Self-Publish Wall Calendar Review Of FIVE Popular Print On Demand Websites

All print-on-demand wall calendar websites are NOT created equal.

Photo by G. Rivas Valderrama
Photo by G. Rivas Valderrama

1. lulu.com

PROS

  • offers two sizes, "standard" 11" x 17" at $13.75 and "premium" 13" x 19" at $24.75
  • high quality cardstock
  • expert printing
  • sturdy spiral wire spine located at top to prevent pages from drooping
  • free online storefront for calendar self-publishers to market and sell

CONS

  • poorly defined calendar grid, dimly printed and incomplete (NO horizontal lines)
  • inadequate space for writing daily notes
  • NO front cover page text creating capability in calendar making tool
  • NO back cover page text creating capability and NO back cover image adding capability in calendar making tool
  • NO image caption writing capability

BOTTOM LINE

As a lulu.com support person emailed me, "What you see is what you get", which leads me to believe that wall calendar publishing was an afterthought to lulu's main business of providing self publishing services to book writers. Consequently, I do not recommend this website to wall calendar enthusiasts.

2. cafepress.com

PROS

  • offers biggest wall calendar of all print-on-demand websites, "oversized" 17" x 22" at $25.00
  • high quality cardstock
  • expert printing
  • sturdy spiral wire spine, although located at center
  • big, bold calendar grid with room for writing daily notes

CONS

  • NO front cover page text creating capability in calendar making tool
  • NO back cover page text creating capability and NO back cover image adding capability in calendar making tool
  • NO image caption writing capability in calendar making tool
  • NO capability to add calendars as products in free, "beta" storefront

BOTTOM LINE

My top choice for making wall calendars, based on sheer size, boldness of printing and price at the given size.

Forthcomming FLUIDISM 2012 Wall Calendar by Robert G. Kernodle
Forthcomming FLUIDISM 2012 Wall Calendar by Robert G. Kernodle

3. redbubble.com

PROS

  • offers reasonable size, 11"x 17" at $25.00
  • satin card stock
  • expert printing
  • sturdy spial wire spine located at top, with additional looped wire bar hanger
  • small but informative image captions automatically placed at bottom right of each page, under calendar grid
  • back cover, thumbnail montage of all interior images, plus webpage address printed at bottom
  • free online storefront for calendar self publishers to market and sell

CONS

  • extremely small calendar grid rectangles make writing daily notes impossible
  • NO front cover text adding capability in calendar making tool
  • NO further back cover text adding capability in calendar making tool

BOTTOM LINE

More appealing than lulu's wall calendar, but still lacking in functional features that distinguish professional wall calendars in the commercial market, from such traditional calendar-publishing giants as Avalanch Publishing.

4. zazzle.com

PROS

  • offers three sizes, "standard" 11" x 17" at $20.95, "small" 7" x 11" at $18.95, and "huge" 17" x 22" at $25.95
  • excellent paper and printing
  • sturdy spiral wire spine in a variety of colors
  • image caption writing capability in the calendar making tool
  • back page text adding capability in the calendar making tool
  • free online storefront for calendar publishers to market and sell

CONS

  • NO front cover text adding capability in calendar making tool
  • NO back cover image adding capability in calendar making tool

BOTTOM LINE

My first choice for a modest sized wall calendar with an online storefront for displaying and selling.

5. vistaprint.com

PROS

  • offers modest-sized 11" x 17" wall calendar of high quality at a low price of $15.00
  • excellent materials and superb printing
  • sturdy spiral wire spine, although located at center (which is no problem, given the modest page size)
  • variety of pleasing templates to choose from
  • clean, bold grid
  • superior image reproduction
  • back cover text adding capability in calendar making tool
  • image caption writing capability in calendar making tool
  • bold title label helps to make up for NO front cover text adding capability in calendar making tool

CONS

  • overall small size
  • NO online storefront for calendar self-publishers to market and sell

BOTTOM LINE

My favorite pick for a smaller calendar of high quality and no storefront. If a modest sized, high-quality, low cost, personalized wall calendar is all you want for your own use or for giving as gifts, then this website is a great choice.

CONCLUSION

The perfect print-on-demand wall calendar website does NOT exist. Of all the websites I have used, however, cafepress is best for big, bold, well-constructed, attractive and functional calendars, at the lowest price for a fully customized product of this size. What all calendar making tools at print-on-demand websites seem to lack is full front cover and back cover professional creation capabilities.

The ideal calendar making tool would include:

  • at least a 14" x 24" size
  • professional front and back cover making capabilities (both images and text)
  • image caption writing capabilites
  • big, bold grids that clearly divide days into separate rectangles large enough to write daily notes
  • a back cover, thumbnail montage of all interior images
  • free online storefront for calendar self publishers to market and sell

 

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Comments 6 comments

Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

thank you for the great detail about each one. I was thinking about making calendars to go with another project I have. I voted up. Great work!


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 5 years ago Author

Hi Jo,

I just now realized that I made a typo in my description of the cafepress.com wall calendar. The dimensions are 17" x 22" (NOT 11" x 22"). I edited in the correction for future readers.

Thanks for causing me to read my article again to find (and correct) this typo.

Robert


R. Dukes 4 years ago

Great review....much appreciated!!!


Anne Katzeff 3 years ago

Thanks for this review, Robert. I'm finding the limitations frustrating. One thing I'd add to my wish list is the ability to fully design one's own calendar (including the grid and the contents within it) and upload a ready-to-print PDF.


Hans-Joachim Jauch 2 years ago

Are you still interested in finding the ideal calendar making tool on the internet? Please have a look at www.calvendo.de. With CALVENDO you not only share and publish the calendars you make with your own photos, graphic art and writing: You actually sell them in the international book market. Regards, Hans


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 2 years ago Author

Hans,

I looked at the website you listed, only to discover that it is written in a language that I cannot read. If what you say is true, then an English-language version of that website would be great.

As is, unfortunately, I cannot make use of it.

Thanks,

Robert

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