The Best Print-On-Demand Wall Calendar Website

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(UPDATED - Nov. 2012) ... I searched the internet far and wide for the largest-dimensioned, print-on-demand wall calendar, and the best that I have found recently is it at zazzle.com.


2013 Fantasy Wall Calendar By Robert G. Kernodle
2013 Fantasy Wall Calendar By Robert G. Kernodle

Size Matters

If you are a wall-calendar enthusiast and snob like me, then you like big, professional-looking calendars. If you are a visual artist or photographer, then you probably prefer calendars that feature images that you personally created.

I have yet to find a print-on-demand company that matches the professional publication standards of say, an Avalanche Publishing, which is known as a commercial giant in the calendar publishing industry. The closest that I have found, as of late, is zazzle.com (see link below).

There are other companies that produce custom-printed clothing and accessories just as good or even better than zazzle but for size and quality in the given price range, zazzle now produces the best print-on-demand wall calendars. I know this, because I have created virtually the exact same calendar at four other websites. I have bought the calendars that I created. I have used them. I have inspected the actual, hard-copy products page for page. In my judgment, zazzle's 14 1/4 x 22 inch, wall calendar wins, where calendars are concerned.

Other Print-On-Demand Websites Are Excellent Too

I made practically the same calendar at:

  • lulu.com
    SIZE: 13’ x 19”
    COST: $ 24.75
    Online Storefront ?: Yes
  • zazzle.com
    SIZE: 14” x 22”
    COST: $ 26.00
    Online Storefront ?: Yes
  • redbubble.com
    SIZE: 11” x 17”
    COST: $ 25.00
    Online Storefront ?: Yest
  • vistaprint.com
    SIZE: 11” x 17”
    COST: $ 15.99 Online Storefront ?: No

As you can see, the first three companies provide online storefronts, where calendar creators can try to promote and sell their self-published wares. The fourth company, vistaprint.com does NOT offer such a storefront. All of these companies do a great job, no doubt, but zazzle offers the largest dimensions of any of the wall calendars that I have created at any of these websites.

You certainly cannot beat vistaprint’s price of $ 15.99, but here you lack the calendar size and the storefront capabilities that the other websites provide. If all you want is a modest-sized wall calendar that you create, just for yourself and for friends, then vistaprint is the most economical place to go. If, however, you want a larger product and a place to market and sell it, then the other websites allow this greater creative and commercial freedom.

FLUIDISM 2011 Wall Calendar Redbubble.com Cover by Robert G. Kernodle
FLUIDISM 2011 Wall Calendar Redbubble.com Cover by Robert G. Kernodle | Source

Comparison Of FOUR Print-On-Demand Wall Calendars

W E B S I T E
Calendar SIZE 
Creator PRICE 
STOREFRONT ? 
zazzle.com
14" x 22" 
$ 25.95 
YES - FREE 
lulu.com
13" x 19" 
$ 23.49 
YES - FREE 
redbubble.com
11" x 17"
$ 20.90
YES - FREE
vistaprint.com
11" x 17"
$ 15.99
NO
Detailed Comparison Of Wall Calendars From Five Print-On-Demand Websites

Bottom Line

If big is your thing with wall calendars, then zazzle is the company to go with, as of the current date (November 2012). If quality is your only consideration, then any of the companies that I have mentioned are equally excellent, where photo wall calendars are concerned. If size is not an issue, if selling is not an issue, and if cost IS an issue, then you cannot go wrong with vistaprint.

Other Things You Should Know

None of the websites mentioned in this article enable you to create a bold, professional looking cover page for your calendar, directly in their calendar creation tools. Instead, you have to submit the cover, print-ready, where you have added text, using either your own photo editing software or using online photo editing services.

I use pixlr.com , a FREE browser editor that enables you:

  • to add text,
  • to style text,
  • to color text,

In sum:

  • Use pixlr.com to create your wall calendar cover – FREE sevice.
  • Use zazzle.com to create your large wall calendar – FREE service.

More by this Author


Comments 17 comments

Reb 5 years ago

So, with the sites which have a storefront, do you have to pay anything up front to have them print and sell your calendar? I see that cafepress charges a yearly fee. But with Lulu, for example, can you make a calendar, put it on your storefront and sell it, no money up front?

Your calendar looks lovely, by the way.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 5 years ago Author

Hi Reb,

Refer to my chart. Notice that Lulu, Zazzle, and Redbubble (all three) allow you to make, to display in a storefront and to sell CALENDARS for no fee.

Hope that clears it up, and thanks for the feedback -- I've got more, new FLUIDISM wall calendars coming in 2012.

Robert


Lisa 4 years ago

I was scouring the net trying to find this type of info. Thanks so much!!!


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 4 years ago Author

You are so welcome.

Finding all this out took some time, and it was a hassle, so I am glad to save others the hassle of fulfilling their art-or-other photography.

Robert


John 4 years ago

There don't seem to be any dates on this post. How current is this information? I went to the Cafepress website, and they only seem to offer an 8.5x11 design-your-own calendar for $19.99. Am I missing something or are they not doing the 17x22 one any more?


Robert Kernodle 4 years ago

Google's "Picnik.com" free browser photo editor will soon disappear from the internet, because Google is making changes to its services. I actually grew to prefer Picnik, once I discovered that the website automatically resized a submitted photo, BUT you could press the "UNDO" button to restore to the larger size. The website did NOT tell you this upfront -- I discovered it by accident.

Now the best FREE online, browser photo editor is, by far, pixlr.com.

I personally now use the free software photo editor known as GIMP, which you have to install on your computer, but, if you can do this, it is the closest FREE thing to Photoshop that you will find.

Happy calendar making,

Robert


Robert Kernodle 4 years ago

John asked how current is this information. Each comment has a statement as to how many seconds, minutes, days, months or years ago the post was made. As of Feb 23, 2012, I still stand by this info, except Cafepress now seems to have converted to a totally FREE website.

So, my recommendations are:

* edit cover page at pixlr.com

* create oversized wall calendar at cafepress.com

* enjoy your creations

Robert ............. again


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 4 years ago Author

John,

It appears as though cafepress is discouraging this size, because the website does NOT make it very obvious that this oversized option exists.

Even so, the following link that describes the 11" x 17" oversized wall calendar STILL exists today (March 28, 2012):

http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/sell/index.aspx?a...

Maybe the website is gearing up to discontinue this size. I would be very disappointed with such a decision to do so.


Leone 4 years ago

do any of these sites let you produce an 18 month calendar?


Robert Kernodle 4 years ago

Leone,

I think lulu lets you produce 18-month calendars. Lulu also lets you produce calendars for forthcoming years, far in advance of the other websites.

Robert Kernodle


Tom Talbott 4 years ago

Great information. I have tried Lulu and wasn't impressed with the quality or options. I have printed a number of calendars through iPhoto and when compared side by side, people always choose the iPhoto calendar over the Lulu calendar.

I was hoping to try the cafepress link you posted 4 months ago, but that does seem to have disappeared. Too bad, because the size of the offered calendars is too small for what I want to do.

I already sell prints through RedBubble, but was concerned about their automatic captioning. I may still try them out.

Thanks again for capturing this info.


Buck Lovell 3 years ago

Where is the profit.....a $24.95 calendar retail? How does the artist make any money?

Buck Lovell www.lovellphoto.com


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

To answer Buck:

Artists CANNOT make any money at making calendars at a print-on-demand website. This is the reality, I have discovered.

I make the calendars mainly for my own use AND for the occasional friend who wants to buy one.

When you can buy $7 calendars on special at WallMart or Target, and all you're interested in is keeping track of dates, then why would any practical minded person pay a penny more?

No profit in POD wall calendars. Look for profits elsewhere.

Also, it does appear that Cafepress has ceased offering the over sized wall calendar option, which will force me to re-write this whole article to be more truthfully up-to-date.

Robert


Marie 3 years ago

Thank you for specifying that one cannot design the cover in Lulu. I have spent an hour, on Lulu, trying to figure out how to preview or insert text into cover! Not intuitive at all.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

With Lulu, as a support person told me, "What you see is what you get." That website could be so much better for calendar-making enthusiasts.

"What you get" with Lulu IS a good product, but the design limitations are obvious and not as attracting as other websites. With Lulu, you also do NOT have the capability of adding a back cover. With Zazzle, you can design whatever back cover you want in your own software and simply drop it into the template. OR if you don't have the software, you still CAN simply add an image and text directly within the calendar design tool at zazzle.

I just received two copies of my 2013 calendar from zazzle, and they exceeded my expectations. Printing was clean, crisp, and deep colored. My back cover that I took pains to design looked great.

There is a free-ware software photo editor called GIMP that you download onto your computer. This is what I now use. Again, this software is free, but it has a steep learning curve, and it has glitches that you have to learn to deal with.

- Robert


Indy 3 years ago

I've been doing calendars with lulu for night 6-7 years now, but am looking to go elsewhere, as in mid-November lulu jacked their base printing prices up over 30%. Used to be I could print a calendar out for myself, as gifts for friends, etc, for $13, but now can't touch it for less than $19.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

I doubt that you will ever find a print-on-demand wall calendar that can compete with the low prices people are usually accustomed to paying for calendars.

Self-made calendars are a vanity venture that maybe a few friends will want copies of, since they know you. But for pure functionality, many people are simply happy with a Wal Mart $7 special.

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