Calendar season is quickly approaching so it’s time to start thinking about what kind of calendar your business needs. Promotional calendars are highly effective marketing tools because clients and customers keep these materials in their home or office and see the calendars almost every day. According to the 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study, “52% of promo calendars are kept 1 year or more.” See the image to the right for more helpful statistics on Promotional Calendar efficiency from the 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study. Bottom line is that promotional calendars can be invaluable marketing tools for your business.
First things first when creating a promotional calendar is deciding what the goal of the calendar is. Are you going to be showcasing some new products? Are you going to be fundraising? Are you going to be featuring your art? The goal will influence what images you should use and how they are laid out within your calendar. For wall calendars, there is an abundance of space to, not only have a pleasing image, but have a section to the right or left of the calendar grid for ad space or an additional message, if you would like.
If you are wanting to create a desk calendar, you have to think about if the goal of your calendar is compatible with a desk calendar’s small space. For instance, a fundraising calendar where you have sold ad space, is not going to be very effective for a desk calendar because the ads are going to look too small. Desk calendars are very personal, so it would be a better idea to use this small space to highlight the most important aspects of your business.
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Once you have decided on your goal or layout of your calendar, you can start choosing the images that work within your theme. There are three most popular types of photos to choose for calendars: 1) promotional photos like products 2) fundraising photos 3) photos that tell a story or emotion like photography, art, etc.
Here is a quick run down:
Promotional Calendar Photos:
Fundraising Calendar Photos:
Photography Calendar Photos:
Let’s start with product photos. Make sure that these photos are well-lit, high-resolution, and showcase your products best features. Be sure that your product is the center of attention. If your customer has to guess what your product is from an image, it’s not a good product photo, it’s a Where’s Waldo game.
If you are wanting to tell a story or evoke an emotion from your photos, choose photos that will make people remember your brand. For example, if you are a restaurant, you may choose to display photos of happy families enjoying your wonderful food. Avoid using stock photos at all costs. Not only will these not accurately represent what your business has to offer, it is possible that your customers will have seen these photos before. For any photos that you choose, make sure that you use high-resolution photos. We recommend that your photos are 300 DPI for the best quality. Some photos can sneak by on 180-200 DPI, but they aren't going to look as crystal clear compared to 300 DPI. If your photos are blurry, your calendar is not going to WOW your customers. If your company wants high-quality leads, high-resolution photos is what your calendar needs.
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Now that you have chosen your photos, it’s time to think about the text for your calendar. This can be more than just choosing a font for the month. You can add captions to your photos to give your customers a motivational quote or funny description. When choosing your font, make sure that it is legible from a couple of feet away if it’s a caption. Your font for the month should be legible from halfway across a room. Try to avoid scripts as much as possible, since these are rarely very legible, especially if you are planning to create a desk calendar.
If you are creating a wall calendar and you want to use a script, test the legibility with a couple of your peers to make sure that it’s easy to read from a distance. Make sure that the text that you are adding to your calendar doesn’t clutter your design. Your brand integrity should still be intact, and the calendar should be pleasing to look at. If you are designing a desk calendar, less is more. You are already limited on your space, so it can be very easy for a desk calendar to look crowded. Keep it simple with a lovely photo and an on-brand font for your month.
You may think that because you are creating a calendar that you are limited in revealing your brands character or having fun. This is simply not true. There are lots of fun little touches that you can add to your wall calendar to make it truly unique. You can add fun holidays to your calendar grid that relates to your business. For example, if you are a beauty company, consider adding ‘Fragrance Day’ to March 21 to bring attention to any perfumes or colognes you sell. Just do a quick google search for your industry holidays; there are sure to be some that you will want to include to make your customers smile.
You can also use your calendar grid to highlight important events that are specific to your company. If a sale starts on a certain day, be sure to make your customers know that by adding it to your calendar. If you want to give them an exclusive promo code, you can add that to your calendar grid! One final idea to spice up your calendar is by adding room for a to-do list to the left or right of your calendar grid. Not only will your customer use your calendar to keep track of the days, but they can also put your calendar to good use by tracking what they need to get done, therefore increasing their exposure to your business even more.
Need some more inspiration? See our blog post How to Get the Most Out of Fundraising Calendars.
Ok, you have chosen your theme, the photos, the text, and added some spice just for fun. Now what? Well, now it’s time to choose the nitty gritty details for how your calendar will all come together. There are a couple of things to consider when printing your calendar: 1) page count 2) bindings, 3) size, and 4) paper. But don’t worry; PrintingCenterUSA makes these choices very simple. At PrintingCenterUSA you can create a 12-month wall or desk calendar (28 pages for wall calendars, 26 pages for desk calendars) or a 16-month wall or desk calendar (36 pages for wall calendars, 34 pages for desk calendars).
If you are creating a wall calendar you have a couple of options for bindings: spiral, wire-o, and saddle-stitch. Saddle-stitch is the most popular option for wall calendars! If you choose spiral or wire-o binding, keep in mind that there will be a gap between the pages in the middle. Additionally, when designing these, you will have to leave a 3/8in margin to leave room for the spiral or wire binding (see the image below). If you are ordering a desk calendar, we offer spiral and wire-o bindings for easy desk viewing.
As for size, PrintingCenterUSA offers 3 standard wall calendar sizes for you to choose from, so that you are sure to have a calendar that fits your needs. We offer your standard 8.5 x 11, but if you want something larger, we also offer 12 x 12. If you want something a little smaller, you can order 5.5 x 8.5. If you are looking for a calendar that really stands out, consider creating a calendar poster. A high-quality poster calendar is the easiest way to build brand-recognition because of it’s size. The most cost effective and popular poster sizes are 11 x 17, 12 x 18, 16 x 20 , 17 x 22, or 18 x 24. If you are creating a desk calendar, you can choose from 2 sizes: 8.5 x 5.5 and 10 x 4.5, landscape orientation.
Finally, when choosing your paper, it’s important to keep a couple of questions at the top of mind: are you wanting your customers to write or draw on your calendars or is your calendar very text heavy? If the answer to these questions are yes, then you will want to consider choosing Matte paper for your wall calendar. Matte paper is great for text-heavy wall calendars because it is much easier to read than glossy paper, which has a sheen (currently we do not offer matte paper for desk calendars). If you have a photography calendar, glossy paper is the way to go because it will make your photos very eye-catching! We recommend using the pre-selected paper in our pricing tool: 80# Gloss Cover and 100# Gloss Text.
No matter what you choose to do to create your 2021 wall or desk calendar, you can count on the high-quality printing and support of PrintingCenterUSA. Feel free to use our variety of calendar temples to help you create your perfect branded calendar.
If you don’t have any design software, don’t worry because PrintingCenterUSA offers a free calendar design tool!