8 Tips for an Effective Calendar Design
Due to its function, a calendar is a great tool that allow companies and brands to gain continuous exposure. A good corporate/brand calendar has all of the following: strong branding, content that keeps it interesting through each flip of page and, above all, functionality.
One thing you should keep in mind when developing a brand/corporate calendar: your competition is not limited to those within the same industry, but rather every brand and company that also gives away their calendar of the same year. You gotta make sure that yours has what it takes to stand out in the crowd. Here are 8 useful tips to do just that:
1. Develop a story
Start by planning the content. Here are several questions that can help in figuring out the theme of your calendar:
• What’s the story this year?
• How is the story relevant to your brand/company’s current situation?
• How is it different from last year and the years before?
• How can it be broken down into 6 or 12 parts that can stand on their own?
• Who’s going to use the calendar?
• How can users relate to the story?
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activity is one of the most popular themes for corporate calendars.
2. Emphasize your corporate colors
Color is a huge part of your brand, so make sure that your calendar uses your brand color(s) as one of its prominent features. In most cases, a brand color is synonymous to the dominant color of the logo or the dominant background color that is used in a company’s marketing tools.
In the case of giz’s 2017 calendar, red and white are used in all pages as well as the easel’s covering paper. Click here to see more.
3. Maintain consistency
With 6 or 12 pages to play with, it can be tempting to have a different design on each page. Remember though, consistency is as important throughout every brand’s touchpoint as it is for each product/service that you sell. A consistent look signifes a brand’s stability and reliability.
Bakmi GM’s 2014 calendar conveys different messages and visual elements throughout its monthly sections, yet everything is organized in and around one unifying element. Click here to see more.
4. Use high quality images
This actually applies for any design, and even more so for a calendar since it sits on one’s desk or hangs on one’s office wall all year long and each page stays on one’s sight for a full month. Any lack in image quality that is usually unnoticed on posters or flyers are bound to come to one’s attention in one of those 28-31 days.
Proper cropping and digital imaging also affect image quality as apparent in IX’s 2016 calendar. Click here to see more.
5. Create original photos/artworks
We don’t discourage you from using royalty-free stock images at all, because it is often a good solution for time and budget restrictions. But given its limited number of options, one might end up focusing on finding pictures that look good rather than on developing a great content, or the other way around, using mediocre pictures which are ultimately the best stock images available that fits the content. Having pictures that are made specifically for your calendar also gives it an extra edge compared to other corporate calendars.
Cultural icons are always interesting to see in a calendar design.
6. Use symbolism
One obvious way to communicate your products/services is showing them through descriptive pictures. It gets quite repetitive though if you choose to do the same thing year after year. Symbolism can be one good alternative, because it’s something unexpected that brings your calendar’s content to the next level.
'Double exposure' is one of many ways to incorporate symbolism in your calendar design, which we see a lot of in 2016.
7. Flaunt your forte
Beneath an engaging content and well-developed visuals to match, at the end of the day any corporate/brand calendar has one true purpose: selling products and/or services. Make sure that the key selling points are apparent in your calendar.
Cemani Toka’s 2015 calendar uses vibrant colors and complex finishing which show the company’s capability as Indonesia’s leading offset ink provider. Click here to see more.
In developing our 2016 calendar with Paper Gallery and Trio Warna Printing, we made sure that the story allows an extensive showcase of our capabilities in design, paper and printing respectively. Click here to see more.
8. Be open to suggestions
Above all, a calendar should be highly functional. Take time to collect insight from the users on what they look for in a calendar design. How much space do they have on their desks/walls? Do they need extra space on the calendarium to write daily notes? What are the goods and the bads of the previous calendar? Incorporate as many inputs as possible into your calendar, and it should be irreplaceable.
For those who have large desk space and need to take a lot of daily notes, a desk planner format can be of great use.
We hope that this article can help you in creating a calendar design that leaves a lasting impression for years and years to come.
Want to see more? You might be interested in taking a quick look at our 2017 calendar.
For more of our graphic design projects, go to our portfolio page.
For project inquiries, contact us here.