Seemingly arbitrary expiration dates on products are functional and disposable by their very nature, but what if you elevated them to a permanent place so you could take the time to fully consider the true implications of putting a visual end date on something organic? That's precisely what graphic designer Elizabeth Ward has done with a calendar she's put together from expiration dates, called EXP CAL YYYY. Ward tells Wired she and her partner were considering the expiration date of sorts on the human body after struggling to get pregnant, and "one of us made an offhanded comment about the irony of creating a calendar of expiration dates that never expired."
To make the calendar happen, Ward started collecting the dates from products as she purchased them, but a few dates in the year revealed themselves to be particularly difficult to obtain. She explained to Wired that she "actually got scared that maybe there were certain dates that were never used as expiration dates," and eventually had to ask friends to rifle through aisles of goods at grocery stores for the missing dates. The whole process took about four years, and the final 27- by 39-inch poster is striking in both the simplicity of the concept and the number of ways companies record expiration dates. It's available for $19.50 if you're interested, and it includes 50 post-its for marking down events.