While contemplating a World Cup soccer calendar last year, Mexican artist and designer Ricardo Cid was reminded of the ancient Aztec calendar in the shape of a circle. Cid had an epiphany: Why not create a new calendar form that is a mash-up of different ways of tracking the year?
The result is his 2011 “Neo Aztec” calendar. It folds the linear Gregorian year we follow today into the circular format of the Mayan year adapted by the Aztecs. Cid’s diagram represents one earth year. Each numbered square equals one day and each color group one month, with dotted lines indicating a change in months. Mondays are outlined with black circles, demarcating the Gregorian week (and other colored dots reflect car-coding for congestion control in Mexico City), while black-filled circles with letters from A to S show the first day of each Mayan month (the Mayan “Mexica” New Year is on March 12).
Every grouping of blue, yellow, and green days adds up to a trimester, and the beginning of each season (winter, spring, summer, fall) is marked with a black square in each of the equinoxes (March 20, September 23) and solstices (June 21, December 22).
As a whole the diagram evokes a molecular structure or—for fans of ‘80s video games—the tessellated screen of Q*bert. As you start hopping through 2011, be sure to note the dotted detour that loops back to capture an extra square for Leap Year. Got it.