Whether or not you sell calendars today, there are many reasons you should. 85% of calendar orders repeat. The average household has 3+ calendars. 70% of calendar recipients go on to do business with the company that provided them the calendar. What do you need to be a calendar pro? Here we will cover all the options and terms you should know.


  • Sub-Categories
  • Imprint Styles
  • Binding Styles
  • Imprint Methods
  • Paper types
  • Other Terminology


  • Appointment – these are typically a wall style calendar that is either spiral or staple bound with a drop ad imprint area offered in a variety of themes. This is the most popular style of calendar as it can be used by a wide variety of end customers.
  • Executive – this sub-category contains a variety of calendars. They are typically larger calendars. They include every month imprint styles with various images/themes, tinned calendars with various images/themes as well as several twin-loop styles with various images/themes.
  • Pocket – these calendars contain a single pocket or multiple pockets designed to hold customer’s monthly receipts, coupons, and other important papers. We offer a variety of options for pocket calendars. We have a single pocket style that contains one packet that is accessible all year, pocket calendars with monthly images and a pocket for each month and monthly pocket styles that feature one image all year.
  • Desk – this refers to small calendars that sit on your desktop or counter. There is a large variety of styles within this sub-category ranging from tent style desk to die-cut shaped calendars.
  • Stick Up Calendars (SUC) – this style of calendar contains a small vinyl mount with a calendar grid stapled to it. The back of the vinyl mount has a peel-off backer which allows the customer to “stick” the calendar to a file cabinet, refrigerator or car dashboard.
  • Commercial – these are calendars that are typically larger and utilitarian. These include contractor styles, span-a-year styles, desk pads and hangers.
  • Planners – these book style calendars come in various sizes and layouts. We offer the small 3.5”w x 6”h size up to the larger 8.5”w x 11”h size. We also offer weekly formats as well as monthly formats.
  • Diaries – these book style calendars are similar to the planners, but are a higher end product. They have a more leather-like feel and may also have gold, gilded edges on the pages.
  • Small Quantity Custom – this group of products offers a wide variety of styles. The small quantity custom offering is designed to give customers an option for a custom calendar, even if they do not need a large qty. These calendars give the customer the ability to supply their own custom images to be used on pre-designed calendars.

Imprint Styles

  • Drop Ad – this style has a back sheet (commonly called a back-mount) on the calendar that hangs lower than the other sheets creating a “drop ad” for the customer’s imprint area. Example: 1709 American Splendor
  • Every Month Imprint (EMI) – this style has an imprint area on every monthly sheet of the calendar. The sheets are all the same length or “flush cut”. Example: 6102 Red & Black Contractor
  • Window – this style utilizes a die cut area in the grid/image pages removed to allow a “window” for the imprint. Example: 7501 Landscapes of America, window
  • Hot stamp – refers to a foil imprint that is placed on the front cover of a planner or on the hot stamped Stick-Up Calendars. Example: 8150 Monthly Planner, 5323 Stick Up

Binding Styles

  • Spiral – single loop, wire binding where one loop of wire is strung through each hole. This binding is used on many appointment styles, wall calendars s well as some of the executive appointment styles. Example: 1709 American Splendor, 2101 World Scenic, 4152 American Splendor Pocket.
  • Twin-loop – double loop, wire binding where 2 loops of wire are strung through each hole. This binding is used on our “tent style” calendars, planners and wire bound multi-sheet executive styles. Example: 4251 American Splendor Desk, 8150 Monthly Planner, 3301 Sportsman.
  • Staple – also referred to as stitched or saddle stitched, these calendars are bound using staples. This binding style is used in many appointment style products, all calendars, and some planners. Example: 7201 Landscapes of America stapled, 8203 Classic Monthly Planner.
  • Die-Cut Window – while this style is a stapled calendar, there is an additional die cut area in the grid/image pages removed to allow a “window” for the imprint. Example:7501 Landscapes of America, window
  • Tin/Tinning – this method uses a strip of crimped metal along the top to hold the sheets together. This binding style is used on large executive styles, contractor calendars, and single sheet hangers. Example: 3110 America’s Charm. 6102 Red & Black Contractor, 6251 Time Management Span-A-Year
  • Die Cut – these styles are typically shaped, 3-dimensional calendars that are shipped flat and require the end customer to assemble – creating the shape. Example: 5064 3D Airplane Die-Cut Desk

Imprint Methods

The method offered depends on the type of calendar and the size.

  • Digital – utilizes digital equipment. All colors (except black) created using 4-color process. No exact color matches available.
  • Offset – utilizes a print method where the inked image is transferred from a plate to a blanket then to the paper surface. This process allows for multi-color printing using exact ink matches.
  • Hot Stamp – utilizes a print method where foils are transferred to the printing surface using high temperatures.

Paper Types

There are many different types of paper that can be used when printing. The primary types of paper we use are glass, matte and offset/uncoated. You can correlate printing on paper to putting paint on a wall. If you have a bare wall that has never been painted, you would typically apply a primer first. This helps to keep the paint from soaking into the bare surface. The same is true for paper.

Both gloss and matte paper have a surface sealant applied at the paper mill that helps keep the ink from soaking into the paper which keeps your art/images more vibrant looking. If you were to paint on a wall with no primer, your paint would soak into the wall making your color look less vibrant. The same is true when printing on an offset or uncoated paper stock. The ink soaks into the paper causing the colors to be more muted as well as the artwork to be less crisp/clean. We typically use a gloss sheet on products that have photographic images, a matte sheet on products that have artwork images and the offset/uncoated stock on products that do not contain images

  • Paper also comes in various thicknesses.
    • A cover stock is thicker than a text stock.
    • The weight of a paper refers to its thickness and is typically measured in pounds (such as 70#) or points (such as 10 PT).
    • On a typical wall, appointment calendar, we utilize 80# Gloss cover stock on the cover portion and 60# Gloss text stock on the internal calendar grid pages with a 10 pt. back mount.

Other Terminology:

  • Guaranteed Inventory – we offer over 100 calendars in our guaranteed inventory program. Items identified with the “GI” logo in our catalog or on the website are guaranteed to be in stock through 31-DEC of each selling year. Because we produce dated products, this is extremely important. Distributors want to know which styles they can sell and not have to worry about “out-of-stock” issues later in the year.
  • Personalization – calendars that offer this option can have a different name on each calendar within the order. See the personalization section of the catalog general info pages for full detail.
  • Phantom Overprint – this artwork typically appears in the grid area of the calendar. It is screened back (30% is the normal %) so the artwork does not hinder the end customer’s ability to write on the calendar itself. See the phantom overprint section of the catalog general info pages for full detail.
  • Date Block Overprinting – this option allows the customer to note special dates on the calendar grid – example: paydays for a company, special events, etc. See the date block overprinting section of the catalog general info pages for full detail.
  • Border Color Change – this option allows the customer to print the “border” of the calendar in their own custom color. An example of this would be our stock 6201 calendar that is printed in blue and black as a standard product. The customer can change the blue to their own custom color by paying for this option. See the border color change section of the catalog general info pages for full detail.
  • Early Price/Late Price – refers to the 2 rows of pricing offered on most calendar products. The customer will save an average of 10% when ordering before the early price cut off. An order must be production ready by the early price cut off date to qualify for the early price.
  • Overruns/Underruns – 4% over/under is considered a complete order. This is not uncommon in the printing world.
  • Individual Mail – we offer the customers an option to individually mail the finished calendars directly to the end user. The cost of this varies by product type and size. There are additional charges for the packaging option chosen, the labeling and prepping the product for the postal stream as well as postage to mail the pieces. See the mailing section of the catalog general info pages for full detail.
  • Combined Quantity Pricing – refers to the customer’s ability to get total quantity pricing when they chose a variety of themes with in one order. The themes must fall within a predesignated group of products. The customer can get 500 piece pricing for an order that has 150 of the 1350 Golf, 100 of the 1709 American Splendor and 250 of the 1850 Muscle Cars.
  • Storage Release Dates – refers to the specific storage dates a customer can choose to have their order shipped. They can order early in the year, we will store that order for FREE and ship it based on the date they have placed on their PO. The specific dates available are listed in the shipping section of the catalog general information. Any order that requests storage will be completed as production allows – and will not follow standard production times. We will invoice for the order as soon as it is completed, even though it has not shipped yet.
  • Printed in USA – while 98% of our calendars are printed from scratch in our Sleepy Eye, MN facility, we are not able to state “Made in USA” because paper is a large portion of the finished product and some of our paper comes from mills in Canada. This is why you will see the designation of Printed in USA instead of Made in USA.

Check out all these options in our current Calendar Line

*PLEASE NOTE: Not all options are available on all calendars.

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