This is Maxx, the resident print production specialist. Last summer, Toby and I ran a survey asking customers about their experiences with the calendar. One of the questions we asked was about the lunar transit bar, something which has featured in Caren’s calendar from day one and sets Gardening by the Moon apart from other lunar almanacs.
Responses were pretty much split on the matter: about half of respondents said they loved the transit bar (us too!), a quarter said they hadn’t noticed it, and a quarter said they had noticed it but it was too small to read.
Though gardening and graphic design are skills that Toby and I both have, he does the bulk of the gardening and I do most of our print design. This past winter while he was making spreadsheets it was my job to rework the lunar transit bar based on our customers’ feedback.
There’s not a ton of extra space in the calendar grids, but the first order of business was to enlarge the bar itself, as well as make the text larger and more readable. I replaced the old symbols for the zodiac signs and the favored part of the plant with new symbols based on Toby’s drawings. The black letters and symbols have all been given a white outline to make them more legible.
I left the vertical tally marks marking the hour, one tally per hour, but decided to give them new labels. 3, 6, and 9 am, 12 noon, 3, 6, and 9 pm are noted, like the common markings of an analog clock, to make it more intuitively obvious that the transit bar represents time. This also made room for the individual digits to be larger and easier to read. (Toby still wants to sell magnifying glasses for nearsighted folks like him though.)
The bars which mark the moon sign used to be solid gray. This year, to make the whole lunar transits more understandable, I’ve made them transparent so you can see the hour tally marks through them. We’ve also added the exact times for ingress and egress (the moon entering or leaving a sign) to make this year’s calendar more precise, accurate, and clearer than ever.
Be Well and Stay Safe