To create awareness about electronic waste amongst schoolchildren in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India, painting competitions on the theme Thinking about E-waste were organised in select high schools in NCR in late 2009 by Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group and GIZ India. To take the issue and message of electronic waste further, design of a 2010 wall calendar containing 12 selected paintings from the competition was commissioned.

Above: Thinking about E-Waste wall calendar cover

All 12 shortlisted paintings were in portrait orientation and that, to begin with, defined the tall format of the calendar, which was laid out in 11″(w) x 17″(h) size in consultation with a printing consultant. The calendar cover showcased all 12 paintings that were featured on the inside pages. The high quality finish and creativity of the paintings by school children amazed the organisers and designer alike; since they were quite playful, it was decided to have a playful design as well (since schoolchildren were the main target audience) but one that would simply support (and not disturb or dominate) the wonderful works of art showcased on the calendar.

Above: Thinking about E-Waste wall calendar detail

Flat, rectangular areas of grey colour with distorted edges (representing worn-out electronic components) and uneven lines (suggesting waste or discarded wires) were used as background design elements to strengthen the layout and to make it interesting. A stylistic or novelty typeface with a strong electronic feel was used for all calendar text.

Above: September and October pages of the calendar

Each calendar page consisted of one painting occupying a dominant place or space in the layout, along with name and school information of the student who made the painting and a small fact about electronic waste. The title, of course, featured prominently on every page.

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