If you are a calendarmaker with a gimmick, that won't guarantee big sales. But it does guarantee your calendar will stand out when set against the thousands of standard issues.
Here's a look at nine "clever" calendars for 1995. We list the locations where they were first spotted, though most of these calendars are available from dozens of different outlets:1. THE 1994/95 HIGH SCHOOL TRACKER; Arco; $8 (spotted at Waldenbooks).
This is a miniplanner being pitched to the prep-schooler in your family. It includes the obligatory holidays, times and places for notes for each day. "Big days" - such as ACT and college application deadlines - are also in there. Vocabulary words pop up every few pages, as do helpful hints on studying, career choices and social life.
2. CUSTOM CALENDARS; Alphagraphics; $24.95 (with $5 coupons available).
We may be seeing the wave of future calendars here. Alphagraphics and other professional printers use color photo copy machines to create calendars with your own, personalized photos on each page. Just drop off 14 of your favorite snapshots and the companies will enlarge them to fit the pages. And the quality of photo copy reproductions has gotten to the point where the larger pictures actually look better than enlarged photographs.
3. MAVERICK HEARTS; Silhouette; $9.99.
This is a calendar for girls, full of cowboy heartthrobs. (Actually, they look like Nordstrom models in cowboy hats.) The bonus is the calendar comes with a cassette tape of heart-throbbing songs by Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and others. The whole thing is a multimedia, stop-look-and-listen package for lonely cowgirls with the blues.
4. MISSIONARY MOTIVATIONS; produced by Evan Richmond.
A couple of things set this little desktop calendar apart. First, it's a perpetual calendar, so it's good from now until kingdom come. And the months and days are set up like scripture references (January 1:25).
Most of the motivational thoughts on each page were contributed by working missionaries. It's not a flashy day book but has a Mom and Pop handicraft look about it. And the calendar's compact, so it's easy to pack.
Evan Richmond is pitching this calendar on his own. He's at P.O. Box 9095, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, or call 261-5124.
5. MARY ENGELBREIT: A YEAR OF BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES AND SPECIAL DAYS; Workman; $7.95 (Sam Weller book stores).
This calendar stands out because of its shape. Long and lean, the calendar sets the days in a skinny row like a grocery list. Beside each day are two spaces where you can write names and events.
Engelbreit has graced the top of each page with paintings in her busy, colorful, recognizable style.
6. COMPACT DESK CALENDARS; te Neues; $7.95 (King's English bookstore).
The name is a play on the words "compact disc," since these tidy little calendars have been packaged in "jewel boxes" - those ubiquitous plastic CD cases. I was wondering when someone would find another use for those things. This is one.
Most of the calendars feature the work of famous artists - from Renoir to Edward Hopper. They look stylish and practical. And they look like they'll make a lot of money for the people who found a way to market $2 worth of materials for $8.
7. THE YEAR OF THE LORD; Scripture Calendars; $1 (The Catholic Center).
This calendar is included because it's locally produced; and because it is actually something you can buy for a $1 that's worth the price.
This is a practical - not a showy - calendar. It's all done by desk-top publishing. There are scripture references for each day for 1995. Holy days and holidays are marked. Snippets of scripture fill the empty spaces.
8. GUATEMALA RAINBOW; Pomegranate Calendars; $13.95 (found in Recollections/Vital Interests).
This is an oversize calendar with splashy, colorful shots from Guatemala. I include it because it practically leapt out at me from the shelf. The photos - by Gianni Vecchiato - stress the bright, vibrant side of the Guatemalan culture. This is not an understated effort. It's showmanship. Wherever you hang the calendar, it will brighten up the room. It might even bright up the entire neighborhood.
9. THE ART OF ANDY WARHOL; TeNeu; $36.95 (Cahoots).
This is one in a series of calendars with giant, print-quality pictures that can double as framed wall-posters when the month is over (hence the high price tag). Buy a calendar now, next year open a museum.
Photographs of Annie Leibowitz and the artwork of Keith Haring are also options.