Just about everyone and every business uses a printed calendar in some way to supplement digital or online calendars. Custom calendars hang in the company break room, in home offices and kitchens and pocket-sized calendars end up in purses and travel totes among the many places all different types of calendars can be found. And creating a custom calendar for yourself or your business with a printing company is easy to do. Deciding how your calendar will be used is the first step in a calendar printing project. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to create one for a company or yourself.
Custom Calendars as Marketing Tools
One of the most common uses for calendars is to promote a business in some way. Whether you want to get your name out as a real estate professional, let the community know about a new service your business is offering, or just want to keep your company’s name front and center all year long, calendars are a great way to promote your business. Though they are often used as marketing tools, calendars can be created for many different reasons. And the best way to begin making your calendar is to understand what its purpose will be.
What to Decide Before Making a Custom Calendar
Before starting a calendar project, consider its purpose, your timeline, and the budget.
1 Purpose and Recipients: Why are you making the calendar? And who are the intended recipients of the calendar? Deciding the general purpose for the calendar will help you pick the best format, size, and details to include inside. Knowing how you are going to distribute it will ensure that you have designed the calendar correctly since mailed and hand-delivered calendars may be created using different bindings or covers.
2 Timeline: When do you need to have the calendar ready? If it is to give out a specific event or as a holiday gift, the timeline may affect the dates and structure of the calendar.
3 Budget: Is the calendar a personal gift or will it be a budget line item for your business? Deciding which upgrades you can afford are key to designing and distributing your custom calendar.
Custom Calendar Basics
Once you know why you are creating a custom calendar, where it is going, and when as well as any budgetary constraints you might have, designing it is the next stage.
Before making the calendar pages, think about the ideal size for your calendar. Pocket calendars are perfect to include in welcome baskets or information folders and they may also be easier to ship to recipients. But larger sizes can be used as well and sizing for these is described by thinking about how big the calendar is when it is closed as well as when it is open or laid flat. For example, a calendar that is. . .
5.5 inches x 8.5 inches closed will be 8.5 inches x 11 inches when opened
8.5 inches x 11 inches closed will be 11 inches x 17 inches when opened
Templates and Custom Calendars
You don’t have to create a custom calendar from scratch. Instead, use a free template to begin developing your custom calendar. By adding your own pictures, graphics, or designs to the template, you can make a unique, personalized calendar that fits your purpose and will be loved by those who receive it.
Photographs and Graphics
If you are including your own pictures in the calendar, make sure to use the highest quality photos. Pictures with at least a 300 dpi resolution will result in crisp, clear pictures when they are printed. Graphics should also be high resolution as well to ensure that your calendar looks great.
Binding and Paper Options
Many calendars are made with Saddle Stitch binding which uses folded sheets of paper that are bound in the center with industrial staples. But calendar printing can also be constructed with Plastic Coil or Wire-O bindings for a completely different look. The weight of the paper used in a calendar also contributes to how it looks and functions. Heavier-weight paper or paper with laminated or glossy finishes is often used on the calendar cover to make it more durable and attractive.
Personalizing Your Calendar
Whether your calendar is for personal use, gift giving, or part of a marketing campaign, customizing the calendar is what makes it unique and valuable to you and the recipients. This is where you can give your project personality while adding value for customers or users.
- Advertisements: Some calendars include advertising that covers the costs of the project, common with fundraising calendars. Other creators give shoutouts to big customers, spotlight clients, or feature businesses that they work with using formal or informal advertisements.
- Coupons or Discounts: For marketing-focused calendars, some companies include coupons or discounts on the monthly pages, on specific dates, or time periods or even on the back cover.
- Company Information: If brand awareness is part of the purpose of making a custom calendar, businesses often highlight employees, key workers or other vital parts of their organization in the calendar. An easy-to-find section about the company, including complete contact information and even a QR code linked to social media, the company website, or other digital tools.
- Dates: Another way to personalize a calendar is to include meaningful dates on the calendar like company employee birthdays, community events, holidays, “national day of” dates, and company sales or promotion dates.
- Extra Calendars: Consider adding a year-at-a-glance page at the start or end of your custom calendar or even including extra months clustered before or after the calendar timeline for extra usage.
- Start Date: A custom calendar can begin and end at any time, so choosing an appropriate time frame may work better than a simple January – December setup. Some businesses may choose a timeframe that matches up with their busy season if the target recipients are their current and future customers. Schools tend to follow the school calendar, omitting summer breaks. But the most important aspect of choosing the start date is to make sure that you have enough time to complete the calendar, have it printed, and be able to distribute it prior to the starting date if at all possible.
- Theme: A subtle or cohesive theme is a good idea for any calendar. Choosing a color scheme that matches the purpose or concept is an easy way to thematically tie the calendar together and businesses often simply use brand colors to keep the look in link with their company’s aesthetic.
Custom Calendars for Non-Profits
Many non-profit organizations use a calendar as part of their fundraising campaigns. Clients, schools, the community, and anyone who benefits from the non-profit can be potential customers and help to raise needed funds while advertising spaces can also be sold to cover production costs.
Amateur and professional photographers love to use calendar printing to show off their work, since full-page color photos look fantastic on calendars. Themes might include calendars with photos taken by just one photographer, a calendar focused on one type of animal, a calendar dedicated to pictures of a unique location, or even a local city or landmark-themed calendar.
Business Promotion Calendars
Companies often gift calendars to promote their new or established business as part of a marketing campaign, since calendars are a great way to keep the brand and product or service literally in front of the community or your customers every day. Custom calendars provide an almost endless number of ways to promote a business, highlight products or services, or just improve brand awareness in the community. Business promotion calendars may even include a company logo on every page to increase the company’s name recognition as well.
Getting Started with Custom Calendar Printing
If you are ready to get started creating your custom calendar, be sure to work with a trusted printer to help you turn your ideas and photographs or graphics into a gorgeous calendar that you and your community or business will love to use. Dazzle Printing has been helping businesses and individuals create custom calendars for decades with their expert printing services. They can also provide you with the services of their design experts to help you craft a winning calendar cover so your fundraising calendar’s cover will attract buyers and help you raise the funds you need.
Businesses appreciate the long-term marketing benefits a calendar can offer them by providing a product that their customers and community will use for months or years, extending their brand awareness longer than most any other kind of marketing campaign can. Get started with your calendar printing project today and partner with Dazzle Printing so you can be sure that your custom calendar will look fantastic and your personal or business name will be in front of those who matter for months or years to come.