There’s a fairly big and important difference between the calendars that are made to be sold in stores and those given out as corporate gifts for other businesses. Whereas standard retail calendars are created for the sole purposes of selling in high volumes and making money, a corporate calendar is almost exclusively a tool of brand promotion and network tie-strengthening.
As the two are very different products, it stands to reason that there should be big differences in core design traits and elements too. While retail calendars can be quite limitless in their diversity, a business calendar must convey a very specific tone and message to those it is intended for.
A professional business calendar can work wonders for both a brand’s reputation and its overall performance – here’s a quick overview of some of the key pointers to bear in mind:
1 – Quality Imagery
If the calendar is to be given to corporate clients and summarily displayed on their own office walls, it’s important to consider the quality of the imagery. If the calendar doesn’t come across as visually appealing, there is little to no chance of it ever being put to use as the recipient may worry about how it will be interpreted by their own clients and peers. So while content of course matters, in this instance quality is the most important consideration of all.
2 – Creative Imagery
Still with the actual photographs themselves, it’s important to come up with something that communicates your own ability to think outside the box and be both creative and original. This can of course be tricky and generally necessitates the assistance of a professional corporate calendar maker with their own catalogue of exclusive and interesting images. There’s a very easy way of evaluating overall aesthetic prowess with regard to the imagery – would you be proud to display at home or at your own place of work?
3 – Consistency
Another key point to consider is consistency – does the same high quality carry throughout the calendar, or is it a bit of a mixed bag on the whole? It’s really not enough to start off with exceptional imagery and design accents only to then get rather lazy by the time you hit the tenth page. If you want the calendar to be used for the whole year, it must be captivating for the whole year.
4 – Room for Entries
With business calendars especially, the importance of leaving plenty of space for daily and weekly entries cannot be overstated. It’s only by creating a calendar that’s genuinely useful than the recipient will instinctively use it day in and day out – this is the kind of year-round exposure to your brand that money alone cannot buy.
5 – Written Content
Pictures are great and of course make the key selling points for calendars, but at the same time there’s a lot to be said for the addition of creative, inspiring and ideally relevant written content. For each month of the year, think about adding something genuinely interesting – a few facts on that exact date from a historical year, a philosophical quote, an inspiring message or anything else deemed appropriate. If you place something there that both warrants reading and is memorable, the calendar’s impact will be much, much greater.
6 – Binding and Hangings
According to Allan & Bertram calendar makers, nothing conveys a worse message about a business than a calendar that looks great at first but by the end of February has already been ripped half to shreds. To compromise quality for the sake of saving a few pennies here and there really is unacceptable – the quality of the bindings, the hangings and obviously the paper itself really will speak volumes for your professionalism.
7 – Avoid Pretentiousness
There’s a fine line between a calendar that looks beautiful and one that comes across as purely pretentious. Where this line exists differs from business to business, which is why it’s important to think carefully about who you are and what you do. If it’s totally out of context with your business in general, avoid getting too arty.
8 – Wise Use of Space
Last but not least, be sure to make the best possible use of all space available to you without making the calendar appear cramped. It’s worth remembering that on the average business calendar there’s never enough room to jot down daily notes, meetings, changes in plans and so on, so make sure there’s plenty available where it matters most. And in a similar vein, it’s also worth noting that larger calendars tend to be much more functional business tools than those of a much smaller size.