Guest Posts
Your Position: Home - Packaging & Printing - How To Make Your Own Calendar & Design For Print

How To Make Your Own Calendar & Design For Print

Calendars will always be a necessity. Though many people use their phones to keep track of their schedules, just as many people use printed calendars to keep track of appointments, important life events or simply to reference what day it is. For that reason, personalized calendars make great marketing material. You can use them to showcase your services if you are a creative professional or send them as promotional gifts to your customers to keep your name top of mind.

Though it can be overwhelming when it comes to designing your own calendar for print, as there are several aspects of the finished product you will want to have figured out before you even get started, once you have those decided, the process is fairly easy.

Set the Color Profile

Most, if not all, products in the Adobe Creative Suite offer advanced color management. You will want to make sure you are designing in the CMYK color profile and that all visual elements are designed at 300 DPI for high quality printing. If you choose to design using RGB, you may find that the colors on your printed product look different than what you expected. Once you have established your color profile, you will want to set the dimensions.

Establish the Dimensions

Custom calendars can be made in a variety of sizes and bindings, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick with the standard 8.5” x 11” Saddle Stitch Booklet Printing.

The full bleed dimensions for an 8.5” x 11” saddle stitch booklet are 8.625” x 11.25”. You will want to extend your backgrounds to the edge of the pages to ensure you do not have white borders around the edges. It is important to note that the safety margin is at 8.25” 10.75” (an additional .125” from the final cut line of 8.5” x 11”) and anything that falls beyond that risks being cut off.

Layout the Pages For Photo Calendars

A standard 12-month photo calendar designed for print will have 28 pages total. You will have one page for the front cover, 12 pages for your favorite photos, 12 pages for the months, 2 additional pages required for saddle-stitch booklets and a back cover. Even though the calendar design will be in landscape, calendars will need to be ordered as portrait binding.

Keep in mind, Printivity recommends adding a drill hole when you make calendars for easy mounting! If you add the single drill hole, then each page will have a drill hole at the top or the bottom depending on where the page falls in the layout. The drill hole will be located between the safe margin and the cut line, but make sure you do not have any important design elements around it.

Calendar Design Tips

It is important to include any pertinent business information on the front and back covers as these are the first pages your customers will see. Make sure to include your company logo, website and contact information. Take advantage of all the design space, including the extra pages needed for a saddle stitch booklet. These pages can be used for a variety of things, such as placement for the first few months of the following year, a notes page, or a section to spotlight different services or locations your business may have. 

Pro tip: create the layout for the month of January using ruler guides to ensure even spacing for each box. Once you have finalized the layout, duplicate that page and adjust the month, days and holidays as needed for the remaining months.

If you plan on creating a personalized calendar each year, save your design as a working file version as well as a final PDF so that you can reuse the same calendar design to create a new one the next year.

Save as a PDF

Please ensure you flatten your documents before submitting them. If you use a special font that our system can not recognize, the document will replace your font with another font in our system. We recommend that you save your final file as a PDF, the preferred file format, though we also accept file formats of DOC, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIFF, AL, PSD, PUB, and PPT.

If you designed your saddle stitch calendar in Photoshop or Illustrator you can save your file as a PDF. Make sure you have finalized all edits, go to “File” in the top left hand corner and click “Save As” in the drop down. In Illustrator, make sure the the format is “Adobe PDF” and in Photoshop, make sure the format is “Photoshop PDF,” then click “Save.” Another pop up will appear, make sure that Adobe PDF Preset is “High Quality Print,” then click “Save PDF.”

Pro tip: always save a working version of your file in case you need to make new edits.

Tips for designing your own personalized calendar for print

One of the most important tips to know before you make your own calendar for print is to double check everything. The last thing you want is to receive 100 print calendars with the wrong dates and/or holidays. Once you are ready to place your order, you can decide any specializations you may want for the final printed product, such as coating on the cover. Printivity offers UV Coating, Matte Lamination and Clear Lamination.

Download saddle stitch booklet templates directly from Printivity.com before you start designing. Once you’re ready to order, or have questions during the ordering process, contact our expert customer service department for help at 1-877-649-5463.

Don’t have time for to design your saddle stitch booklet? Printivity has you covered! We are offer graphic design services to help you get your designs ready and printed quickly!

Reading Time:



If you’re a fan of giving or receiving custom calendars, then now is the time for you to think ahead­­ to your calendar design for 2024! Whether you are a photographer trying to showcase your work, a nonprofit raising money, or a business promoting your services, it is important to jump into the calendar design with a strategic plan.

Your browser does not support the audio element.

Additional resources:
When was food packaging first used?
The Evolution of Food Packaging - A Timeline
Everything You Need to Know About Custom Banner Printing
What is signage in printing?
Corrugated fiberboard
How to Save Money with Custom Size Boxes
How do you read a picture book for kids?

When you create an aesthetic calendar, you are utilizing the custom calendar as a rare opportunity to have your brand in front of someone for an entire year. So how do you ensure you are seizing this opportunity? To get you started in the right direction, we have compiled some tips that will guide you through planning, designing, and ordering your custom online calendar.

Tips for Planning Your Calendar Design

1. Choose a Theme and Stick to it

Consistency is key to a successful calendar. Think about your stand-out calendars from the past. Was it a nature photography calendar? A calendar full of cute puppies? Did it include business promotions?

Be sure to keep your audience in mind when selecting your theme as well. What type of photos will they want to look at for a whole year?

2. Photos are Key

If you are a photographer, then you have the advantage of showcasing your own work without having to search and pay for stock images. But plan ahead! If you’re going on a trip, come up with ideas beforehand for different photos and layouts that can be used as the monthly images in your 2024 calendar printing.

For the rest of us non-photographers, it is still crucial that your calendar includes vibrant, high resolution images. This will probably mean that you will have to search online and potentially buy the perfect image. Here are some valuable resources that will ensure you have sharp pictures.

  • Unsplash:These are free, breathtaking images that are free to download at hi-res. However, it is recommended that you give due credit to the photographer if possible.
  • Flickr:If you are using your calendar for promotional purposes, you must be sure to choose “All Creative Commons” under the “Any License” dropdown.
  • Adobe Stock: You’ll have to buy your images from here, but they have tons of options for you to sift through (especially for puppies).
  • Shutterstock:

Really, there are tons of websites out there, both paid and unpaid, that will have exactly what you need. For a more definitive list of these sites, click here.

3. Keep it Functional. 

For your business/promotional calendar, be sure to include which days your business will be closed or have obscure hours. For example, if your business will be closed on Labor Day, make note of that on the calendar grid.

Another useful element to add into your calendar are deadlines for your most popular seasonal products. For example, if you’re a clothing store that designs custom ugly sweaters for Christmas, you’ll want to put a reminder on your November grid for your customers to put in their custom order by a certain date to ensure they get their item by the holiday.

4. Include Promotions

A nice way to thank your customers is to utilize any extra space in the monthly grids by filling it with a promo code. This gives your customers more incentive to purchase from you and puts a positive light on your company.

Also, boldly mark the days you have big sales, such as Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, etc. so you can drive traffic to your store during those peak times.

To learn more about how you can get the most out of your fundraising calendar, click here.

Calendar Design Resources

Okay, now that you have your plan, how on earth do you execute the design? Luckily, we have a few design resources that will help you create the perfect calendar.

Free Online Photo Calendar Designer

We recently upgraded our online calendar designer, making it easier to design your calendar than ever! Our new design tool offers 3 binding types (saddle stitch, spiral & wire-o), 3 sizes to choose from (11” x 8.5”, 8.5” x 5.5” and 12” x 12”), as well as 2 grid options (Advertising vs. Generic).

Predesigned Calendar Grid Template Downloads

Have the Adobe design software (Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator)? Choose between one of our many free calendar template grid downloads to help jump start your design!

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. Ready to place your next calendar order? Visit our website to get started!

Please follow and like us:

How To Make Your Own Calendar & Design For Print

Tips for Planning Your Custom Calendar

Additional resources:
The Ultimate Introduction to Flexible Packaging


* 0 of 2000 characters used

All Comments (0)
Get in Touch