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Your days are pictured

Calendars — personal and personalised — are making the market tick this year, reports Mini Pant Zachariah.

mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2010 23:56 IST
Mini Pant Zachariah

Megha Verma, 25, is a young PR professional in Mumbai who married Dr Jeet Goswami, 30, just three months ago. Verma lives in Mumbai while her husband, doing his post-doctoral research, lives in Delhi.

They try and meet up as often as possible in this long-distance marriage but it just isn’t enough. So Verma has thought up something smart. She pulled out pictures of Jeet and herself from their engagement to honeymoon, selected the ones that hold special memories and put them together in a CD and headed to Manish Parikh of Reva Printery to ask him to print them on a calendar format for her. When she met Jeet for New Year’s eve in Delhi this year she had this surprise calendar for him, which will perhaps help live through the days of separation a little better.

Verma, tries to underplay the romantic bit and adds, “Actually, I’ve got big blocks for dates so that I can put the birthdays and anniversaries of friends and family in bold. You know how men are: they never remember such things.”

Personal calendars, easy to design with so many personal memories captured in digital frames, are getting popular these days. Says Jigna Shah, a marketing professional with a private club in Bandra, “One takes so many pictures but they stay in the camera or on the computer. With a calendar made of these pictures, you can be reminded of the good times all the time.” She is getting one done with pictures of her two nieces who live in Atlanta, US. These are limited edition calendars made only for very close family members and friends’ for whom the images will have meaning. Shah’s print order is just 10 calendars.

Getting personal

It is simple to put together pictures of friends and family and make a calendar but what does one do when one wants to send special calendars and does not have access to these images?

Personalised calendars are the answer, says Suresh Satiya, director of Stanart Print, a digital printing press in Malad, Mumbai.

Personalised calendars have your name printed across the pictures. These are calendars made specifically with you in mind and would you rather not keep it than give it away.

As e greetings and SMSes phase out the traditional greeting cards, people turn to personalised calendars to wish their customers a happy new year. When you keep it either at your worktable or at home, you will remember the person who gifted that calendar throughout the year. This is an opportunity no individual, vendor or corporate would let go.

These calendars were introduced by a telecom major three years ago to reach out to the customers it valued. It proved to be very popular, says Satiya. “It is easy to make personalised calendars with digital printing machines because you need a particular software where you can introduce the name of the individual who will receive the calendar on each of the images that you use in the calendar.”

Parikh adds that these are especially popular with pharmaceutical companies who are barred from giving doctors gifts legally but calendars being stationery items, are allowed. “A personalised calendar shows the receiver that he has been thought of as special by the company. He is more likely to keep it on his table and be reminded of the company every time he looks at it,” adds Parikh.

These calendars, mostly of a 5.5” x 8.5”, can cost anything between Rs 80 and Rs 150. Parikh adds that these also make excellent return gifts for children’s birthday parties where every child who receives a calendar with his name is thrilled. For a mere Rs 100, it is worth the goodwill, he says.

Next: 3D calender?

As with most new-age ideas, personalised calendars will soon be passé. So what next? Parikh thinks 3D calendars with lenticular printing will be the next big draw. He also thinks that UV printing using silver and gold foil boards where the silver and gold lend a shimmering effect on the picture will also come to India and to personal and personalised calendars soon.

So we have much to look forward to in the new year.