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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