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Calendars are a classic holiday gift companies can give to clients, and custom calendar printing can even ensure that these gifts become effective marketing tools, as well. But how can you create a calendar design your clients will be proud to hang on their office walls? Here are three things to consider while designing or working with a professional graphic designer:

  1. Consider Your Audience

    The greatest challenge in designing a calendar is finding a theme that will appeal to all your clients. The digital printing techniques used for much custom calendar printing can allow you to create more than one design inexpensively, but this can get tricky: Just think of all the controversy generated over fast-food “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” if you’re unsure of whether it’s a good idea to offer multiple designs to people within the same company. If you do create multiple looks, ensure that you’re not relying on stereotypes (sports for men, art history for women, etc.), and perhaps consider letting your clients choose for themselves which design they’d prefer.

  2. Reject the Generic

    There’s a difference between something with wide appeal and something that is overly generic. Eschew motivational posters or anything too kitschy. If you’re going with landscape photographs, try to find some sort of regionally specific theme (perhaps including historic facts, too), so that the gift has some additional meaning and your clients know you’ve designed it with them in mind. You can also ditch photographs altogether and go for a contemporary look using creative typography to build visual interest. Work with your commercial print company to ensure that the colors and quality are top notch, and you’ll have a design that’s even more striking than most photo calendars.

  3. Brand, but Don’t Overbrand

    The whole point of giving gifts such as calendars to your clients is to be a constant reminder on their wall that they’ve worked with you (and should work with you again). But particularly if you’re targeting a higher-end clientele, you’ll need your calendar to feel like a stylish gift first, and a promotional item second. This means balancing your branding so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming or obnoxious. Consider a small logo in the corner, for example, rather than making your logo the featured image on a page. Also think in terms of providing useful information specific to your company; a financial company, for example, could add reminders in each month for what companies should be doing to get ready for upcoming tax or financial deadlines at that time of year.

Do you think these tips will help you get the most out of your custom calendar printing in the upcoming year? If you’ve never given calendars before, would you consider investing in them rather than dedicating your entire printing budget to advertising banners and signs next year? Respond or share additional tips in the comments.

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