Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Which day is first?

I flipped to the month of May in my calendar to find that the days of the month were ordered improperly. Hmmm...

It's a calendar that I created at RedBubble using some of my favorite photos. I liked the single-page no frills format of their calendars; the simplicity of design highlights the photos rather than the calendar grid. Unfortunately, the days of the month of May don't fit into a balanced grid, having the first 2 days of May in a week of their own, repeating that pattern with the last two days.

The problem? May has 4 weeks with a (normal) 7 days, plus 2 weeks each containing an odd day or two. May 1st, today, is on a Saturday. And May 30th and 31st are a Sunday, Monday pair of days. In a proper calendar grid, there would be 6 lines. On my RedBubble calendar, there are 5. The top line shows May 30th, 31st, and 1st.

I obviously missed this when I previewed the finished product. I assumed it was a random error, and contacted RedBubble to report the issue. The answer I received pretty much blew me away - they appear to have deliberately created a non-standard month grid:

After investigating a very large number of calendar designs we have chosen to use a common layout where any days from the end of the month which do not fit in their own line are added in the top left of the grid. This is an aesthetic decision and we have been careful to show this layout in the calendar previews so that customers can see what they are purchasing.

I wasn't happy with the amount of time it took for my calendars to reach me after ordering them; they seemed to come by ship from Australia, taking over a month to reach me after I placed the order. (Not really, they were flown to the states, but they appear to have been flown to a distribution center where mailing addresses were hand-written and then shipped by Parcel Post. I have no problem with an intermediate shipping point, but they should have been pre-labeled and there is no excuse for any mailing method below Priority Mail.) After I complained I was issued a credit for the shipping fees. And they claim to have addressed their shipping problems.

I like the overall look of RedBubble calendars, but I can't accept the decision to use a day grid of their own creation. As the months roll by and I turn towards creating a calendar for 2011, it looks like I'm going to need to explore other options.

bad calendar layout