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Producing Calendars

There are a number of ways to produce a calendar from creating something from scratch, through using templates which you can then print out yourself at home, or using templates on calendar printing websites. They can be produced in all shapes, styles and sizes, from wall calendars in typical sizes of A3, A4, A5, square, slimline, and double A4, but also specialty designs such as CD case, Desktop, Booklet and more.

We have put together a separate article on how to go about producing them at home, and one on how to get them printed and what sort of quantities you can have produced. So here we are going to concentrate on producing them, looking at layout and templates etc.

There are three main elements to producing a Calendar:-

  • The Cover

  • The date grids

  • Illustration or photograph


There are a multitude of styles available from single page annual calendars using one picture, to a 7 page bi-monthly, 5 page quarterly or 13 page monthly. Each of these types can have a multitude of styles using single pictures to multi-pictures and to a certain degree the restriction is in how you are going to print it. If you are designing and printing yourself at home, the designs are endless, whereas if you are using an online printer then you may be restricted to the number of templates they have available, although there will be many variations. Check out a number of them and see which ones you like the look of, or those that will work with the photos you want to use. We have listed some of them to get you started within Calendar Further Information.

The Cover

Most standard calendars as well as having the monthly pages and a card back will always have a cover and this needs to have impact, particularly if you are intending to sell them alongside other calendars out in the marketplace. It should tell the customer what it is and also draw them to it from the image that you choose to go on it. It can be gloss or matt finish depending on the style of the calendar you are intending to produce.

The Date Grids

There are various different ways the date grid can look and again which style you choose will depend on what type of calendar you are trying to put together, as well as it's size and style. If you want to use very large images, then you can use a straight number only grid. On the other hand if you want to have a grid that others can write on then you can use the appointment styles and this will use smaller images.

There are various software packages that can provide the different calendar grid styles, from those that you can download online for free, to those that are already contained in some software packages you might already have on your computer like Microsoft Publisher or Calendar Printing Assistant for users of Outlook 2007, to special software systems you can buy that includes a number of templates that you merely add your photos to. You may also find some of the photographic magazines, in the run up to the end of the year, will carry CD's that contain templates you can use. Or of course you can create something totally unique yourself. Our Calendar Templates provides links to some formats that we have put together, which you can download and use. Or you could create one from a Perpetual calendar format.

If creating a calendar for friends and family you could highlight items into the grid that are specific to them like anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions etc. If you want to highlight the Bank Holidays and Patron Saint Days and other significant events then you could use websites such as Bank Holiday Dates UK to find out when they occur each year, there are others.


A monthly calendar gives you the opportunity to use 13 images at least throughout, the 12 monthly pages plus the cover. Some pre-defined styles on calendar websites allow you to use more, by making the images smaller for instance there could be one larger image and two or three smaller ones to run down the side. Using photographs within templates is relatively easy in that the space and size has already been defined for you. Think about the choice of the photo you want to use for each month, you could make it relevant to that month by using seasonal images you have taken, or if it is a family calendar could use images of those that have a birthday within that month, or depending on the type of photography you are interested in create a themed calendar.


So now you have your calendar designed it is ready to be printed. Click here on how and where to get this done. If you are publishing the calendar yourself and intend to market it through retailers then giving it an ISBN number will allow the retailing to put it into their system and make it easier for them to deal with the sale, take a look at


For shop display you may want to put it in a cellophane clear wrapper, in this case often you will find an extra paper sheet behind showing small versions of each of the pages or images helps the customer to see what is inside. This will make it more appealing to the retailer as they won't have to worry about customers opening the wrapper to see what is on the inside.

We have many other articles looking at different aspects of calendars from producing to printing them, to getting an income from them, looking at charity and fundraising calendars as well as templates and much more. See Calendars for the full list.


By: Tracey Park Section: Reference Section Key:
Page Ref: calendars_producing Topic: Calendars  Last Updated: 10/2010

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