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Let’s Get Literal: How the 2017-2018 Sigler Calendar was Composed

Let’s face it, we’re a creative bunch at Sigler, so we jump at the chance to let down our hair, stroke our beards, squeeze our creative juices and have some fun with a project. We look forward to our calendar every year because it’s an ample opportunity to get together and get inventive, and we know our customers love it! Here’s a step by step documentation of how we brought this project to life – from start to finish!

Step 1: Come Together

The Design Studio brainstormed overall themes for the calendar. We knew we wanted to try a variety of papers and printing techniques this year, so we invited some key players in production/estimating and project management – it was very helpful to bounce ideas off them, and to keep us grounded and realistic regarding our printing possibilities. Then we came up with 3-4 design themes, discussed and narrowed it down to one. Our goal is always to make our customers smile and we want them to be excited to flip to the next page at the end of each month. We knew this year’s theme was a winner, because it would be interactive and fun for everyone and we could see ourselves taking it to the limit.

Step 2: The Sound (and sight) of Music

We love music and discuss it often. "Misheard lyrics" is among our favorite topics. So it was no stretch for us to choose to design each month based on the "literal interpretations" of song titles, and thus Let’s Get Literal was born. For example: Rhinestone Cowboy could be a silhouette of a cowboy with some rhinestone bling incorporated into the design. After a second brainstorming session, each designer went away with their assigned song titles to design and a due date. So much collaboration happens among designers during this phase. It’s magical and we love this. It’s our favorite part of our favorite project.


Step 3: Walk the Line

Working with Production and Planning was key to make this project happen. A spreadsheet was started in Design to organize our ideas for paper stock, song titles and printing techniques. It was passed on to Planning to update as our options were investigated and estimated. When we selected our papers, we knew we must be prepared to be a little flexible, so some designers included “second” and “third” paper choices. A couple of stocks changed based on paper availability and cost, but nothing sacrificed the integrity of the designs. (*wipes brow)


Step 4: Time After Time

Once the spreadsheet turned into an actual work order scheduled on the press, we were ready to order ink, paper, foil and get printing! We knew we wanted to look at each sheet on the press because of the complicated nature of this project – each month was unique to the others. Over a two-day period, we checked 10 press sheets! (Our press is just a few steps away, so really this part was no sweat.) Another two full days were spent checking specialty treatments.


Step 5: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The calendar is mailed out each year, and we try to make a splash so it gets noticed among the clutter. This year we went with a gold bubble mailer, which fit perfectly with our retro song theme! We designed a mailing label that resembles an insert from a cassette tape. After suggestions and tweaks from our Mailing department, we printed these on our digital press using Variable Data for the address information. Hand Assembly then applied the labels to the mailers. 


Step 6: Let it Ride      

The calendar is out the door, but we want to keep up the momentum and excitement! Each year we create desktop wallpapers to release each month, housed in the FREEBIES section of our website ( This year we decided to take it a step further by creating a landing page dedicated to Let’s Get Literal. serves as a campaign hub for any marketing efforts that pertain to our calendar theme and beyond. Anyone who received the printed calendar will be led to this page for the “answers” to our literal song title challenge. We also feature custom-designed apparel and promotional items for giveaways to show that our designs can live on garments and products in addition to just paper, and that our potential clients can utilize our services for THEIR projects! 

From intro to finale, we’ve had a blast getting literal – we hope you enjoy our calendar as much as we do! Head to for your chance to win one of our giveaway items.