Making the INHF 2014 Calendar

By Kerri on November 13, 2013 in Blog

The premiere project for any design intern at INHF is the annual nature calendar. It’s a big task to tackle, from collecting submissions from Iowa photographers and working with the printers to the smallest of details, like photo captions. From beginning to end, it’s an intricate process, but the results are something beautiful.

STEP 1: Photos submissions (Spring)
Each year, INHF sends out a call for calendar submissions to a long list of Iowa nature photographers. After we receive all the submissions (usually by April or May), it’s time to start sifting through the choices and narrowing down our favorites. In 2013 alone we received over 500 photographs – we had our work cut out for us! We sort the photographs by season/month they were taken, and then determine 4-5 finalists for each month after that. [ If you’d like to receive an email call for calendar submissions, email me at to add your name to our list of photographers! ]


Sorting through pages and discs of photo submissions.


Narrowing down the finalists in the intern office – it’s usually a collaborate process.

Photo selection is a stressful process that involves multiple rounds of choices. It’s important to take a puppy break every now and then.

STEP 2: Design (Spring + Summer)
After the communications team narrows down the 12 final photos, the design intern (me) puts the creative juices into motion. Calendars require a lot of things that need to fit on a page, and it’s important to use space efficiently and beautifully. This year, it was important to me that our members have as much space as possible to make notes and write in the date squares – we want the calendar to be functional AND beautiful!


STEP 3: Iowa events (Summer)
One of my favorite things about the INHF calendar is the specific Iowa events we include for each month. Our goal is for all our members to engage with our great state, and we love supporting local county conservation boards and nature centers. It’s my job to call each of Iowa’s 99 counties to find events – big and small – to include on the calendar.

STEP 4: Writing & send off (Fall)
We send our calendar to members as a year-end thank you – we wouldn’t be able to do our work without your support and generosity. The calendar is a small token of our appreciation. Once all of the design, captions, text and photos are compiled, we send it off to the printers, ready to deliver to our members in time for the next calendar year!



The finished product! It’s great to see all of our hard work pay off!

The 2014 calendars arrived to the INHF office last week, and I’m in love with how they turned out. Make sure to keep a look out in your mailbox soon for your own copy!


Calendars make great holiday gifts. To order extras, contact us at 515-288-1846.