New Year Resolution: Bennison Calendar 2012 [printed matter]

10 Jan , 2012   Gallery

November - Bennsion 2012 calendar by Ken Sparkes

The Bennison Fabrics 2012 cal­en­dar has just been released and it looks ter­rific. Like the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar we wanted to show­case the fab­rics in an eye-catch­ing way and cre­ate images that would be remembered. So, we thought a child­hood theme would do the trick, nos­tal­gic but with a twist. Jude Massie-Taylor sug­ges­ted Fairy Stories, I liked the idea of Nursery Crimes. We com­bined the two themes, went to our desks and began to sketch.

Skip down the page to the calendar photos where you can also view slideshows and download a PDF.

Bo Peep sketch
It star­ted inno­cently enough with Bo Peep wear­ing a weird bon­net and a volu­min­ous skirt shaped like a bulb of gar­lic. No idea why a shep­herd­ess would wear a skirt like that, but it all seemed to make sense at the time. Our fin­ished BoPeep, modeled by Holly, with a linen back­ground and a very nice sun­tan. Here’s what Jude says: ‘Holly was fant­astic and a dream in front of the cam­eras. She was our Showgirl, our Dancer and our Clown in the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar and she’s been a star in this one.’

April - Bennsion 2012 Calendar by Ken Sparkes
‘This year she is our Queen of Hearts, Little Bo Peep, and Princess; she’s been painted white, pulled and tweaked, back-combed and wigged up and still she did it (Thank you Holly).’

Our Mary Poppins sketch left quite a lot to the ima­gin­a­tion, which is for­tu­nate because our ori­ginal inten­tion to find a suit­able rooftop loc­a­tion was doomed. With time run­ning out, I had to think of some­thing else. We pho­to­graphed Kim stand­ing on a tall chair while she tried to hold the umbrella and look as though she was air­borne at the same time. I had snapped the Battersea Power Station photo just a week or two before, hav­ing been soaked by the storm that you see in the final image. The umbrella was beau­ti­fully made by James Ince.

Bennison 2012 Calendar by Ken Sparkes - March

Josh allowed us to stick makeup all over him and turn him into a Mad Hatter. Sophia made the beau­ti­ful waist­coat and Jude magik’d up the hat and bob­bins of thread. The bob­bins were a nice touch. Sophia Lovell Smith also made the cos­tumes for Bo Peep, Queen of hearts, Little Red Riding Hood, Mary Poppins bag and The Mad Hatter. Jon Rhodes made the mat­tresses for The Princess and the Pea and only charged for the mater­i­als — a huge Thank You!

January - Bennison 2012 Calendar by Ken Sparkes

I kept the design pretty much the same as the last cal­en­dar with just a few tweaks: I changed the logo font from Times to Plantin because the B and N are bet­ter and also because it’s just seemed much more appro­pri­ate. The slightly trans­par­ent band that goes around the cards is a photo of plain linen from the Holbein Mews stock­room.

Thanks to Basia Zarzycka for lend­ing us a beau­ti­ful shoe for Cinderella’s slip­per, an Antique crown for Princess and the Pea and a glor­i­ous neck­lace from her magical shop, Satu for being our gor­geous Cat and Fiddler, Rebecca for being nice while freez­ing her bits in Richmond Park and Kim Butteriss for lev­it­at­ing beau­ti­fully in the stock­room.

The Finished Article

Bennison Calendar 2012 by Ken Sparkes - packaging
The final cal­en­dar pack­aged in its 125 x 140mm clear CD jewel case, with a card for each month and a fol­ded info pack on the front.

Above: Expand to view the com­plete cal­en­dar design. I’ve format­ted it into a book-style pub­lic­a­tion for easy view­ing. It looks pretty good using full­screen. Zoom with the slider con­trol at the top. (Requires Flash — I’m still look­ing a non-Flash altern­at­ive)

And here are all the images from January to December. Click a thumb­nail to enlarge and view the slideshow:

Download a PDF of the cal­en­dar (5.6Mb):
Bennison Fabrics calendar 2012 - PDF (5.6Mb)

Finally, my eternal thanks to Gilly Newberry and every­one at Bennison Fabrics for let­ting me loose on their fab­rics! The November photo of Satu with her violin is fea­tured in their February news­let­ter, and you can find all their news­lt­ters in their archive.

Does any­one want the pho­tos avail­able as desktop wall­pa­per for their mon­itor or smart­phone? Put your requests in the com­ments or con­tact me.

See also: Bennison Calendar 2009: Behind the Scenes [inter­view]

Photos © Ken Sparkes. Art Director/Stylist: Jude Massie-Taylor, Costume Design: Sophia Lovell Smith, Hair and Makeup: Elaine Smith, Shot at Bennison Fabrics, near Sloane Square, and other miscellaneous locations around London. All Rights Reserved.

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