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Beginner Tips for Starting a Calendar Project


Fri, Jul 6, 2018 @ 09:14 AM Amber Gauthier 2 Calendar Calendar Design Tips

Beginner Tips for Starting a Calendar Project

There are many reasons to create a calendar. You may be working on a fundraising project for your non-profit organization. Perhaps you want to showcase your photography and sell the calendars to make a little money.  So where do you begin?

josh roesener calendar cover and open calendar1. Choose Your Audience

Are you selling you custom calendars to the general public? Are you giving them as gifts to your best customers or the parents of your school? Once you have determined who your audience is, you can start to choose the types of pictures you want to include in your calendar. 

For example, The Highway 1 Project is an organization dedicated to raising money to improve Highway 1 in California and to protect parks along the Pacific Coastline. Their calendar features gorgeous scenic pictures. This entices people to purchase the calendars and it reminds them throughout the year that they supported a good cause.

2. Are You Going to Include Advertisements & Sponsors?Example of advertising within a custom fundraising calendar

This will be a factor when you are designing you calendar because you will need to include space for the "thank-you" page and for advertisements throughout the grids. To learn more about calendar fundraising, click here to download our free calendar fundraising guide.

The image to the right shows how the Knoxville Ice Bears Booster Club placed sponsor logos throughout their calendar on different dates in the monthly grids.

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3. Choose Your Photos

dog themed calendar with free downloadable grid

One great way to choose photos for your calendar is to first choose a theme. There are many themes to choose form, here are just a few to give you an idea:

  • Picture or collage of photos on the top of each month - for example, September in a school fundraising calendar could say, "Welcome Back to School" and show a photo of the football team.
  • Places or things that relate to your cause or organization.
  • Pictures of peoples' favorite animals.
  • Photos from previous events or trips.

The possibilities are endless! Just remember, your pictures need to be high resolution for them to print looking clear. If your images aren't at 300DPI (dots per inch), there is a chance that your images will appear pixelated when your project prints.

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4. Time to Design!

Free downloadable custom calendar templates & gridsAfter you have chosen your pictures it's time to start designing! You can design the calendar many different ways. Most calendars have one large, full-size image on the top half and the calendar grid on the bottom half. I have also seen calendars that have a collage of images or a single image with a nice background around it. The sky is the limit!

If you already have pictures and a project in mind it's time to get down to work and actually start designing. You can design a custom calendar using programs like Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator. If you don't want to start from scratch, check out our free templates to get you started. Using a pre-designed template will ensure that you have the correct size and will save you some time!

 

We also offer a free calendar online design tool. I love this tool because it makes it incredibly easy to put a calendar together. Just upload your pictures, drag and drop them into place and voila! A finished calendar design.

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Remember - 

To start designing a calendar you must first choose your audience. Decide what kind of pictures will appeal to them the most and design your calendar with your audience in mind.

When the time comes to put the calendar together either design online or use our free templates in a design software like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator.

If you are starting a calendar project and would like to speak with an expert, feel free to give us a call at 800-995-1555.

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School Calendar Printing for Fundraisers


Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 01:56 PM Aaron Rains 0 printing Calendar School Calendar Design Tips

Fundraising Calendars for Schools

This economic recession has forced many educational institutions to drop programs, cancel clubs, and cut back. If schools are willing to make the effort, they can develop extremely profitable fundraising programs for their students to help support these programs and give the students a great life learning experience. Many school organizations are using school calendar printing for fundraising purposes.

At PrintingCenterUSA, our purpose is to show you how fundraising calendars can be put together with no upfront money and can help your school support their extracurricular activities and ensure that parents and community members know what is happening with their local schools. Many schools have had great success in obtaining sponsors to support the cost of printing their calendars before they go to press, thus enabling the students to focus on the sales of the finished calendar and realize a larger profit without worrying about how it is going to be paid for.

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1. Students Are Your Most Powerful Selling Tool

Marching Band Custom Fundraising Calendar

Students are what it is all about and proof that the money from the ad sales is going to a good cause. The students can sell the advertising to sponsors to prepay for the calendars, thus ensuring a profit. Don’t procrastinate, take time to teach your students how to sell an ad and make sure businesses know:

  • What school they are supporting.

  • What the money will be used for.

  • When calendar distribution begins and ends.

  • The size of ads and what they cost.

  • Where the ad will be placed.

  • Spread the enthusiasm to your students, parents, families, friends and sponsors!

Students can easily sell the finished custom calendars at school events, to parents, relatives, friends, and supporters of the school. The school book store and business’ doing the advertising can also sell the finished calendars. The calendars can be pre-sold as well. 

Free Calendar Templates     Custom Calendar White Paper     Online Design Tool

2. Determine Your Target Audience

High School Fundraising Calendar

Local Businesses: Local hangouts, credit unions, auto shops, insurance agencies, pet supply retailers,shops, convenience stores, doctors, fitness centers, grocery stores, photography studios, realtors, restaurants, parents' businesses, anywhere students and parents frequent and shop.

Large Corporations:  Such as Sprint, Verizon, Fast Food franchises, McDonalds, Burger King, Coca Cola, Pepsi, pet supply stores, State Farm Insurance, banks, sporting good stores. Use your imagination. What business’ would benefit from the exposure in your calendar? 

Learn How to Use Our Calendar Templates in Photoshop

3. Increase ROI With Advertising

Soccer Fundraising Calendar

Now that you know who your target audience is, you need to show them how advertising in your promotional calendars is going to benefit them and you. Key points that businesses are looking for in advertising include: 

  • Gaining additional exposure to a large lucrative market (parents and students)
  • Gaining positive publicity by supporting your school and the community

  • Relatively inexpensive advertisement space compared to advertising in a newspaper

  • It is a tax deductible donation

Nothing will beat taking time to personally call on your local business’es. Don't forget to keep a list of your sponsors so you know who to contact for next year's calendar. Need help designing your calendar? Check out our calendar design resources to help jump start your next school calendar project! If you have any questions or need help getting started, give our customer service representatives a call at 800-995-1555.

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4 Design Resources to Help Jump Start Your Calendar Design


Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 10:14 AM Amber Gauthier 2 Calendar Calendar Design Tips

Header Image: 4 Design Resources to Help Jump Start Your Calendar Design

Here at PrintingCenterUSA, we want you to have the smoothest, simplest process when it comes to designing your calendar. Whether you need help coming up with a theme, advertising in your calendar or designing your final product, we’re here to help every step of the way! See below for the 4 design resources we have available to you.

1. White Paper Guides

Custom Calendar and Fundraising Calendar White Paper GuidesWhether you’re designing a photography calendar or a fundraising calendar, we have the resources to help you design the calendar of your dreams. With our Fundraising Calendar White Paper, you will get advertising sales tips, sponsorship options and revenue ideas, as well as product information to help get the most out of your calendar fundraiser. Our Custom Calendar White Paper helps you choose what paper, binding type and size will best fit your needs and showcases all the design options we have available to you. It includes tips for non-profit, business promotional and photography calendars as well.

Fundraising Calendar White Paper

Custom Calendar White Paper

2. Free Templates & Grids

Do you happen to have an Adobe design program? We have created 8 custom calendar templates to help jump start your design process. Our templates include major holidays and can be used in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and a PDF for other programs. Each download includes an at-a-glance page and a notes pages that can be used as filler pages. These are especially helpful for saddle-stitched calendars, as this type of binding requires that you have a page count that is divisible by 4.

8 Free Calendar Template Downloads

Free Calendar Templates

3. Online Photo Calendar Designer

Wolves Calendar designed using our Online Photo Calendar DesignerAnother great design resource we have is our online photo calendar designer. If you don’t have a design software like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, this tool is definitely what you’re looking for. The two calendars to the right are examples of calendars designed by our customers using this helpful online design tool. It’s simple to use and will help you design the gorgeous, high-quality calendar you’ve been wanting. All you have to do is upload your photos, drag and drop them into place, add text and we’ll do the rest!

School Calendar designed using our Online Photo Calendar Designer

Whether you want a saddle-stitched, wire-o or spiral bound calendar, our design tool has the options you need! See below for the types of calendars available on our photo calendar designer.

Saddle-Stitched - 12 Month
   • 11 x 8.5 (17 x 11 open) | Start Your Design
   • 5.5 x 8.5 (11 x 8.5 open) | Start Your Design
Saddle-Stitched - 16 Month
   • 11 x 8.5 (17 x 11 open) | Start Your Design
   • 5.5 x 8.5 (11 x 8.5 open) | Start Your Design
Spiral/Wire-O  
   • 12-month | 11 x 8.5 (17 x 11 open) | Start Your Design
   • 16-month | 11 x 8.5 (17 x 11 open) | Start Your Design

Learn How to Use Our Calendar Designer in Under 2 Minutes

4. Recommended Graphic Designers

Addie and Margaret, two recommended professional graphic designers

If you don’t have your own design software or a way to access our photo calendar designer, we have another solution! We have recommended professional graphic designers to help our customers with their design needs. If the thought of designing is overwhelming or if you just don’t have time to do it yourself, contact one of our recommended designers and they will be happy to help bring your idea to life!

Find a Designer

Now that we've gone through the resources we have available to you, let's get started on your next calendar order! Our prices and times are based on you providing error-free, print-ready files so if you're ready to upload your files, take a few minutes to check them against our PDF File Checklist to ensure that you have all the specifications correct. We look forward to working with you on your calendar project and are here to help by phone at 800-995-1555.

Get Started     File Checklist     Request Free Samples

 


Saddle-Stitch Printing for Books, Calendars, Catalogs & Magazines


Saddle-Stitch Printing for Books, Calendars, Catalogs & Magazines header image

1. Sheets vs. Pages

1 Sheet has 2 sides diagramLet's start with a single sheet of paper. A single sheet of paper has 2 sides, a front side and a back side (shown in the diagram on the left).

1 Sheet = 4 Pages diagram

A single folded sheet of paper gives you 4 numbered pages, as shown on the right.

How you number your pages depends on the page count. Page counts range from 8 to 92 pages and must be divisible by 4 (8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and so on).

How to Count Pages in an 8 Page Booklet

Page CountGenerally, the page numbers are on the outside of each page in the upper or lower corner (see red arrows above).

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2. Uploading Files

To Set Up & Upload an 8 Page Document:

  • In the image below, Page 1 is the Front Cover
  • The Inside Front Cover is Page 2.
  • The Inside Pages continue like the diagram below, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • The last 2 pages will be your Inside Back Cover (Page 7) and the Back Cover (Page 8).

Page Order

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Types of Covers

3. Plus Cover vs. Self-Cover

It all starts with the paper - our three most popular paper choices for booklets are 80# & 100# Text (Gloss or Matte), and 80# Cover Cardstock.

  1. Self-cover is when the cover and the inside paper are the same weight. If you want self-cover, we recommend 100# Text (Gloss or Matte) for both the inside and cover papers.
  2. Plus cover is when the cover is thicker than the inside pages. If you want a booklet with a thicker cover, we recommend 100# gloss text with 80# gloss cover, which can be UV coated to give a luxurious, high gloss feel.

 

4. Portrait vs. Landscape

Saddle-stitch printing is available in portrait sizes: 5½ x 8½, 6 x 9, 8 x 8, 6 x 6, 7½ x 10; landscape sizes: 8½ x 5½, 9 x 6; and square sizes 8 x 8, 6 x 6. Custom sizes are also available.

Portrait vs. Landscape vs. Square

5. Our Process

After uploading your files, our pre-press department will review your designs to ensure they fit our file requirements and send you a proof. Once you approve the proof, you don't have to do anything more! Check out the steps below if you want to know what happens with your order before and after proof approval!

PrintingCenterUSA's Process Infograph

Now that you understand the difference between sheets and pages, which order to put your pages in, the different cover options and our process, we hope you have an easier time putting together your final design! If you run into any issues, please give us a call at 800-995-1555.

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Peaceful Moon Photography Calendar is a Success!


Thu, Jan 5, 2017 @ 02:37 PM Taler Hill 0 printing Calendar photography quality

Photography Calendar Designed Well Arrives in Perfect ConditionWhen Nancy and Jim received their photography calendars this year, Nancy had tears of joy in her eyes. She works on the calendar design throughout the year, gathering images and quotes that really stand out to her. She sells the calendars and many of her customers cut out the pictures at the end of the year to keep them. She also gives the calendars out as gifts and it is important that they arrive on-time and beautifully printed.

cover-february_891x891.pngAfter having a bad experience with their previous printer, Nancy and Jim wanted to find a company that would be able to produce a high quality product, who could deliver the product without it being damaged in the process. To start their search, they requested a free sample packet from us. When it arrived, they were impressed by the quality of the samples and wanted to learn more.

On our website, they found that we offer free Photoshop templates. Jim downloaded one and started to work on it. He called us to make sure that he understood our printing specifications and process. He was pleased when we were able to quickly and competently answer his questions. Since he didn’t like the look of the calendar grid, he deleted it and designed his own. We encourage this kind of customization because we want you to have the exact look and style that you want.

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peaceful-photography_open-05.pngOne unique thing about their calendar was the paper choice. They decided to print every page on cover weight paper. This means that the overall calendar weighs a bit more than what we normally print for calendars. Nancy decided to do this because a lot of her customers like to save the images. A teacher that she knows will cut up the calendar at the end of the year and hangs the pictures in her classroom. Because of the thickness of their calendar, they were required to get a wire-o binding, instead of standard saddle stitched, and it turned out fantastic!

The other thing that we liked most about their calendar design were the quotes that they included. Each month image had a corresponding quote to go with it. For example, in the month of March, the image is a bird skimming along with its beak open to catch any lurking fish. The quote says, “The world is full of power and energy and a person can go far by just skimming off a tiny bit of it. – Neal Stephenson”. We love this design choice because not only does it look good, but it gives the viewer a little something to ponder throughout the month.

Free Templates    Online Design Tool

 

peaceful-photography_open-08.pngWe asked Nancy what advice she has for someone interested in having their own photography printed. She suggested getting a hardcopy proof. Basically, it’s one copy of your calendar that is printed and shipped to you, so that you can see it before the whole order is printed. This is especially handy if you have done a lot of extensive editing for your project or if you want a few different people to review it.

Nancy also recommends starting early. Granted, she gathers her quotes and images throughout the year, but putting the design together can take some time. Especially if you start from scratch and have to enter every date into the calendar. (and holidays, and moon phases, etc…)

Nancy had tears in her eyes when the order arrived, because they were packaged to ensure that nothing was damaged or scratched during transit. They were delivered carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, in stacks of ten and in perfect condition. She couldn’t be happier with the results and plans to work with us again when their next calendar project rolls around.

Get Started Today!

To see more of Nancy’s photography, check out her website: www.peacefulmoonphotography.com.


We loved working with Nancy and her husband and encourage all of our customers to call us or email us with any questions. We pride ourselves on high quality products, and even better customer service. Whether its calendars, brochures, booklets, flyers, or whatever you need printed, head to our website and check us out! On every product page you can instantly get a price by entering in all of your order details. We also offer free templates and a free online design tool to get you started! Get started today!