Importance Of Paper Calendars In A Modern Electronic World

It might be easy to conclude how the heyday for printed calendars of all types has come and gone.   Indeed, some might suspect that a paper calendar has become a relic from our past.   No longer necessary.   No longer a critical element of our busy 21st Century world.   Relegated to mere novelty status for most businesses and households.


Truth is paper calendars have seen some decline in production numbers, but they are still very vital to many users and found in nearly every home and office.   Even though calendars on our phones, tablets and computers can be linked and provide a very sophisticated planning system, the fact remains nothing beats the simplicity of a printed wall or desk calendar so they still get used.

Some industry studies have indicated that it will take another generation of calendar users to fully convert to electronic.   Even at that, printed calendars will always be a trendy item hearkening back to the non-electronic age.

We specialize in calendars sold to promote your important message.   When they are given to clients or prospects they are a gift that has year-long promotional value.   Our customers find that money spent on calendar advertising is just as effective today as it was several decades ago.

Best of all…our calendars do not need customer login information with passwords.   They are not dependent on batteries that are likely to go dead when you need them most.   They do not get hacked by thieves trying to disrupt your life by interfering with it.

Nope, a good printed calendar has benefits that have been appreciated for centuries, not just a handful of modern day years.

The next time you are wondering if printed promotional advertising calendars still have a legitimate existence in this world don’t doubt it for a moment.   While you may end up using several different calendar apps over the course of years to discover what you like best, the simplicity of a wall calendar for everyone to see and understand cannot be beaten.

Indeed, it is exciting times to be living in a world where our phones can seemingly do almost everything in our lives.   Yet, a quick glance at a printed calendar hanging 3 feet from your face to look at an important date for planning will almost always beat the electronic device in your purse or pocket.   Don’t give up on printed calendars quite yet.   Our customers certainly haven’t.


Considerations On Adding Color To Your Advertising Message

I’m often asked by prospective customers whether or not they should use color in their advertising panel on a promotional calendar.   In the past, the answer was fairly easy.   Color was costly and adding it usually meant significant cost increases to the calendar being used  for marketing.

But not anymore.   In fact, on many wall calendars technology has caught up with production driving costs way down on this option.   Today, the additional cost for adding color can amount to as little as a dime more per calendar.


Color in your advertising message can capture immediate attention.

Color in your advertising message can capture immediate attention.

Then again, a nice clean layout using one color, such as black, can have positive impact just the same.

Then again, a nice clean layout using one color, such as black, can have positive impact just the same.


Yet, the question still remains on whether a person should use color for their advertising.   The old school approach is to keep things simple.   Consider this, most calendar styles contain lots of vibrant colors so having an advertising panel that is largely mono-toned using a single color can still have great benefits.

In other words, the whole goal to a promotional calendar is for the product hanging on a wall or sitting on a desk to capture attention.   A colorful calendar sporting an equally colorful ad panel only adds to the chaos for the eye.   On the other hand, a one-color promotional advertising message can deliver contrast and has a way to stand out.

Of course, this largely depends on the style of calendar being used.   The ideal calendar might be a black and white photographed calendar that seems rather bland in appearance.   Imagine, in this case, a colorful ad panel that sports a vibrantly colored message.

In reality, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to using color.   It can be a matter of personal preference.   It can be a matter of what the company logo requirements allow for.    Many factors have to be weighed before the final decisions can be made.

Usually I tell people this.   If you have used only one color for a series of years then maybe it’s time to jazz it up and show some flare.   Show your prospects and customers that you’re not stuck in your ways and can live on the edge when you have to.   Along that same line, maybe your business has a conservative feel to it and sticking with something simple and effective that has worked in the past is all that will be needed for the future.

No matter how you intend to proceed, give our experienced customer service staff the challenge of constructing an advertising message that works best for your company.   We offer layout services that usually cost you nothing.   All you need to do is ask us for help and the folks at will make it colorful or simply just effective, your choice.

A Big Mistake With Calendars You Won’t Make Twice

In my nearly 30 years in the calendar publishing world I’ve witnessed a lot of mistakes.   Some are rather innocent and have little lasting impact.   Others…well, let’s just say we’ve known about folks who will literally bet their house on marketing and using calendars.

What a shame and what a risk!   There’s a simple rule that must be adhered to no matter how you intend to use calendars as a marketing tool.   The rule is simply this:

Develop your marketing strategy first and then afterwards design and publish a calendar keeping those distribution plans in mind.

Quite often we get successful photographers who come to us wanting to print a calendar.    Usually what happens is they have been told repeatedly how good their photographs are and that they should be used on a calendar.   In due time, the photographer succumbs to this constant ego stroking.

Marketing strategy related wordsNow, that’s not to say they shouldn’t print a calendar.   The point is being told your work is good enough for a calendar and actually walking down that path is a big journey.   Moreover, a handful of clients who admire your work is great news, but it’s going to take hundreds if not thousands of people inspired to fork over money if the calendar is to succeed.

Several years back I had the unfortunate task of meeting with a calendar producer who was losing his shorts, so to speak, because he had invested foolishly.   He simply designed a pretty calendar and reasoned it would sell like hotcakes.   Guess what…it didn’t!   In fact, he had a garage full of nearly 25,000 calendars he had taken a loan out on with his house as collateral.   Think about it…you have to admire the moxy to be so confident in one’s sales effort to risk your home to print thousands of calendars.

Sadly, it failed miserably because he didn’t do his homework.   Long before ink ever finds its way to paper the savvy calendar marketer develops his/her target market to ensure success and to minimize financial risk.

When potential custom calendar producers start telling me about their project and what plans they have I often stop them and ask…”so, how do you plant to sell or distribute it?”   Usually there’s a slight pause as this is not the most appealing aspect of the project.   Yet, it is by far the most important element.

Typically, I tell a potential calendar client how important it is for the cart not to come before the horse on these matters.   In other words, we understand how the designing and printing of the calendar is the fun part.    Still, for a calendar project of any kind to succeed the bulk of the work must come before the fun.   In this case it means planning for success.

At we don’t want to print and sell calendars that are destined for failure.   We also don’t like to see customers struggle financially because they made some poor planning decisions.   We’ve actually turned customers away because they didn’t heed our advice and we felt they were taking a path consisting of poor planning.

If you want to talk calendars with us we are only a phone call or an email away.   Best of all, talking to us about your next calendar project does not obligate you in any way to do business with us.   Each day we willingly share our calendar production knowledge with folks all over the world, and if they ultimately choose to do business with us that’s great.   If not…well, we hope to have served some value to the calendar printing industry.

Whether you’re thinking of producing your own calendar or perhaps just using one of our many stock calendars with your promotional message, I can guarantee you that just 5 minutes of your time spent on the phone with our knowledgeable staff will prove to be time well spent.   Give us a call.

Why You Should Give Calendars Even When It Seems Nobody Cares

For nearly a decade Steve handed out imprinted promotional calendars advertising his hardware store.   As time grew on Steve began to question the true value of distributing calendars when at times it seemed as though his customers no longer cared.

Then a few years back he decided to skip ordering calendars.   He rationalized that the calendar was no longer serving a useful purpose.   The money saved could be spent in so many more effective ways.

Unfortunately, Steve made a costly mistake.

You see, one of the customers who picked up a calendar each year and religiously used it in his shop was Larry.   Now, Larry owned a small plumbing business in town and often times didn’t inventory a warehouse full of parts.   Instead, he was a frequent customer of Steve’s hardware store picking up the supplies he needed for the day to complete the plumbing tasks anticipated.

It was early that next January when Larry had a visitor to his shop.   It was a wholesale plumbing supply rep who had been pestering Larry for years to do business with him.   As they were chatting, this rep happened to notice Larry didn’t have a nice calendar hanging in the shop yet.   What an opportunity!

As the rep went out to his truck to get the usual coffee mugs, pens, notepads, etc. this time around the rep also grabbed a calendar.   You see, in years past the rep always seen Steve’s hardware store’s calendar already hanging so he passed on leaving the gift of the calendar.   But not this time around.

It was the worst case scenario for Steve and he didn’t even realize it was happening.   Not only was his wall space that contained his calendar taken over by a new calendar, but it was a calendar from a company that could potentially cost Steve lots of money throughout the course of the year.

Oh, it takes more than a calendar to cause Larry to lose his loyalty to Steve’s hardware store, but over the course of time that calendar reminded Larry just how convenient and time-saving it would be to have supplies delivered right to his shop early in the morning.   Moreover, Larry realized after a few purchases how this convenience was also saving him money by using a wholesaler.

Of course, Steve went about his business unaware any of this was going on.   Larry still popped into the hardware store now and then, but over time Steve’s store lost out on money–enough money, fair to say, that could have easily purchased Steve’s annual calendar supply.

What Steve failed to realize is that customers don’t always show appreciation for a calendar you give them as a gift.   It’s easy to view the imprinted promotional calendar as something that a person is giving the customer.   Obviously, it is human nature to expect an occasional “thanks” when handing out calendars.   Yet, it doesn’t always happen.

What Steve failed to comprehend was how the calendar is more importantly a tool.   A marketing tool that keeps your brand message in front of lots of people.   In some cases it also keeps your competitor’s message from hanging in those key locations, as in the case of Larry.

When a business decides to give up on using calendars for marketing there can be a hefty price paid that is not easy to measure or to track.   Nevertheless, with calendars costing a relatively small portion of most advertising budgets, a single lost customer is a risk not many businesses are willing to take.   In most cases, it has taken years of continuity to gain that wall space promoting your message.   Why lose it to an opportunistic competitor who still provides a calendar to a customer you want to call yours?

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Promotional Imprinted Calendars Work Hard During Tough Economic Times

Ever since the mid-1800’s promotional advertising calendars have been showing up in homes and offices throughout this country.   It makes sense…take a product that is needed by everyone to help manage a busy life.   Add a message that business owners want to get out to the masses for promotional purposes, and you have a perfect marriage of product and function.

Indeed, for over 150 years the promotional calendar has survived many ups and downs in the economy and often came out of tough times thriving.

Take the Depression Era of the 1930’s when banks and businesses were failing right and left.   Historically you will find calendars were very popular during these difficult economic times.   Even when advertising budgets were practically non-existent for many businesses, they still found ways to put their name and message on a calendar product given to customers.

You see, when times get tough and advertising doesn’t always make sense in theory as funds dry up, that’s also the time many businesses see opportunity.   Back during the 1970’s one popular soft drink company who was in second place in sales took the opportunity to expand market share by increasing advertising when the leader cut costs by reducing advertising expenditures.   The result, by challenging soda consumers to do a blind taste testing and spending lots of money to do it, the distance between first place and second place shrank considerably.

That being said, a business that chooses not to promote their products or services essentially is shutting their doors to new opportunities.   Moreover, even the existing customers when not reminded about a business can forget who to call when they are looking to buy.

Calendars are a good answer.   Calendars are cost effective advertising.   For about a penny a day a quality calendar can hang in the high-traffic places not only reminding present customers, but also prompting potential prospects.

Interestingly enough, over the past quarter century while we’ve been in this business of printing calendars we do not see much wild fluctuation in calendar sales.   In fact, they tend to stay pretty consistent no matter what is taking place in the world.

There was only one year, during the tragedy of 9-1-1 (Fall 2001), when even calendar sales could not get businesses to focus for a period of several months afterwards.   Hopefully that was a one-time, unusual time period in our history never to be repeated.

So, if your promotional budget this year is tight and you’re considering either how or if you should advertise, it would be wise to reconsider your options.   Calendars can give you 365 days of promotional value while newspaper or radio advertising is come and gone in a flash.   Same holds true for radio, newsletters or flyers.   Customers and prospect may see the message, but there is no incentive to keep it…to continually be reminded of it.

If you’re new to using calendars give one of our experienced calendar consultants a call for free marketing advice.   We’ll give you the suggestions and the tools necessary to make certain tough times doesn’t mean no advertising due to a limited budget.

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Printing The Correct Color On Your Promotional Advertising Calendars

The printing industry loves color.   We love color on our calendars.   Customers love color on their advertising messages.   Color is what makes our lives more interesting and exciting.

But how does a company with a very recognizable logo get the right color every time it is printed?   Consider the logos used for popular soft drinks.   Would you recognize if they were printed in the wrong shade of red or blue?   Have you ever stopped to think how that situation is avoided?

Well, it’s rather simple.   There is a standard in the industry called Pantone® that essentially assigns a number to every possible color.   So, when a customer tells us they want their logo in #469 Brown and #109 Light Yellow we know exactly what colors the finished product should be.   Essentially, to accomplish this task is the proper mixing of established ratios of quality inks.   The system also provides a mechanism to ensure quality control of the printed product by using guides and monitoring equipment.

We often work closely with customers who desire these very strict standards when it comes to color reproduction on the products they purchase.   It’s what allows one company on the East Coast to print coffee mugs with the very same appearance as the calendars we print here in Minnesota.

When a customer tells us to print their logo in Kelly Green such directions are really not that helpful.   There is no standard for Kelly Green and what one printer might deem to be correct another printer might consider to be too dark.

To avoid such confusion the Pantone® system allows us to print colors correct the first time.   Now, typically when it comes to mixing inks to precise standards there are some additional charges involved.   However, we have an assortment of colors we consider standard that seems to suit most of our customers.

So, the next time you are looking for some color on your imprinted message don’t be surprised if we ask you what Pantone® Matching System (PMS) color you want printed.   If precise colors are not that important, we can easily handle that.   But when getting the correct color match is crucial, rest assured we have a mechanism in place to ensure those quality control standards will occur.

For additional information on promotional imprinted advertising message color possibilities please give one of our helpful customer service representatives a call.   We have the resources available to get your colors printed correctly the first time.

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There’s More Than One Way To Put (Calendar) Art On The Wall

I’m guessing the need for art dates back probably to the caveman era when early man grew tired of looking at the same old blah-appearing walls all day long.   Take a little blood from harvested game animals for some red, perhaps some plants to stain various shades of green, and I think you get the idea.   Those early walls turned into rough examples of art in nearly no time.

Fast forward a few eons and that early need for color and style on our walls really hasn’t changed too much.   Oh, sure, today’s art in most cases doesn’t resemble anything like what a person would likely have found on those early drawings, but the concept is still the same.   We like color and style where we live and nothing serves that purpose better than art.

Now mind you there are many different forms of art.   In fact, what one person considers to be true artistic beauty another person might find difficult to appreciate.   Hence, another wonderful aspect to art–we don’t all appreciate the same things.   What appeals to many people by stirring passions inside fails to have that same effect on many others.

When it comes to putting art onto calendars it is only a marriage made in heaven.   Unlike most expensive art which a person might hang in their house for most of a lifetime, calendar art is different and made to be fresh.   In other words, why look at the same art image for years when a new month brings a new adventure to the eyes and to the mind.

At we have been providing customers with a wide assortment of calendar art for nearly 25 years.   Some of our art offerings on calendars is new and fresh, but by design some others are old and very nostalgic.   Here’s a few tidbits of marketing wisdom we’ve learned about art calendars you might also want to consider:

  • If your customers and prospects are typically 50+ years choose an art theme that rekindles memories.   While nostalgic art calendars can appeal to all ages, the typical target audience for this genre of calendars is the more mature class.
  • Don’t overlook the power of wildlife art.   As it turns out wildlife art when used on calendars can be a power attraction.   Most people like beautiful, majestic animals in shown in their natural ecosystems.   Wildlife artists have a flair for capturing this powerful presence and thus bringing an otherwise two dimensional image to life.
  • Theme art, such as Western or Native American styles of artwork, works well on calendars because they offer both color and sometimes dramatic action scenes.   When customers value freedom and open spaces this style of calendar delivers.
  • We’ve also noticed how many people love the abstract.   They don’t want art that mimics a photographic image…instead they want colors and shapes that spur their imagination into overdrive.   This avant garde group of art aficionados tends to be bold in their personalities and their presence in life.   If you have customers who do not fit the cookie cutter mold that majority of people fit into, then calendar art with an unusual appeal could be the perfect choice.

Indeed, art as shown on calendars has many benefits.   It not only draws attention to the calendar, but often it does so in a dramatic, mind-capturing fashion.   It only stands to reason that when an imprinted promotional advertising calendar contains art it can stand out when hanging on the wall to get noticed.   After all, if you are marketing your business or brand with a calendar isn’t the main goal to get noticed?

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Consider QR Codes When Advertising On Calendars

With the increasing use of smartphone technology comes both some conveniences and opportunities.   No longer is it necessary to remember long or complicated website addresses or URL’s…not with the advent of QR Codes (short for “quick response” codes).   Now, getting a customer or prospect to check out a new website is as easy as holding the phone in front of a square box of dots and dashes.

Yup, it’s really that simple.   With the correct app on your phone (and there are many of them for all smartphone platforms) QR reader apps will turn a confusing web address into a mobile friendly link easily explored from any handheld device with an optical reader.

So, why use QR Codes as an advertiser on a calendar imprint for business promotion?   Here are some quick thoughts you will want to consider:

  • Allows the advertiser to turn a complex web address into something requiring no thought by the customer or prospect.   In fact, a QR Code can direct folks to a specific landing page on your website which allows marketers to measure just how well the calendar is working as a promotional tool.
  • QR Codes can be accessed (scanned) and stored for later use in the smart device.   The traditional option is to hope calendar users remember the correct format for how the web address appeared.
  • Moreover, once a QR Code is scanned into a device it will be an additional reminder to check out the web address if they didn’t have time initially to do so.
  • QR Codes can be enabled so that when scanned the user is taken to a mobile friendly version of a company website where the online experience can be optimized.
  • Use of QR Codes give the public impression that a company is very technology oriented and savvy.
  • QR Codes allow a business to direct the user to specific sub-domains found on a corporate website where special offers can be targeting various customers and prospects.

Perhaps best of all, using QR Codes for an imprinted promotional advertising calendar order is available at no extra charge.   We do ask, however, that customers supply to us their camera-ready artwork for the code.

Have no idea how to generate a QR Code for your business?   No problem.   There are many free services to be found on the Internet to produce such graphics.   Just type in “QR Code Generator” in the search box of any search engine and you’ll likely be directed to several options.   Most are even free, but be careful they are not tracking you or the hits you hope to get with the QR Code.

In closing, if you are still having difficulty understanding what a QR Code can do for you think of it as working similar to a bar code found on nearly all products purchased in the store.   When you go to the check-out person they scan each bar code and can tally up what you want to purchase that day.   QR Codes work much the same way, although they appear and function much different.   Essentially when you have a QR Code for your business printed on a calendar it is a code for any smartphone user to find you and learn more about your company or products being offered.

Honestly, in this 21st Century why every business doesn’t have and use a QR Code is quite surprising.   Especially when we will include them on your next calendar at NO EXTRA COST.

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Choose A Calendar Style Your Customers Can’t Live Without!

Did you realize how most of us are creatures of habit?   We get into a routine and suddenly something in life becomes comfortable, predictable, and very familiar.   We gravitate toward the things that provide those favorable emotions.   Some might say…we get stuck in a pattern and that suits many folks just fine.

Same holds true with calendars.   You would be surprised how many calls we get each fall from folks looking to buy just a single calendar.   Now, as explained in a previous post we can’t do that, but it reinforces the extent some folks will go to not to give up their favored calendar.   After all, they may have been using the same calendar for years and the prospect of going without or using something else is…well, let’s just say not acceptable.

One of the goals in marketing is to find that product that customers can’t live without.   Now, in this case it is a product that you give as a gift to the customer, but the same holds true.   When a customer or prospect uses an imprinted calendar you give out for promotional advertising purposes and they keep coming back for a replacement each year you have a good thing going.

So, what is the secret in finding just the right calendar to strike a chord with customers or prospects?   Consider these points:

  • Purchase calendars with a theme your customers like instead of yourself.   After all, they are the ones whose wall it will be hanging on.
  • Look for bright colors in the calendar images.   Color builds excitement whereas drab colors tend not to stir passions as much.
  • Determine if your prospects or customers have limited wall or desk space back in the office.   Or perhaps most work from an auto or travel a lot mostly using a briefcase.
  • Do your customers seek a specialty calendar?   For example, many accountants or banks will give pocket calendars away that essentially include an envelope to place and organize monthly receipts.
  • Some customers seek humor from their calendar.   We offer several calendars that are sure to tickle even the most stoic funny bone.   Humor, much like reading the comics for many people, is something people want to continue with year after year.
  • A favorite artist can also make a wonderful impression on calendar recipients where year after year they come back asking for more.

With just a little thought and perhaps some additional homework, it can pay big dividends to research what kind of calendars your business’ customers or prospects yearn for and desire to receive on an annual basis.   The test is always to get them coming back for more.   That’s when you know you have a customer-favorite calendar style on your hands.

Our customers are often surprised to learn that marketing with calendars and doing it properly requires some planning.   If you strive to maximize your promotional value gained by handing out or mailing calendars to folks it often requires some strategy.

As always, the customer service representatives at are glad to assist with your planning.   We’ve sold millions of calendars over the past two decades which has afforded us to learn a thing or two about how our customers can succeed with calendars.   All it takes is just a no-obligation phone call to get the planning started to see if calendar marketing is right for you.

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5 Reasons Your Brand Should Appear On An Advertising Calendar

There are many items, often called “promotional products,” that can feature a company’s advertising message, but few live up to the marketing performance that an imprinted promotional calendar can provide to a business.   Consider these reasons why your business should take a second look at using calendars as a marketing tool:

  1. Calendars get used.   A recent survey shows that 92% of the people who receive an advertising calendar will keep and actively use it.   Part of the reason for this is everyone needs a calendar to manage their busy lifestyle.   Unlike many other promotional products that get shoved in a closet or stowed into a drawer, the calendar gets displayed in open spaces for everyone to see.
  2. Calendars offer repeat exposure to a message.   Almost all calendar users will admit to observing a calendar at least once each day.   But did you know that over 60% of calendar users admit to looking at a calendar between 2-10 times each day?   It’s true.
  3. Calendars offer subtle endorsement of your brand.   When someone displays your calendar it tells everyone who might see that calendar how they have a special relationship with you.   As a general rule, folks don’t display products given to them by businesses lacking favor or trust.
  4. Calendars often hang in high-traffic locations.   Generally calendars get placed where the need is greatest.   This usually means they get located where the most eyes can see it–near cash registers, customer service counters, meeting rooms, kitchen tables, etc.   During the course of the day a single calendar could possibly make hundreds of impressions on the eyes of new prospects who happen to view your brand or message.
  5. Calendars work for 365 (or more) days then allow for message updates.   One of the beautiful aspects of an appointment wall calendar is the images get updated monthly.   But another great aspect of an imprinted advertising calendar is how it self-expires in a year.   The big benefit here is you get to update your promotional message with fresh copy and it’s a known fact most calendar users like to replace a currently used calendar with a style that is already familiar with them.

There are many reasons as a marketer to use calendars as a tool for your business promotion.   Printed advertising calendars are not only appreciated by your customers and prospects as gifts, but you can depend on them getting used to build your brand’s awareness.

We often tell people how calendars offer billboard advertising in key spaces where a marketer could not otherwise promote their message.   Oh, sure, giving out a coffee cup with lettering 1/4″ high has its purpose in the promotional world, but certainly a calendar with 1″ or taller letters speaks much louder and commands immediate marketing attention.

When you stop to consider how most calendars only cost a marketer a penny(ies) per day, per calendar to broadcast their message, it’s easy to establish how calendars don’t cost a business, they reward a business during the normal course of their use.

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