Calendar Covers and Author-site URL's

Because you guys so pay attention to the details (and because I wanted to show you my personal 2014 calendar’s finished layout) you likely noticed two things there:

1) “Hey, he’s got a Front and Back cover to HIS calendar!”

2) “And he has his company website name down in the lower right corner of his calendars. How do we get that too?”

Well I’m not going to do a lengthy tutorial on either of these issues now. (As you can imagine, like all of us I have “multiple balls in the air at once”. Next year.) However, for those of you who want a rough outline here goes:spacer

First, to the Front & Back covers… I
selected an image from my LR Catalog that, when cropped to the CD-case Aspect Ratio, 4.68 x 5.43 (also employed for the design of each month’s calendar page) I could create its title elements in Photoshop.

This is not rocket science; but if one is yet unfamiliar with using Photoshop as a layout application then the entire process takes a bit of explaining – especially if one intends to finesse things so that the whole shebang looks professionally-done as possible (letter kerning, strokes when and where necessary, effects, etc.). Like I said, “Next year”.


front cover for 2014 cd jewel case calendar by michael maersch


For those of you with the experience at-hand you now already have the first piece of the puzzle. The second brief clue is this: You will need to add an additional page to my downloaded template. So here goes, briefly:

Back in Lightroom’s ‘Print’ module…

lightroom setup for new front cover print template cell

First make sure that the ‘Grid Snap’ (in the ‘Rulers, Grid & Guides’ panel) is set to Grid.

Second, in the ‘Cells’ panel click on ‘New Page’. Lightroom will scroll through your entire project as it is currently laid out to open a new, blank page.

Then, third click on the “5.43 x 4.68” inches (or “100 x 148.5” millimeters) cell option to create a new cell on the new page you just created at the tail-end of your current 6-page project:

creating a duplicate cell in a lightroom print module template

NOTE in this screen-capture that I have duplicated the layout that is set up in the rest of my project-template by dragging the new cell I made (solid black outline in the above screen-capture illustration) DOWN 6-squares and to the right 2-squares from the upper left corner of the grid here (where LR initially renders the new cell).

To make the second cell (where you will drag your second photo-illustration to build your Back Cover) simply place your cursor inside the new cell, hold the ‘control’ key down on a Mac, the ‘alt’ key down on a PC then click and while continuing to hold down your mouse DRAG RIGHT to duplicate that original cell.

Now comes a sort-of tricky part (because Lightroom is awfully lame as a “layout application”):

coaxing lightroom to place a print module cell in the correct spot

Recall that I had you originally set up the ‘Grid Snap’ to have LR focus on making cells “stick to” the lines of its grid for this new page setup.

The pathetic joke about trying to work with this feature is that as you drag your new, duplicate cell into place so it EVENTUALLY fits as you see in the screen-capture above you are going to have to bounce back-and-forth between the ‘Grids’ preference and the ‘Cells’ or ‘Off’ preferences – because try as I might (countless times with other projects here in the Print module I’ve worked on as well), even with a multi-core-processor workstation running 16GB’s worth of memory the doggone cells LR generates CAN'T seem to find a precise vertical grid-line to snap against in the process! (Enough said. Some things simply MUST BE done with either Photoshop or InDesign.)

That’s it. With your two new full-size cells in place on the 7th and last page of a project that now includes a Front and Back cover I’ll move onto the next issue, a company website reminder as you may well have noticed in my CD-case calendar series:

michael maersch 2014 cd case calendar for august

I accomplished this subtle identifier in Photoshop while I was working on the series of calendars I would export for all our use in this project. THIS is the best way to create an inconspicuous yet elegant reminder for your calendar recipients ("Where do these great images in this cool little calendar came from?!").

I say “this is the best way” because without building this design element inside Photoshop you are left to depend upon Lightroom’s handy-dandy, one-size-fits-all watermarking feature. I go into detail about the limitations of working with this convenience built into LR since version 3 in the first of a pair of screencasts about how best to place an identifying watermark (or © mark) on images that are destined for distribution on the Internet HERE.

Regrettably, when using this feature the total series of settings you build into your watermarking effect will be rendered precisely the same on each and every image used in your project – both down below the calendar where we intended it to be placed BUT ALSO in the same approximate spot in our photograph-illustrations up above in that smaller secondary cell as well! Check it out:

link to larger example of how lightrooms watermarking feature can sometimes be problematic

There really is no simple, non-convoluted work-around for this problem.

Unless you are at a point in your Photoshop expertise where you can build your own calendar pages and add a design element like this PRE-Lightroom import then you will have to make sure you create a well-thought-out and designed splash of information about yourself and your services built into the overall design of a ‘Back page’ for your calendar-set instead. Bummer. Sorry about the bad news.

I SO wanted to help you guys accomplish this with what is essentially a reasonably sophisticated package of creative utilities built into Lightroom; but I haven’t come up with a good workaround.