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You guys could make a calendar template that allows more changes, such as changing month names, weekday names and dates. I've been trying to figure out how to make a hebrew/jewish calendar and have a lot of people who would readily buy.
There are a lot of different calendars out there, and no "make your own calendar" site that has an alternate calendar option. The market is wide open for this sort of thing and there are plenty of people who would buy.
I think it would be a great advance on your company to be able to do and advertize something like this!
The way to start a calendar or photo book in Lulu Studio right now is very convoluted and not intuitive. Given the number of questions on the forum, this seems to be a real hurdle, especially for new users and in comparison to how easy it is to get started on other sites. It is very confusing that both the "create your photo book" and the "create your calendar" links appear to redirect to the "Books" page. I think providing a direct link from the calendar and photo book pages to Lulu Studio like it used to be would work a lot better.
Lulu Studio allows you to add images from your files uploaded earlier to a new project. It would be nice to be able to narrow the choices down to images uploaded for a certain project, type of project (e.g. all calendar images), or within a certain time frame rather than getting all of them in chunks of 50 at a time. If you have a lot of images, sorting through them to find the one you're looking for takes so long that it would be easier to simply upload another copy, which just unnecessarily fills up server space.
Alternatively, it would be very convenient if there was a way to duplicate an existing project and edit the second copy without losing the original, e.g. to create two identical calendars with different languages/holidays etc.
The website states in the calendar features that you can add images to date blocks to customize events with photos etc. This is a cool feature, but it is not clear how to do that. There is no knowledge base article about it that I can find, nor is there any help on it available within Lulu Studio. (The only help item available is how to add or delete events.) Clicking on the date field pops up a window to add an event, but there is no option to add a picture with that. I eventually figured out by trial and error that you can do it by dragging images you have uploaded into the date fields, but having the procedure explained somewhere would be helpful.
Also, it would be helpful to know what size these images need to be. Lulu Studio gives this information in inches and pixels for the main calendar image block, which is very helpful (top part in the screen shot), but I cannot find corresponding information for the date fields (e.g. where the warning sign shows up in the screen shot).
It appears the wire-o binding on the standard calendars is installed backwards, thus allowing the pages to slip out of the binding when the calendar is picked up or hanging on the wall. This seems to be either a persistent or recurring problem, as evidenced by similar reports earlier this year and as far back as two years ago:
It also appears that the spine is in the wrong place between the January image and calendar page instead of between the front and back cover as on all other wire-o bound calendars I have seen (printed at misc. places in the US and in Germany). That means the spine is visible instead of hidden when the calendar is hanging on the wall. Lulu's binding does not seem to follow industry standards compared to other calendar printing services.
I took a few pictures to illustrate the problem:
Notice the spine being visible in January. This is the only month that the calendar will actually hold when hanging on the wall. Once you flip it over to February...
...the open end of the wire-o binding ends up on top, thus allowing the page to slip out of the binding and the rest of the calendar to fall to the floor. This is not practical for an item designed to be hung on a wall.
Comparing to other calendars I have in the house, the problem seems to be a simple reversion of the wire-o binding. On all the other calendars I have, it is installed backwards compared to Lulu's with the spine between front and back cover rather than between the January pages. E.g. when flipping the calendar open to the January page and hanging it backwards (covers facing to you), the binding looks exactly like Lulu's, but the way the calendar is usually hung up on the wall the spine won't be visible and consistently will hold the calendar up as pages are flipped over throughout the year. To get the same stability on the wall from the Lulu binding, you'd have to hang the calendar upside down and flip through the year backwards.
Please fix this and/or have some quality control to assure that the wire-o binding is installed according to industry standards on calendars before they are shipped out.
I've been browsing the shop a bit to see what kind of calendars people offer on Lulu and have run into a few things that could use improvement. So this is a collection of several ideas/suggestions.
1) Update the listings to show calendars relevant to the current date
First of all, I would suggest to update that page a bit. All the "New on Lulu" calendars I was offered to look at were outdated, often calendars for 2008 and 2009. Those are hardly what I would consider new. "Lulu Staff Picks" were generally a bit more recent, e.g. 2010 and 2011. However, I can't imagine anyone looking at the site in mid-2012 would consider buying any of those calendars. I would expect the "new" listing to offer mostly if not exclusively at this point calendars for 2013. There are plenty already on Lulu if you search for them, but none of them showing on the shop page.
Connected to that, it might be sensible to actually hide outdated calendars in the shop listings. In contrast to books, calendars have a built-in expiration date. A potential customer visiting the shop is not going to look for a 2008 calendar to buy in 2012. Yet, the page and subcategories consistently only offered me outdated material to look at.
It also would be nice to see the "Spotlight" calendar refresh instead of consistently offering the same old calendar suggestion. While this calendar is typically the most recently dated of all the ones offered on that page, it is for 2012 and thus no longer of much interest for potential customers as we're already more than halfway through the year.
2) Improve searching and sorting options for calendars
To make matters worse, it is almost impossible to quickly find recent calendars via search as sorting by date seems to be broken. Searching or browsing for calendars brings up lists that are unsorted in regards to dates. Choosing to sort by publication date using the drop down menu does not result in a sorted list either. The calendar years are still jumbled around, e.g. starting with 2008, jumping to 2011, going back to 2010 etc. This sorting function does not seem to work for me.
Clicking on the "...by Date" search option and then choosing a publication time frame consistently results in a "Sorry, your search did not match any of the interesting content on Lulu." notice. Example: I've tried to search for "cat" calendars published within the last year and saw that error message. There are plenty of cat calendars that were published on Lulu over the last year. This search option fails to find any of them. It also fails for all other searches I've tried. I wonder if the "interesting" in that notice is maybe the keyword and calendars are lacking any sort of "interesting" flag on Lulu. Whatever is causing the failure, it still fails to offer anything at all to a potential customer.
It would vastly improve the ability to find calendars of interest if it was possible to sort the listings by date with the newest on top. The most reasonable way to sort calendars might be by calendar year or starting date, with the newest showing first. It would be great to have a link or search function pointing to all 2013 calendars, for example.
Hi there! REALLY want to create a calendar using lulu, but my pics are abstract designs with swirling colors and need just a "plain jane color of either BLACK, WHITE, OR DARK GREY" for the background. The templates lulu provides look terrific for family, pets, etc. but unfortunately take the the "snap" AWAY from my art pics. Is there a way that lulu could "whip up" a simply dark colored background (preferred) template for things like this? Thanks so much for your consideration. If this could happen, I will be ordering a boatload of calendars!
Waiting and watching!