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Basic Tips For Designing A Calendar With A Graphic Artist



Designing a calendar that you’ll use for a whole year should be an exciting process and easy to do.  Creating a calendar with PrintingCenterUSA’s free state of art design tool and templates makes the process FUN!


We recently sat down with Lisa Davis, a graphic artist who runs Wallflowers and Cards, and practices scanner photography as the base for much of her floral artwork.  She has printed her custom calendar with PrintingCenterUSA for a couple of years now so we knew she’d have some excellent basic tips for printing a custom calendar.




Tip #1: Play with a multitude of backgrounds and borders offered on the design tool.


When speaking with Lisa about designing her calendar on the online design tool, she mentioned the diverse background and border options as a huge compliment to her art.  “There are so many background and borders and you just have to play around with them to find the best fit. It’s nice to have all those options,” Davis said.


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Davis uses Adobe Photoshop a little bit when it comes to her producing her art and was able to utilize the design tool for finishing her 2020 calendar. 


“The whole process was fun!  I really did enjoy finding the best fit for my calendar with the design tool.  You just need to have fun with it,” Davis remarked.


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Tip #2: Arrange the months of the year based on the color of art or seasonality of the images within your photos or designs.


“I base my monthly cover art on what’s in my garden during that specific season,” Davis said of her method.  This is a great way to showcase your art as a designer while at the same time representing the changing seasons of the year.


When designing your calendar this approach can help you produce more attractive and timely calendars.  Think about the hues of the season, Davis said.


For example, autumn has a more rustic and brown feel to it with the changing of leaves from green to yellow, orange and brown.  As a photographer, graphic artist, or anybody creating a calendar you should consider earth tones in your images during September and October.  If you plan on selling your calendar this approach could increase the value of your calendar because your audience might enjoy flipping through a calendar that represents the four seasons through the year!


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Tip #3: Try thinking about your calendar throughout the year for best results and easy design.


Sometimes picking only 12 images for a calendar is difficult as an artist!  You might have a lot of fitting images or concepts, but you’re limited on space.


“The first calendar I printed with PrintingCenterUSA I wasn’t really thinking about my art and how I wanted to display it in the calendar.  However, this year, my art for my calendar was continually on the back of mind and I’d think to myself that maybe this arrangement is a great February piece, and just remember when it came to time for 2020,” Davis said.


Planning your calendar ahead of time or at least thinking about it throughout the year can greatly help you when it comes time to piece together the final project.  Lisa doesn’t necessarily go into her art designing it for her yearly calendar but always knowing the fact she’ll be printing a new one each year has improved her layout.




Designing a calendar should be a fun process that allows you to express your art in a creative format.  Whether you're a graphic designer, artist, photographer or just piecing together a family calendar for 2020, following some very basic tips will help get you going down the right path.  It's never too early to start thinking of next year!


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Tips for Landscape Photography with Professional Photographer Randall Sanger


When it comes to Landscape Photography, Randall Sanger of West Virginia knows a little bit about getting those dreamy shots many photographers crave.  Randall Sanger started taking up photography after graduating high school when his parents gave him a camera for a graduation gift. He’d backpack all over West Virginia getting to hike to places that others rarely see.  This gave him the opportunity to hone his landscape photography skills and eventually become an award-winning photographer and author in the process.


So, I spoke with Randy to gather some more insights into some basic tips for landscape photography and working in the industry.  His 10 plus years of producing high-quality images as a professional are sure to bring some insightful tips!



Camera Settings

Sanger suggested some very basic settings when it comes to manual mode while taking landscape photos.  Firstly, he noted that manual is the “way to go” and allows for the most control over your product.


He recommends an f-stop setting of “f16” for a sharper depth of field while setting your ISO to 50 for less noise.  When it comes to metering (a way to measure brightness) Randy always uses the sky for best results.


Tips For Planning Your 2020 Custom Calendar: Learn More


Time of the Day 

We all know, even if you’re not a photographer by trade, that “Golden Hour” is a prime time to shoot amazing landscape images.  But, we can’t all just rely on those perfect moments as they come and go. The other 12 hours of the day still has a landscape to shoot, so I asked Randy his best advice for daytime photography.


“I think using an ND filter or 3-stop filter during the day really helps cut out the harsh light and allows you to shoot throughout the day,” Sanger said.  


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He also mentioned the daytime hours brings about richer blue skies and white clouds than you normally see at night which tourism companies often like to see in their marketing materials.  So, shooting landscape during the day has to be in your bag of tricks if you’re looking to move into the field as a pro!



The Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Processing

Now we all know those photos we see on Instagram with extreme editing and hyper-saturated landscapes.  They may be “pretty” but often that type of editing is taking away from the natural beauty of the landscapes and as a photographer, you shouldn’t have to do a ton.


Randy mentioned his go-to tip, “I have a 3-minute rule where if I’m spending longer than 3 minutes on a photo while editing, I’ll move on.”  He’s always believed in “getting it right in the camera” and does very little post process. In Lightroom, he often uses a few key sliders: contrast, clarity, de-haze, highlights/shadows.  These minor adjustments will often get your photos to where they need to be in terms of post-processing without destroying the integrity of the landscape.


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Capture A Story

Randy spends most of his time in the Dolly Sods Wilderness located in the Eastern part of West Virginia taking clients of his workshops on photography excursions or just shooting for himself.  Here he finds himself immersed in waterfalls and landscapes that represent an area and can be told in varying photo series.

Randall Sanger's Photo Gallery: Explore Now


Sanger mentioned the importance of telling a story when it comes to landscape photography.  Whether you're putting together a photography book on waterfalls of West Virginia or piecing together a custom calendar with stunning imagery, the photographer should be telling a story.


It was great hearing from an expert like Randy Sanger about landscape photography because of his years of experience producing great imagery.  When looking at his physical custom 2020 calendar and website you can see his dedication to capturing landscapes in the state he loves.  


Landscape photography is a great way to show off your skills as a photographer while capturing places we love to visit.  


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Photos in calendars and in blog shot by Randall Sanger.

Getting Better Prices Than Kinkos: Calendar Edition

Thu, Oct 6, 2016 @ 03:26 PM Taler Hill 0 printing Cheap calendars Office Prices FedEx kinkos

A Price Better Than Kinkos: Calendar Edition

When it comes to printing, most people turn to what is familiar – their local Kinkos®, now called FedEx Office®. And when they search online, they are trying to find out some specific information on how much their printing needs will cost. But have you ever wondered why Kinkos® is SO expensive if you want more than one copy of that flyer your boss needs? This article helps you understand why they are so pricey and how you can save money on your printing needs!

What are Kinkos® Printing Prices?  

Before we jump into pricing, have you decided which product you need printed? September through December is calendar season for us! We are right in the middle of the time where everyone and their mom is looking to print their 2017 calendars. So for arguments sake, we want to show you our Calendars prices vs FedEx Office®, so you can really understand their pricing.

We went online and found their calendar order page. They don’t have a pricing tool where you can customize your calendar, but instead just have a list of prices that compares whether or not you want to add color to your calendar grid. As you can see, ordering any amount of calendars is NOT worth your while. These prices are ridiculous, and border into crazy. (Don't believe me? Click here to see for yourself!)

Fed Ex Prices are based per calendar and do NOT get cheaper as the quantity goes up!

PCUSA offers an instant pricing tool where you can customize all of your options!

< Now take a look at our unique pricing tool. It is customizable and you can see the price differences on each choice you make. It also gives you shipping charges and shows you how much you save if you choose to wait a couple extra days for your order. Just by looking at these differences, our prices are dramatically lower. It comes out to about $4 per calendar.* When it comes to calendar ordering, we have got you covered. Not only do we have great prices, but we have a FREE calendar design tool and loads of FREE templates to get you started. Or if you already have your calendar ready, just start your order and easily upload your files.

Start your calendar today!


Why are Kinkos® Prices So Expensive?

The reason FedEx Office® is so expensive is because instead of existing as a trusted online printing company with a single location like us, they have about 2,000 locations nationwide. So basically, you pay extra to keep all those stores in business. You pay to stock those stores, you pay the staff, and you pay for all the equipment to keep each and every store running.

Why not choose the #1 Rated Printing Company for your printing needs? Our single location means we have access to getting you the lowest price because we don’t overcharge you for operating costs.

We have hundreds and hundreds of great reviews from our loyal customers, and we want to give you a great experience too!

Read all of our 5 star reviews!



Don’t Overpay, Order With Us Today!

Let us prove to you why our slogan is Fast, Easy and Affordable. Contact us today on our website, or call us at 800.995.1555 for a custom quote. If you aren’t quite sure what you need, order a free sample packet of all our products so you can view all our high quality products. We also have online design tools and FREE templates to help you get started!


*Note: Our calendar prices DO change throughout the year. This pricing is accurate for the time this article was posted.