MagCloud Calendars + Your Business

Click here for info on our 2016 calendar templates!

The New Year is rapidly approaching, so if you’ve been wanting to put together a calendar for client gifts or to promote your business, then stop procrastinating and get to it!

No matter what business you’re in, calendars are a great way to keep your name in front of your client all year long.

We know that assembling a calendar can be time consuming, so to save you time, we’ve created templates for some of your favorite design software, in multiple sizes that fit just about any budget and style. Just pick your software and product size, then get your content and imagery together. With just a few edits to typeface and colors you can create a calendar that is uniquely your own.

<< Want to get inspired? Check out Merritt Photography’s Seasonal Reflections 2013 Calendar. Jennifer Koskinen created a fabulous calendar that celebrates the seasons with artful iphoneography and inspired quotations by distinguished photographers and designers. Koskinen did so using our 8″ x 8″ Small Square product to create an elegant and minimalist calendar that fits her brand and budget.

Product Options:

Small Square (8″ x 8″) calendars

These are ideal for square photos like those from Instagram. With Saddle-Stitch Binding a 28 page calendar will cost $5.60/each + Shipping.

Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) calendars

Our classic letter-sized publication. With Saddle-Stitch Binding a 28 page calendar will cost $5.60/each + Shipping.

Large Square (12″ x 12″) calendars

One of our larger products, this Wire-O bound style has heavier stock paper and is well suited for showing off beautiful images. At 28 pages a calendar costs $12.08/each + Shipping

InDesign CS5 and Newer

InDesign CS4

Pages

Microsoft Word

Restrictions in Microsoft Word make it difficult to have an editable calendar grid in the Word template, so we’ve created three different templates for our Standard size calendar that offer a variety of grid styles as static images. Choose from a classic “Grid style”, a sleek “Line style” or a clean “Corner Style” and add your images to get the look you want.

Poyomi

Tabloid 14″ x 11″ calendar

Don’t want to use any of the above applications? MagCloud’s Partner Poyomi has an easy-to-use web-based platform that helps you create impressive 14″ x 11″ calendars that are printed by MagCloud. With their service you can easily upload photos from your computer or connect to your accounts on photo-sharing services like Flickr, Smugmug, Picasa and Facebook.

*Please note that using the Poyomi tool and templates to create a calendar or photo book will affect the pricing. For Poyomi pricing, visit poyomi.com/pricing

To get started with the Poyomi calendar tool click here.

Check out some of our favorite calendars currently on MagCloud:

Make Summer Last All Year – Turn Your Photos into a Calendar

In the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about ways to turn your photos into something special with MagCloud. Whether that’s creating a photo book with Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture, or creating a Summer Memory Magazine, MagCloud makes it easy to enjoy your photos in beautiful print and digital formats. So why not enjoy Summer all year-round by creating a calendar with your photographs?

To help you get started, we’ve created 6 templates for you to use with Adobe InDesign and Apple Pages. Simply add your own photos, special dates and details, upload your PDF to MagCloud and you’re set! You can sell your calendar online in the MagCloud Storefront or use our Direct Mail feature to send a copy to all of your friends with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Let’s get started!

Select the Format/Size of Calendar

Our templates are available in 3 sizes:

  • Small Square (8″ x8″) calendars (ideal for square photos like those from Instagram) with Saddle  Stitch Binding (28 pages – $5.60/each + Shipping)
  • Standard (10.75″ x 8.25″) calendars with Saddle Stitch Binding (28 pages – $5.60/each + Shipping)
  • Large Square (12″ x 12″) calendars with Wire-O Binding (28 pages – $12.08/each + Shipping)

*Remember that prices drop 25% off when you order 20 copies or more. So if you’re looking to order gifts for friends and family, or a great way to promote your business–a MagCloud-published calendar may be the perfect solution.

Select Your Software

InDesign CS5 & Newer

InDesign CS4

Pages

Script (handwriting) Typeface used in templates: Jenna Sue

Calendars for Business

You may also remember that last year we talked about using a MagCloud-printed calendar to promote your business. In exchange for you summer vacation photos, you can easily add images of your products, team members, or local scenery. Add your logo to the back cover along with a bit about your business and contact information and voila–you’ll keep your brand top-of-mind and in front of your customers all-year-round.

Since last year’s calendar template was so popular we also decided to revamp it for 2013. Enjoy!

That sounds too complicated for me.

Don’t want to use either of the above applications? MagCloud Partner Poyomi has an easy-to-use web-based platform that helps you create 14″ x 11″ calendars that are printed by MagCloud. With their service you can easily upload photos from your computer or connect to your accounts on photo-sharing services like Flickr, Smugmug, Picasa and Facebook.

*Please note that using the Poyomi tool and templates to create a calendar or photo book will affect the pricing. For Poyomi pricing, visit poyomi.com/pricing

To get started with the Poyomi calendar tool click here.

Turn Your Summer Pics into a Photo Book with Apple Aperture

Looking for something to do with all those great photos you’ve taken this summer of trips, pool parties, nature hikes and more?  Why not create a photo book keepsake to share with friends and family so you can relive the great memories for years to come.

Apple Aperture is a great tool for keeping photos organized, polishing them up and even creating MagCloud-ready photo books.  We’ve added new Software-Specific Instruction Packets for Aperture to our Getting Started page for all of our product sizes. These downloadable folders contain MagCloud-specific templates and instructions for Aperture 3.0 and newer.

Below are a few tips to get you started.

Organize Your Photos

The first step is selecting the photos you want to use for your book.  Aperture makes it easy to weed through the large volume of photos you’ve taken this past summer with the Smart Album feature.  Create a new smart album using ratings (i.e. all your fave photos who you gave 3 or more stars too), and/or keywords (i.e. summer, Hawaii trip, beach) to select your favorite photos for inclusion in your book.

Tip for Instagram Users:

While Instagram doesn’t allow you to send directly to Aperture the smart folks over at ApertureExpert.com have outlined a simple way to use Flickr as a go between to bring your Instagram photos directly Aperture.  One thing to note for MagCloud-ready publications is that the photos Instagram sends to Flickr are low resolution and may not print well so we recommend after you’ve created your Instagram album in Aperture to transfer the pictures from your mobile device to your Mac via iCloud or cable sync, and replace one by one the Flickr pictures with your higher resolution images from your Camera Roll.

Oh and if the whole Instagram importing and resolution workarounds seem like too much check out the Aperture Instagram Presets created by photographer Casey Mac and create your own Instagram like photos directly in Aperture.

Create Your Book with a MagCloud Photo Book Theme

Once you’ve organized your photos it’s time to select what size book you want to create.  We’ve created Aperture themes and instructions for each MagCloud product from Digest to Tabloid; simply download the files from our Getting Started page.

Installing the Aperture Book Theme

  1. Open a new Finder window and select “Go to Folder…” from the Go menu
  2. In the text field that appears, type: ~/Library/Application Support/Aperture/Book Themes
  3. Click Go
  4. Drag the “8 x 8 Square or Pamphlet” folder from the unzipped folder into this new Book Themes window

Creating a MagCloud-Ready Book

Now the fun part…creating your book!

Select Your Theme

  1. Open Aperture (if not already opened)
  2. Click the New icon in the upper left corner, then select Book from the drop-down menu
  3. Enter a Book Name for your book
  4. Select “Custom” from the Book Type drop-down menu
  5. Select the MagCloud theme you loaded (i.e. “8 x 8 Square or Pamphlet”)
  6. Click Choose Theme to create your book
Build Your Book

Aperture makes it easy to layout your book simply by organizing your photos in the book editor by date, rating, label, file name etc. and then selecting “Autoflow Unplaced Images”.  Of course your can reorder and move images from one page to the next at any time.

You can also customize your book by changing layout (i.e. 2 Up to 4 Up), adding text, selecting background colors etc.

Tips for Creating An Awesome MagCloud Book
  • Perfect bound publications can be anywhere from 8 to 384 pages long, but the total page count needs to be a multiple of 2.
  • Saddle stitch bound publications can be anywhere from 8 to 100 pages long, but the total page count needs to be a multiple of 4.
  • You can add and delete pages using the + and – buttons under the page display.
  • When adding text, don’t go beyond the theme margins (the edge of the image in the 1-up layout). The margins are set to the edge of the safe zone, and any text placed outside this area is in danger of being trimmed off in the print version.
  • If you have a lot of large photos in your publication, or if it is a lot of pages, it’s possible that your final PDF will be over MagCloud’s 300MB upload limit. If this happens, there are a few things you can do to reduce the file size after you export the PDF from Aperture. See the instructions you downloaded with your Aperture theme for how to reduce image size with Apple Preview or Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Export Your Book as a PDF

Once you’ve got your book looking exactly how you want it, its time to export it as a MagCloud-ready PDF file.

  1. After you have finished designing your book, click Print Book in the upper right-hand corner
  2. Select your “Color Profile” from the drop-down menu. In this case I’ve selected sRGB as my color profile to embed.
  3. Click the “PDF” button and select “Save as PDF…” from the drop-down menu
  4. Enter a name for your PDF and select where you want it to be saved on your computer
  5. Click Save

The PDF of your book is now ready to be uploaded to magcloud.com.

What types of MagCloud publications will you use Aperture to create?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Creating a PDF? We’ll Help You Get Started

As we continue to add new product sizes to the MagCloud service, we’ve made it easier to find the requirements for the product you want to create with our Getting Started page. This new page in the Create section on the MagCloud site lets you select the product, trim size, and binding type for the publication you want to create, and then provides you with the appropriate PDF specifications, things to keep in mind when designing your publication, and step-by-step information packets to help you get started.

In the PDF specifications section, we not only provide the correct PDF size, trim size, safe zone, and bleeds for creating a MagCloud-ready PDF but we also make it easier to understand what these concepts are and how they relate to one another. As you hover over each of these values on the right, you’ll notice that the corresponding area gets highlighted in red in the diagram on the left. At the same time, a text description of what the specification is appears next to your cursor, letting you know, for example, that the PDF Size is the page size of the PDF you will upload to MagCloud. Below the PDF specifications, there is a section for Additional Information that is specific to the publication you are hoping to create. This area lists things that are important to keep in mind while designing your PDF, from embedding fonts to allowing space for the 2D barcode that goes on the back page of your publication.

Finally, at the bottom of the Getting Started page are links to download Information Packets for a variety of software programs. Clicking on one of the icons will download a .zip file, which unzips to become a folder specific to that program and the product, trim size and binding you initially selected. Each folder contains a PDF with step-by-step instructions to help you design a MagCloud-ready PDF from scratch, or modify an existing document for use with MagCloud. In addition, many of these folders also include templates or presets that can be used in conjunction with the step-by-step instructions to help jump-start your creation process.

At the moment we offer Instruction Packets for Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Word for Mac and PC, Apple iWork Pages, and Microsoft Publisher. We are planning to add instructions for additional software in the near future though, so keep an eye on the blog for news about those additions. And if there’s a type of software that you would like to see MagCloud-specific instructions for, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Ways to Use MagCloud in Planning a Wedding

We recently highlighted ways wedding photographers can use MagCloud to promote and showcase their work. Today we are focusing on how MagCloud can be used for planning the wedding itself, as a resource for both professional event coordinators and those taking a DIY approach. From lookbooks and portfolios to show prospective clients, to destination information booklets and save-the-date materials for guests, all the way through to printed programs for the big day, MagCloud’s print on demand and digital services can be a great resource no matter what size of an event you’re planning.

Portfolios

We’ve discussed before how MagCloud is a great resource for publishing portfolios since it allows both an affordable print version and convenient digital version with a single PDF upload. As a professional event planner, showing potential clients your previous work will not only help you land the job but may also act as a source of inspiration. Since MagCloud offers prints for as little as $0.16 per page with no minimum order quantity, you can print off as few or as many full color, professional-quality portfolios as you need to share with these potential clients, at a price that won’t break the bank if you need to replace a copy. You can also make the same portfolio available in the MagCloud storefront for viewing as a PDF as a way to share your work digitally, with built-in promotion tools for your social media channels and website.

Vendor Lookbooks

Just as a portfolio can help inspire your clients for their event, having vendor lookbooks to show previous work specific to a particular photographer, venue, hair or makeup artist can also help simplify these decisions for your clients. With MagCloud you can have print copies for clients to browse through as you meet with them or as a PDF on other digital devices. You can also make these publications available through the MagCloud website, to link to from your website and promote through your social media channels as a means of marketing your business. Since these books promote not only your services but those of the venues and photographers being highlighted, this also offers an opportunity for cross-promotion, as noted in our post for wedding photographers. While you use these lookbooks to promote the work you’ve done with a particular vendor, you could also offer these pieces to the vendor as a means of promoting both their work and yours to potential clients. Using the MagCloud storefront, these vendors can order copies for themselves as they need them without having to go through you to get them.

Save-the-Dates

Pinterest is brimming with creative ideas for non-traditional save-the-dates that offer more information about the bride and groom, and better fit their personalities. MagCloud’s Digest Landscape product is a great format for creating compact save-the-date photobooks, with photos of the couple, the story of how they met and got engaged, and when and where the wedding will be held. If the couple has done an engagement photo shoot, this is a great way to show off the resulting photos in a high quality printed piece that guests will enjoy flipping through and reading. With MagCloud’s Ship to Group feature, you can even drop-ship copies of a publication to a list of addresses, so both the printing and distribution of the save-the-dates can be taken care of at once.

Guest Information Booklets

It’s likely that many of the guests at the wedding you are planning will be from out-of-town, and in most cases, they will be in town for a day or two leading up to or following the wedding. Therefore, it’s a nice idea to provide them with some information about the area, including options for lodging, places to eat, and things to do. This is particularly helpful for destination weddings, where everyone will likely be from outside the area and you may opt to arrange for additional activities for these guests to do. MagCloud is a great option for printing up reference booklets of guest information like this, to either send to guests ahead of time using the Ship to Group feature, or to make available via a link from the wedding website so guests can download a digital version for viewing on their iPad or other digital device. If this information is known in advance, this booklet could even act as the save-the-date and offer guests plenty of advance notice for planning their trip and booking lodging.

Programs

Whether it’s to provide information about the bridal party, list readings or songs to be performed, or simply to remind guests about directions to the reception location, most wedding ceremonies include a paper program that gets passed out to guests at the door. These programs provide helpful information for guests, and also offer a keepsake of the event. MagCloud’s smaller Digest product is a perfect format for programs of all lengths, particularly at the 4-page Pamphlet size. Our 4-page products are now printed on a heavier paper stock, so they offer a more formal feel that makes them a great fit for wedding programs. With no minimum order quantity, you can order programs in a quantity that fits the size of your event, whether it’s an intimate gathering with just a few guests or a larger affair numbering in the hundreds.

If you’re looking to create a wedding program for yourself, check out this basic template for Microsoft Publisher to help you get started.

Have you used MagCloud to publish content for a wedding or other event? Tell us how in the comments below.

MagCloud 2012 Resolutions

The MagCloud team is really excited about 2012. With a new year comes an opportunity to think about what changes and improvements we would like to see on the website and with our service offerings.

So here are our top resolutions for MagCloud this year:

  • Offer More Product Types: including a cool square format and a larger landscape product.
  • Enhance our Direct Mail Services: making it easier to send publications to groups of customers, colleagues and subscribers in print and digital format.
  • Provide New Tools for Publication Creation: new web based authoring tools, templates and an improved help section to make creating MagCloud-ready publications easier.
  • Reward our Community: Referral and Advocate programs to reward MagCloud users for helping us spread the MagCloud word and attract new publishers to the service.
  • Enable MagCloud-aware Applications: enhance the MagCloud platform to make it easier for third party developers to build their own websites and applications on top of MagCloud that can link directly to MagCloud’s publishing and distribution capabilities.  So no need to recreate all the heavy lifting we’ve already spent the last 3 years building. Just tap into MagCloud and offer our services as part of your business.

These are just a few of the things we have in mind but we always appreciate your feedback on what new features are most important to you.

To ensure your voice is heard please take a few minutes to complete our short MagCloud user survey. After you complete the survey you’ll receive a coupon for 15% off the production costs of future purchases of full-priced publications on MagCloud.*

We look forward to your feedback and to an amazing year for the entire MagCloud community.

*This coupon cannot be combined with other offers or sales on the MagCloud website and is valid through April 30th, 2012.

Member Communication Made Easy (Well, Easier…)

Whether you have a non-profit, church group, student association, small business, or sports team, getting your message out to your members, supporters, and investors can be a large task. Staying on schedule and under budget can be tough, and creating a print newsletter that looks good is only a fraction of the challenge. Then you have to worry about mailing lists, postage and distribution… and you have to do this annually? Quarterly? Monthly?! Yikes. My head hurts just thinking about it…

Well, now you can worry less, because you have MagCloud–and we’re working to make it easier for you. With Ship to Group functionality we can take on the heavy-lifting of drop-shipping to your mailing list and you won’t have to deal with pesky paper-cuts or trips to the post office. Digital distribution gives you the option to share a PDF with your users who prefer to stay up-to-date with their iPad or other digital device. And you can get it all done without having to leave your desk or get out of your PJs (no judgement here).

So since it’s the start of a new year, what better way to turn over a new leaf with your organization, than to turn a glossy page? Your publication can look professional and still be affordable if you publish through MagCloud and we’re going to help you get started right now.

To make the process easier, we created a classic newsletter template designed for printing as a 4-page MagCloud publication (which comes to just 60¢/copy if you order 20 or more copies). It’s easy to edit and available in three software formats. Check out the original and a variation of the template on the left, and then get started creating your own in Adobe InDesign (CS3 or newer), Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. *Please note, you may have to “right-click” or “ctrl+click” to start the download.

Starting with a template is a great trick for speeding up the design process (don’t tell anyone I told you, but a lot of professional designers do it themselves) and many well-designed templates have style sheets built in that make it easy to change fonts and styles with just a few clicks of the mouse. So with a few simple typeface changes, tweaks to color, and some new imagery, you can easily transform this basic template into a newsletter that fits your organization’s image. We used Neutra typefaces and swapped in orange for our example, but how you customize it is up to you.

Want to try a different design?
Depending on your software of choice, you can also find great resources built into some applications or as free downloads in their online resources.

Apple Pages has built-in templates that can be great starting points, just be sure to check your margins and settings because these layouts may need a bit of adjusting so that they are properly centered on the page after printing/trimming. For more detailed help with this task check out the “Add guides to pages and adjust layout for trim” section of last year’s blog post.

Microsoft also has free templates available for Word and Publisher online at office.microsoft.com.

If you’re willing to splurge and buy a template, from an online source like stocklayouts.com, be aware that most of these templates are not designed to MagCloud specs and will need to be adjusted to 8.5″ x 11″ pages in order to output a properly-sized, MagCloud-ready PDF. So before you spend the money, be sure you select a file format for software you are comfortable with, and that you are prepared to make the necessary changes to set the file up to match our PDF specifications.

More Resources
Still needing more inspiration? Check out some of our past blog posts for newsletter content and design tips, or great sample publications. And as always you can find all of MagCloud’s design Tips and Tricks and all of our free templates in our Design Resources section of the blog.

Have you found other great templates or resources to use when creating your MagCloud publications? Then please share them below in the comments section.

New Catalog Template

Looking for ways to showcase your growing line of products or services?  We have added a new catalog template to our free template collection.

This multi-page template is for Adobe InDesign users and is perfect for product or service brochures.  We’ve created a sample publication using this template to show you how easy it is to make a great looking catalog that is MagCloud-ready.

If you are new to using Adobe InDesign to create MagCloud-ready publications make sure to download our Adobe InDesign Getting Started Guide for tips on settings for trim, bleeds, image resolution and more.

Let us know what you think of the new template in our comments section below.

Attract an Audience to Your Event with Great Content

Whether you are planning a large conference, an intimate meeting for VIP customers, a quarterly gathering for club members, or an annual fundraising event, content plays a pivotal role in attracting and pleasing attendees.

Compelling speakers are the most important factor in attracting attendees to your event.  Finding speakers who are relevant, experienced and have a unique story to tell will not only drive attendees to your event, but keep them talking about it well after the event is over. You should even consider soliciting potential attendee feedback in the process of selecting keynote speakers, panelists and meeting topics.  A great example of this is the South by Southwest Panel Picker, which allows their community to vote on proposals for various speakers and panel topics, thus engaging their audience in the actual content programming of the event.

Networking is more than a handshake. Besides great speakers the other reason people attend events is to network.  As an event organizer you can help your attendees get the most out of the event by making networking easier before, during and after your event.  Use the existing social networks to get attendees talking prior to an event—event Facebook Pages or Groups, Twitter Hashtags, LinkedIn Groups etc.  Consider hosting Birds-of-a-Feather sessions or lunches where attendees can gather to informally discuss topics of mutual interest.

Attention grabbing materials.  Print and digital materials you use to promote your event—brochures, flyers, newsletters; and inform attendees while at your event—programs, daily papers, agendas etc. are an important factor in audience engagement. Events like music festivals, sporting events and business conferences are complemented well by programs that can serve as both a guide to attendees as well as used for marketing material down the road. An event program is a great way to showcase the talent you’ve organized, share the purpose of your event, promote your sponsors and acknowledge those who deserve thanks.

Here are a few of our MagCloud favorites (from MagCloud publishers as well as others) to provide some inspiration:

    • Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs published the program for their August 2011 event in San Francisco. This program does a great job of posting the packed schedule along with speaker bios and ads for local businesses (It’s clear they put a priority on great design – a top MagCloud tip!)
    • 2010 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – it’s not just about a one-week event in October. This program delves into the history of the annual Balloon Fiesta and gives details on each balloon flying at the event – it’s sort of like the “speaker bios” of the balloon festival world.
    • 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open program has a clear focus on great photography especially the shots of the individual holes (pages 50-66) not to mention beautiful integrations with their sponsors. The ads are woven into the program and don’t feel forced or out of place.
    • SXSW 2012 Event Marketing brochure is chock full of impressive stats, engaging content and gorgeous design.
    • TED Fellows 2011 Booklet gives shout outs and thank yous up front along with a brief description of the program and of course a look at each TED Fellow and the work they are up to.
    • Guide to Davos dives into the topics at hand for the 2011 Davos Conference and gives the reader a feel for the tone and sheer importance of the event. Layout is unique and could work well for an event that requires articles in their program to communicate its story.

And if you are ready to get started on materials for your next event and need a little help check out our collection of free event program and brochure templates:

Have you taken a unique approach to selecting speakers, creating networking opportunities or created killer event materials? If so please feel free to share those ideas in the comments section and tell us what kind of feedback you received from event attendees and partners.

 

Get With the Program

Planning for an event can sometimes be, well, eventful. There are always changing schedules to deal with, speakers canceling at the last minute, and 11th hour edits to the program. Making it to press in time (sometimes weeks before the event) with all of these adjustments can be nearly impossible. So, why not lighten your load and use MagCloud?

With fast print turn-around times (as fast as 3-business days for some orders) and great digital options, you could have your next event’s program done quickly, printed beautifully and even offer a digital option to attendees who would rather have their program on their mobile device.

Whether you are planning an internal training day for 10, a corporate meeting for 100 or a conference for 1,000+, MagCloud makes it easy to publish a program with just a few clicks of the mouse and have prints delivered straight to the event location. How easy is that?!

Need shipping that fits your budget? Use the MagCloud pricing calculator to figure out what level of shipping option works best for you.

To help you get started, we have 3 basic templates for Adobe InDesign (CS3 and later) Microsoft Word, and Apple iWork Pages. You can also find templates for sale online from many sites, but be cautious that many of them will require some tweaking to output for print through MagCloud. Please see our How to Guides for details on MagCloud-ready settings.

Ready to design on your own? Get inspired by other publishers’ event and sports programs and agendas on MagCloud: