Create a Printable Calendar on Illustrator

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Introduction: Create a Printable Calendar on Illustrator

About: Hi, I am an Illustrator and the co-founder of a commercial clipart company.

Creating a calendar in Illustrator can be challenging for beginners. Follow this tutorial closely and you will be able to create a printable calendar with easy to follow steps.

For this intractable we will be using:

  • Free vector background with snowflakes (available here)
  • Montserrat font (available here)
  • Spiffy McGee Lite font (available here)

Step 1: Create a New Document in Adobe Illustrator

Create a new document by going to File > New (Cmd+N for macOS or Ctrl+N for Windows)

In this example, I select my artboard to be A4 size with a vertical orientation. I chose CYMK color mode since that is better for print than RGB.

Step 2: Create a Type Container

Select the Type Tool (T for macOS/Windows) and then select the font of your choice from the type toolbar. I used the Montserrat font (regular weight) but you can obviously choose a different one. Finally, center-align your text.

Click and drag on your artboard in order to create the type container to which you will add your text. Do not worry about its size at this point - we will change it later.

Start typing the days of the week.

Type Mon and press enter. Then type Tue and press enter... and so on.

Make sure you press enter after Sun as well.

Step 3: Edit Your Type Container

From Illustrator's main menu go to Type > Area Type Options…

The "Area Type Options" box will appear.

Here you will be able to specify the number of columns, rows, width etc.

First things first. Check "Preview" in the bottom-left corner in order to be able to see the changes you make (this is optional but very helpful).

In the first row, adjust the height and width to 6.5 inches. This is basically going to be the width and height of the entire calendar.

Then type in 7 rows and 7 columns with span set to 0.861 inches for both. This value (Span) sets the height of rows and columns respectively.

Leave "Fixed" unchecked.

Next, we want to adjust the gutter width to 0.079 inches for both rows and columns. This value controls the space between two rows and between two columns respectively.

We will also add a little bit of space between the text and the bounding box by increasing the "Inset Spacing" to 0.063 inches.

Finally, increase the "First Baseline" value to 0.688 inches and click OK.

Step 4: Start Typing in the Dates

With the Type Tool selected (T for macOS/Windows) place the typing cursor in the last box of the first line, right after the word SUN, and press enter.

The cursor will move to the next spot which is the fist box of second row. Type 1 and then go on and type all the days of the month making sure you press enter after each number.

Step 5: Adjust the Dates/Numbers to the Days of the Month

In order to adjust the calendar to any month, you only need to place the typing cursor before the first day of the month and then press enter. Every time you hit enter, you move all the numbers one spot to the right. Repeat as many times as needed.

For example, for February 2018 you would need to press enter 3 times since the month begins on Thursday. If you want to move all days one spot to the left (instead of moving them to the right) you press backspace.

For February 2018, you would also need to delete days 29, 30, and 31. You can do that by placing the typing cursor to the last day of the month (31) and then press backspace until you reach day 28.

Step 6: Align the Calendar to Your Artboard

In the "Align" panel, there is an “Align To” button to the bottom-right corner. Press it and select “Align to Artboard”.

Note: There is a good chance you don’t have the align panel activated. Click the menu Window > Align and make sure "Align" has a tick next to it. That tick means the "Align" panel is active.

Next, you'll want to look at your "Layers" panel. It should be on the top-right of your screen by default. Select the calendar layer by clicking on the dot to its right.

Now, look at the "Align" panel once more.

With the calendar layer selected, click on "Horizontal Align Center". Then use the arrow keys to move the calendar up or down until you have the desired result.

Step 7: Add the Name of the Month

With the Type Tool selected, type in the name of the month. Change the font if you want (I used Spiffy McGee Lite) and resize it to fit in well (for the font I used the size would be 1.69 in).

You will now need to align the name of the month. Use the same process as before (the "Align" panel) but make sure that only the text layer is selected this time. A simple way to select the text layer is to click in "January" with the Type Tool.

Step 8: Add the Graphic

Open the graphic of your choice in Illustrator. For this example, we are going to use the snowflakes background cited in the beginning of this tutorial but you can obviously add your own artwork.

To open a graphic with illustrator, go to File > Open and locate the file on your computer.

The graphic you opened in Illustrator should be selected by default so you can go ahead and copy it right away. If that is not the case, make sure you select it from the "Layers" panel.

With the graphic selected, from the main menu go to Edit > Copy (Cmd+C for macOS or Ctrl+C for Windows).

Then go to your other document in Illustrator (the calendar) and select Edit > Paste (Cmd+V for macOS or Ctrl+V for Windows)

Alternatively, you can just drag and drop the graphic to your calendar document.

Note: I locked the calendar layer and also renamed it to "Calendar". This is optional.

Step 9: Resize the Graphic

Select the "Free Transform Tool" (E for macOS/Windows). Place the mouse cursor to one of the four corners of your graphic until you can resize it. Then scale while holding down the "Shift" key on your keyboard.

Move and resize the background until you have the desired placement and size. Do not worry about the graphic "bleeding" out of your artboard. We will fix that later.

From the "Layers" panel, reorder the layers so that the month and the calendar layer are on top of the background layer.

Step 10: Create a New Box

Go to the "Layers" panel and create a new layer. Then lock the other two layers by clicking in the space next to the visibility icon (the eye icon). If you do this right, a padlock icon will appear to the right of the eye icon.

Now select the "Rectangle Tool" and click anywhere in your artboard. A rectangle dialog box will appear. Type 8.27in at the "Width" field and 5in in the "Height" field.

Press OK.

Form your "Align" Panel click "Vertical Align Top" and "Horizontal Align". Make sure you select "Align to Artboard" from the "Align To" button on the bottom-right corner of the panel as well.

Step 11: Create a Clipping Mask

From the "Layers" panel, select the Layer with the background and the layer with the box we created above. Go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

Step 12: Change Colors and Make Final Changes (Optional)

You could stop right here and go ahead and print your Calendar.

But here's how you can go about making some more edits. First of all, unlock all layers by click on the padlock icon.

Step 13: Change the Font Color

Let's change the color of the month. Select the Type Tool and then click in "January". Select the entire text and then double-click on the Color Picker tool (to your left).

Select the color of your choice and press OK. I personally used #77C2E4 for this example.

Step 14: Change Background Image Opacity

Select the background graphic and from the "Transparency" panel, change the opacity to 55% (Normal).

Step 15: Final Touches

Finally, select the Type Tool and click in days and numbers. Change the font size to 0.25 inches and the color to #AFAFAF.

Now deselect your selection: Select > Deselect (Shift+Cmd+A for macOS or Shift+Ctl+A for Windows).

Your calendar is ready to print!

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    2 Discussions

    you explaining perfectly with love <3

    I like doing custom calendars like this so I can add in all of the birthdays and anniversaries :)