File Preparation

Calendar Layouts

Planning a calendar printing project can be quite the challenge, especially if it is done for the first time. Please find in the following some useful information regarding layout options and page numbers for all calendar printing offered in our webshop.

Saddle Stitch vs. Wire-O Binding

The main difference between saddle stitch and wire-o is the open format. 

Saddle stitch calendars
 are printed 4/4 (front and back of the sheet), and can be compared to a magazine: If you order a 11" x 8.5" sized saddle stitch calendar, it will be 11" x 8.5" when it's closed, and have the double size 11" x 17" when the calendar is opened. If you order this style with a drill hole (optional) to allow hanging the calendar on a wall, it will be visible on the bottom of the calendar cover and on top and bottom of each opened page.

Wire-O calendars are printed 4/0 (front of each sheet, no back) and have an added metal loop integrated in the wire for hanging (the wire binding will always be at the top). An 11" x 8.5" wire-O calendar will be 11" x 8.5" for cover as well as its calendar pages, since each backside of the previous month is flipped over and hidden at the back of the stack.


How do page numbers work for a calendar?

The page number you order refers to the total number of pages of your calendar including the cover. These are individual single-sided pages and not double-sided (front/back) or spreads. You count your cover as page one and then its backside as page 2, the next page 3, etc., same like flipping through a magazine.

Saddle stiched calendars can be printed 4/4 (front and back), wire-o binding is by default single sided only (4/0), since the back is always flipped over (and hence not visible) due to its hanging mechanism.

We recommend to build a little paper dummy and write out the numbers on each page if this is your first time creating a calendar, it will help you visualize the project. Or you can also use your favorite wall calendar for reference.

How much safe zone should I plan for Wire-O binding?

Please keep in mind that you need an extended safe zone of 0.6" for all critical information at the top of each page. The wire-O binding will be in this area, so visibility of graphic elements in this area will be obstructed by the wire and punched holes. Background colors and/or photos should of course extend into this area if you plan a design with full bleed.

How do I submit files for a calendar printing job?

Please submit a multi-page .PDF-file with all pages in chronological order, ideally as PDF/X3-2002 standard. Do not send pages as double-spreads. 

All Pages require 0.0625" bleed on all sides and should contain enough space as safe area. For Wire-O binding, please keep a safety distance of 0.6" + bleed at the top for the wire spiral. If you cannot create a multi-page .PDF, all files must be numbered correctly in their file name (e. g. Calendar_01.tif, Calendar_02.tif, Calendar_03.tif, etc.) and you will need to add a design service option to your order and our graphic artists will prepare the print ready file for you.

Correct page orientation is extremely important to avoid nasty surprises.


What is each calendar style best used for?

Page numbers do not only influence the production cost of your calendar, but also set certain parameters for the available space. In the following a short overview of all our standard calendar products:

12 Page Calendar (Saddle-Stitch)

Space on this calendar type is rather limited, so thoughtful planning of your calendar concept will be helpful. For example, 12 pages are not as suitable for a photo calendar with focus on a large variety of artwork. However, these calendars come in handy if your focus is to provide a 3 months‘ outlook in one glance.

A good example would be a seasonal calendar, with one large image shared by 3 months. Take a look at this layout example for a 12 page calendar for visual guidance.

13 Page Calendar (Wire-O)

This calendar type provides room for your cover art along with a one-sided sheet for each month. The artwork and calendar elements share one page, so you do not need to worry about planning for a top and bottom part as you would with saddle stitch. This allows you to plan your design freely and/or integrate your calendar elements into your artwork. The back is always blank for this calendar type, as it gets flipped over and won't be seen when hanging.

14 Page Calendar (Wire-O)

This calendar functions the same way as the one above with a single-sided sheet for cover and one for each month, plus one additional sheet that can be used for added information like introduction of your company/project, credits, etc. As above, the artwork and calendar elements share one paper, so you do not need to worry about planning for a top and bottom part as you would with saddle stitch. This allows you to plan your design freely and/or integrate your calendar elements into your artwork. 

16 Page Calendar (Saddle-Stitch)

A 16 page calendar is a perfect choice if you don't have enough image material to fill up each month with own artwork. When assigning two months to each image, you will even have 2 pages left to use for added information such as introduction or closing credits. Please take a look at our layout example for a 16 page calendar for inspiration.

24 Page Calendar (Saddle-Stitch)

When hanging on a wall, a 24 page calendar could have two months sharing the same picture as seen in our layout example for a 24 page calendar. 24 pages could also be used to design a flip chart style calendar that has no cover.

28 Page Calendar (Saddle-Stitch)

This is the most commonly used form when planning a calendar project with one picture assigned to each month. It leaves you as well with 2 extra pages which you can use as introduction or closing credits. Please take a look at our layout example for a 28 page calendar to visualize the page setup easier.

32 Page Calendar (Saddle-Stitch)

If your project requires more information, then 32 pages is the perfect volume for your calendar as it conveniently fits all content possibilities in, such as an introduction of your project, credits, sponsors, etc. without loosing focus on the calendar and artwork itself. Please see our layout example for a 32 page calendar project to get inspired!