar, you will find a spread familiar from friendship books. There is plenty of space for notes and other thoughts. Larjomaa designed the calendar completely digitally.

”Every now and then, the current hectic atmosphere makes me miss the clarity and simplicity of childhood. Despite the nostalgia, my goal was to make the calendar reflect the year 2020. I combined retro elements and cute illustrations with clear layout, bright colours and modern typography. The final product is playful and energetic, yet clear and practical”, says Larjomaa.

Larjomaa has always been interested in aesthetics and visuality. She gets inspired by bold and unexpected colour combinations, interesting typography and empty space. However, in graphic design, she also wants to emphasise storytelling and concept design. This autumn, Larjomaa will start her third year of studies in Aalto ARTS Master’s Programme in Visual Communication Design and expand her expertise in pattern design minor studies at PatternLab.

”The Design Calendar has been one of the most interesting projects ever because I had so much creative freedom. It was wonderful to challenge myself with illustrations and to work on layout, which is one of my top skills”, says Larjomaa happily.

The calendar has been published since 1975 by TOKYO, first as the Student Union of the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and in the era of Aalto University as the association for Aalto University Students of Art, Design and Architecture. In honour of the Year of Arts in 2018, the calendar was executed in cooperation with Aalto University Student Union, and the cooperation will continue again this year. The designer of the calendar is selected through an annual design contest. The winner of the contest is chosen by a jury appointed by TOKYO and AYY, which consists of graphic design experts and students.

Members can pick up the calendar for free from AYY’s year tag service desk or the Services Office when running other errands (check the opening hours here). Go and get your calendar! We hope the calendar will bring you joy and help you to organise your studies.

Kuvassa design-kalenterin 2020-2021 graafikko Mirka Larjomaa
Mirka Larjomaa


Mirka Larjomaa, 31. Graphic Designer of Design Calendar 2020–2021, Visual Communication Design MA Student.

Instagram: @mirka.larjomaa

I like to laugh, eat chocolate and browse Reddit. I would like to play computer games, because so many of my good friends are good at playing, but I am so bad it’s funny. Instead, I am pretty good at playing quizzes, meeting new people and staying up too late. I get energy from summer days, beautiful plants, cuteness, sarcasm and dark humour.


Text: Julia Wihuri
Photo: Hilla Mäkelä

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