It is amazing to see how fast 2011 has passed and how quickly 2012 is approaching. Through the year there has been a major resurgence of the calendar as art movement, and we have seen some gorgeous designs as a consequence.

In fact, there are more examples of inspirational calendars than there were in 2007, when some really huge exhibits were created to express the passing of time using such a medium.

If you are creative and like your surroundings to reflect that, you should check out these amazing calendars that were released in the last year. You will probably end up eager to see what the same designers come up with for the 2012 year.

1. 3D Calendar

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

I have always liked anything that uses 3D imagery, but editing software has generated a standard look that can get boring.

However, this calendar uses a nice, older-looking typography that is a refreshing change from the same-old, same-old. I also love the background, with the denim style, and in particular the detail work on the pocket.

2. Cirque du Soleil

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

If you are a fan of this style of tableau presented by the Cirque du Soleil, you might find yourself interested in this calendar.

It uses a really interesting look that does bring to mind images of the unique circus. The colors are nice and muted, but still bright enough to catch the eye. Plus, there is an explanation of the show itself set along with the calendar.

3. Global Warming

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Environmentalists will adore this calendar. It uses a dramatic, artistic view of global warming to press the point of the cause. At the same time, it is visually pleasing, with plenty of colors and images of animals in their natural – if altered – habitats.

4. Animal Calendar

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

This one is really unique. It gives a different animal for each two months, and the drawings are well done and classic. The calendar itself is placed on the bodies of the creatures, such as a bear, a stag, a rabbit and a horse. The colors are browns, oranges and reds – very rich. It has a woods-in-fall kind of feel to the whole thing.

5. Smiley Faces

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

This is one of my favorites. Instead of focusing so much on the passing of time, it lets you keep track by your mood during the month.

Everyone has a bad day. But it can be helpful to remind yourself of how often you have good ones, and so that is why it is so fun. You get to put either a smiley or a frowny face in each little slot. Hopefully, the smiles outnumber the frowns.

6. Date Pillow

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Pillows are for more than resting your head. With this one, you can see what day it is the second you wake up. What is so cute about this cushion is not the calendar potions so much as the overall design.

The colors are nice and cheerful, but it could go with just about anything because it isn’t over the top. Plus, it is multifunctional, and you have to love efficiency, right?

7. Number Experiment

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Anytime you have an experimental design for a calendar, you can bet it will be a little odd. This one is completely number based, with the month in a large, bold digit and the days around it. That makes it a little hard to read, to be honest. But it is still a cool bit of creative genius from the maker.

8. Multi Faith

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Celebrate the interconnecting similarities of all faiths, along with science. This calendar creates a fascinating interwoven tapestry of different months, holidays, zodiac movements, lunar cycles and more.

As far as religions go, it expresses Baha’i, Buddhism, Christian, Hindu, Mormon, Muslim, Jain, Jewish, Pagan, Rastafari, Sikh, Shinto and Zoroastria. This calendar is very cool and has an interesting design, as well.

9. Surreal Birds

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Sometimes the way something is drawn can completely change the object it is referencing. These cute little birds are simple and interesting and use a basic concept through the entire thing. It is, essentially, just circular fowls scribbled onto a blank background above the dates. They are sort of strange looking, but in a charming way.

10. Minimalist Calendar

10 Most Inspirational Calendar Designs for Creative People

Abstract minimalism is a beautiful art form that man adheres to. But finding a way to express something with so little can be difficult, which is why seeing examples of others’ creativity is so positive.

This calendar uses that style, with simple backgrounds and slight changes to the forefront of each one. It is somewhat gloomy, but gorgeous.

Do you have some inspirational calendars that you feel really showed creativity? Link them in the comments and tell us what you love about them!

Tom Chu works at PsPrint.com, an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing among other popular services. Follow PsPrint on Twitter as @PsPrint