A Carousel Calendars 2020 Retrospect

The new year is upon us again, but while everyone is saying goodbye to 2019, we’re already looking back on 2020 and working hard on 2021! Our 2021 range of calendars and diaries is already in design with our fantastic studio and product team in Exeter, as well as putting together the brochure for all our published and distributed products for that year. Our range has expanded once again, and it’s quite a daunting task taking on so many products, but it does enable us to offer a selection as comprehensive as possible to suit the needs of our different types of client and their own unique customers.

In terms of numbers, last year we distributed over 1,400 products and 6.5 million units. We distributed for ten other major publishers and approximately 30 smaller publishers.

More Products Than Ever in 2020

To put the range size in perspective, the regional calendars (over 250 titles) require approximately 3,250 images. All these need to be researched and designed and captions written. The spread of the locations needs to be worked out as well as seasonality and caption checks. And even while we are working hard on regionals, we also are developing styles and agreeing covers and styling for all the licensed products with our valued licensing partners and working on the comprehensive range of generic calendars.

2020 has seen us concentrating on environmentally-conscious processes, though while looking at a book we recently published it reminded me that plastic-free packaging isn’t new! The book shows a plastic-free 1963 Colourful Canada calendar, though I cannot claim to have played any part in it. For Carousel Calendars last year, however, for a small range of calendars, we reintroduced plastic-free packaging. It was a small trial and I didn’t know if our customers would fully support the development, but sales were good and for 2021 range we will have another 50 plastic free calendars planned. This is on top of the 30 boxed calendars that are now completely plastic free and all 114 diaries we produce that have no product packaging. Our range of plastic-free packaged calendars and diaries is therefore likely to extend to approximately 200 titles next year.

Our Commitment to the Environment

Other successes from the 2020 range include publishing over 100 exclusive bespoke titles for some of our UK and overseas customers. For our clients, it enables them to have a range entirely designed for their own unique customer base. I also believe many of these ranges of bespoke product will move to plastic free in the coming years.

Plastic isn’t the only environmental issue we know we need to tackle; we still have to work on our energy reduction (along with our carbon footprint reduction) and we also have to  ensure our products are made in factories that, in short, respect the Ethical Trading Initiative, to ensure that they treat all staff fairly. The ETI base code has what I like to refer to as the ‘Nine Key Commandments’ that are basic requirements, whether manufacturing in the UK, Europe or Asia.

Ethical and environmental performances are, and always have been, key issues. As a company, we will update you further in the new year on other developments we are working towards.