This unconventional tactile calendar doubles as a ruler in a pinch

Calendars are staples on our desks and walls, but their basic format hasn’t really changed in centuries. The grid system has been in use even before our grandparents were born, and it has been adopted in calendars that go beyond paper. Of course, there is more than one way to tell the date and the day of the week, especially if you’re not too picky about looking back at other months. If you just want that single piece of data at a glance, the doors are wide open for unique and beautiful designs that go beyond people’s concept of what a calendar should look like. This incarnation of a calendar, for example, looks nothing like something that tells the date and is more like an odd ruler that just happens to remember what date you set it to.

Designer: Sebastian Bergne

There are plenty of fancy and artistic calendars around that don’t fit the typical definition of a calendar, at least in terms of representing days as a grid or even a row of dates. In addition to digital clocks that give only the current date, there are also rings, flipping pages, and many other contraptions that are both functional as well as decorative. Monthly Measure definitely looks visually interesting to be a piece of your desk’s decor, but it also serves multiple functions in ways you might not expect.

It is primarily a calendar, which you can probably guess from the 31 numbers lined up on the wooden block’s top edge. Unlike typical calendars, it only gives you a clue on what day it is, depending on how you position the cast aluminum star. That star has seven points, marked with letters to indicate a day of the week. The idea is to set the day to the proper date and simply roll the star forward each day.

It’s definitely a curious way to tell the date and the day, and one that actually requires you to be more involved. You have to move the star each day; otherwise, it won’t point to the correct date. At the same time, you have to make sure the star doesn’t move to the wrong place accidentally. To figure out what day a different date falls on, you’ll have to roll the star, but also remember to roll it back to today’s date. There’s also no way to move forward or backward by month unless you already know what day the month starts.

The “measure” part of the Monthly Measure comes from the numbers as well. Each number is spaced a centimeter apart, so the wooden bar also works as a 30cm ruler. How you’ll do that, however, is up to you, whether using the flat bottom of the “calendar” or using the serrated top edge for markers.

Everything about the Monthly Measure is unorthodox. It is an unusual calendar and an admittedly odd ruler, and it might be hard to use it in either mode. The one thing it excels at is being a fine desk accent, so you actually have three things for the price of one wooden bar and a star that you can roll around like a fidget toy.