I’ve been thinking about producing a calendar for 2020 and I would like to know who are some of the better calendar manufacturers, preferably USA or Canadian manufacturers. Thanks in advance.
My wife uses Shutterfly or Mixbook.
I’ve used Zazzle for many years. A year or two back they made it very easy to carry the calendar over year to year by changing the dates. I’d found it cumbersome to update year to year with building new ones each time. I asked if they could make a change to that process and they did. It works slick and easy to update each year without a complete rebuilding.
Thanks, Paul. I’m not familiar with Zazzle. I’ll check them out.
I’ve been using Vistaprint for years. They do nice work, and customers are happy with them.
For small runs (couple hundred or less), the best value I’ve found is www.printingcenterusa.com. Sign up for their email and once in a while they have some incredible discounts.
I use HP Magcloud, but it’s probably a bit more complicated than other printers.
Magcloud is a self-publishing center (I also publish my annual photo “yearbook” magazine through them). They offer documents in different sizes and bindings, and in some cases they even offer templates. Since I don’t do huge discounted bulk orders in the hundreds, I found it was a good solution for still keeping production prices down (printing back-to-back on pages I can make them for $7+ each, or $5+ if ordering 20 or more), so that I could charge less for my calendars. Plus they can fulfill the orders on an individual basis. The caveat is that I went with an 11x17 spiral-bound template–each page contains an image and a calendar grid–that’s technically not produced as a calendar (there’s no pre-punched hole for hanging, but people can just run a wire through the spiral binding at the top), and I had to create my own design… which must be updated with a new calendar grid each year. I’ve tried their normal 11x8.5 stapled calendars before, and they were pretty flimsy, so I opted for the thicker spiral-bound stock.
Overall, I’m happy with the printing quality. The thick stock and ability for me to insert larger images makes for a more appealing product than I might get from a standard DIY calendar printer.
It’s something I would recommend for folks interested in selling small batches of calendars at a lower price point, but it definitely involves more set-up time and is a bit more hands-on. If you don’t mind paying more for convenience–or if you’re looking at producing a large bulk order–another of the services mentioned here is probably a better way to go.
I was hoping to revive this thread to see if anyone had any other ideas for a printer to use for producing calendars. I’ve used Printing Center USA two years in a row now. The first year was fine, and this past year I was pretty unhappy with the colors on some of the photos (a noticeable blue shift on some photos, but, oddly enough, not all of them). Any other ideas?
Thanks for your reply, Kevin. I was actually planning on using Printing Center USA this year until I saw your reply. Now I’m not sure who I will use, but the time is getting real short to choose.
@Bill_Chambers No worries, Bill. I’m in the same boat. The calendars from Printing Center USA are good enough. Clients really aren’t going to notice color shifts like we are, but I figured it was worth asking. Unfortunately, I’ve reached out in a few different places and haven’t really heard of any alternatives yet. Vista Print and Lulu have come up, but each sound like they have similar or worse quality reliability.
I knew someone who ordered from VistaPrint and I looked at them pretty closely and was not very impressed. Kevin, did you order hard proofs from The Printing Center before ordering or did you just proof via your monitor?
I haven’t used this company for calendars (not sure if they still offer them) but I have used them for brochures and was very happy with the quality and service https://www.colorproprint.com/
Thanks, David. I will check them out.
@Bill_Chambers I ran out of time and didn’t do a hard proof, which was certainly part of the problem. This year if I were to use them I would start the process earlier so that I could. What surprised me was that I have a calibrated monitor and had done test prints for all of the photos in the calendar with my usual print lab. To have some of the photos print fine and some print way too blue was odd to me. If i had problems I would have guessed it would be more of a consistent issue. I spoke with the lab after it happened and they doubled checked and said it was within all of their calibration standards. To their credit they at least offered me a free hard proof if I ended up doing an additional run. My goal is to start earlier this year and have plenty of time for hard proofing.
And thanks @David_Kingham, I’ll check them out too.