Photo calendars have helped to change the face of our home and office walls over the last few years. Wall calendars used to be the domain of cute kitten pictures, 'funny' cartoons and questionable motivational messages. Did anybody really need to adorn their walls with an image of Niagara Falls or the cast of Friends, let alone 12 of them for the entire year?
Thanks to personalized photo calendars, you can now be greeted by handpicked pictures of loved ones every time you go to check when your next dental appointment or football game is. And as good a photo gift as they are to receive, trawling through and curating your photo gallery to best fit each month makes photo calendars a gratifying present to give as well.
So which online photo calendar service do you choose for your 2021 calendar? That's where TechRadar's best photo calendars guide comes in, as we can give you a helping hand in getting the quality, speed and cost that best suits your needs and budget.
Keep reading to see which companies do the best photo calendars around.
Mixbook is the #1 best photo calendar service
Mixbook is a service that we're really fond of. Somehow, it has managed to pull of that difficult trick of combing quality, ease-of-use and value. That's why it tops our best photo book countdown, as well as photo calendars.
The best photo calendars for 2021 in the US
Put your photo calendar business Mixbook's way, and we doubt very much you'll be disappointed. In fact, so does Mixbook - it offers '100% Happiness Guaranteed' with returns available if you're unsatisfied for any reason.
So what do you get from Mixbook? For starters, there are over 115 designs available to choose from. Even from there you can fully customize them all and Mixbook's software is really easy to use to do so. That goes beyond merely the photos you choose, as you can also add stickers and events that are pre-printed on the calendar to mark birthdays, holidays and other special events.
And if you do run into difficulties or creative block, then there's live chat support on hand to help you get your year back on track! There's also lots of extra handy hints and tips on its website to help you put together the perfect 2021 planner.
The heavyweight paper it uses makes the cost worth it for a genuinely premium feeling gift, and prices still start off pretty reasonable anyway.
If you think of your wall calendar more of an art piece to be admired, or you really want to impress the recipient of a photo calendar gift, then we strongly suggest that you take a look at what Artifact Uprising is offering.
Yes, you can simply order a basic wall calendar. It's a simple but classy looking design that should suit most homes (just don't expect the oodles of customization options here that you get with the likes of Mixbook).
But Artifact Uprising's point of difference here is in it's less...usual options. We're talking about its wood calendars, walnut desk calendars and brass easel calendars. These are genuinely splendid photo calendars that you'll gladly gift to a loved one... or yourself!
We definitely wouldn't use the word 'cheap' to describe this online service, but the quality is excellent and is always backed by the company's quality guarantee.
There's a lot to like about the photo calendars that Picaboo provides. Due to the agile web-based editing software used to assemble and finesse your product, it just doesn't feel like a chore with this service. It's easy to use and, dare we say it, fun!
One of the things we like about Picaboo is that it encourages you to get creative with your calendar rather than to stick to the ordinary 12-month viewer. Think baby's first year, family year in review or milestone birthdays and anniversaries.
And because the designs are fully customizable you can be as daring or adventurous as you wish with your photos. The one downside we'd note is the quality, however. Sometimes the images on the finished article don't come out as defined or colorful as you might remember from your gallery.
If you're a frequent visitor to CVS, Walgreens or Walmart, then Snapfish might just be the best option for your photo calendar. It has come to an arrangement with those stores to let you pick up instore, which may be a godsend if you can't rely on being at home to take a delivery.
If that's one big plus for Snapfish, then price is another. Its range starts at less than $10 (for desk calendars - wall calendars start at $19.99), so it's a cheaper option than others. That may be reflected in the lack of customizability you get, but not so much in standard as high-quality paper stock is still used together with classic spiral binding. And like Mixbook, you can specify that certain days of the year are marked up with reminders.
Last but by no means least on our list is Shutterfly. Although it takes up our final spot, bear in mind that there are dozens of these services so Shutterfly is still well worth a look. Especially at the price, as this is another photo calendar provider that has prices starting at sub-$20. The template designs are really striking, too, with some of the most attractive fonts and color combos that we've seen from anybody. There are more than 60 to choose from to get you started. And your choice expands still with spiralled wall and desk calendars, as well as easel style for something even more affordable.
From there, you can cut, chop and customize within reason. Although the control you have over borders and colors is somewhat limited. It feels like you have less overall say than with a service like Mixbook.