Learn More About Calculators


Learn More About Calculators

Buying Guide & Design Tips: How to Customize Calculators What Are the Different Types of Calculators? What is Inside of Calculators & How Do They Work?

In 1981, electro pop band Kraftwerk came out with a song called “Pocket Calculator.” This beeping tune was a catchy ode to one of the coolest tools of all time – the pocket calculator. The lyrics say it all – “By pressing down a special key, it plays a little melody.” No doubt, cool calculators have been music to our ears since middle school!

It might not seem like it, but calculators can also be excellent promotional gifts for businesses, especially for those who work in education or finance. Are you interested in customizing calculators of your own? Check out this helpful design guide!

Why Do You Need Custom Calculators?

While calculators aren’t as tasty as a box of chocolates and aren’t as pretty as flowers, they still make excellent gifts! This is especially true for any of the following industries:


Chemistry, algebra, and trigonometry can be tough for some students! Hand out custom calculators as back-to-school gifts, or sell them in your bookstore.


Paper and pencil will only get you so far. Take your blueprints from simple ideas into reality by doing all the math with calculators customized with your engineering company’s logo.


Are you a financial advisor? Encourage new clients to start budgeting by handing out personalized calculators as welcome gifts. It’s a small gesture that will go a long way in earning trust.

Construction Work

Safety vests and goggles are important, but don’t forget to also give your construction team logoed calculators that they can use on the job. Keep them small so they can fit right inside of your crew’s toolbelts!


Math and science go hand in hand! Be sure to have a few personalized calculators around your lab for your team to use during research.


Whether you’re building a cathedral or installing a winding staircase in a mansion, you need to use precise measurements. Grab a calculator for the tough equations.

Interior Design

Plan out a beautiful living space with the help of a few promotional calculators. Your clients will feel like they’re living in an HGTV show every day!


If you’re in need of corporate gifts, why not go with calculators printed with your company logo? They’re sure to come in handy on Monday mornings when your accounting team’s mental math just isn’t as sharp!


You might not think of math when you think of art, but beautiful paintings and sculptures wouldn’t be possible without numbers. Keep a calculator alongside the clay and paints in your workshop.

It may seem like cheating if you grab a calculator, but there’s nothing wrong with double checking your work. Great thinkers like Pythagoras, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton would have likely used a calculator if one were available at the time!

Tips for Customizing Calculators

Calculators aren’t as large as billboards. With that in mind, you only have a small amount of space available for printing your custom design. Follow these tips to ensure your personalized calculators turn out great!

  1. Decide on pocket or desktop calculators.
  2. Choose the right colors.
  3. Print only your logo & a small amount of text.

Tip #1: Decide on Pocket or Desktop Calculators

What is the Difference Between Pocket & Desktop Calculators?

Pocket calculators are small and compact, while desktop calculators lay flat on a surface. Both can do basic arithmetic, which includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Features of Pocket Calculators:

  • Average height: 4 inches
  • Use by holding it in your hand
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Calculates basic equations

Features of Desktop Calculators:

  • Average height: 5.75 inches
  • Use as it lays flat on a table or desk
  • Typically comes in neutral colors
  • Calculates basic equations

Pocket calculators are great since they can fit in a bag and be taken on the go. Desktop, on the other hand, are sleek and professional options for people who use calculators all day, every day!

You can’t go wrong with either style. It really just depends on how the calculators are going to be used by your employees and/or clients.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Colors

What Are the Right Colors for My Calculators?

Your company’s brand colors should be somewhere in the calculator’s design, whether it’s the color of the calculator itself or in the ink imprint. Try any of these looks!

#1: Neutral Color With Colorful Logo

Do you have a colorful logo? It is sure to pop when printed on a black, gray, silver, or white calculator!

#2: Solid Color With White/Black Logo

Some brands are associated with a single color, like red for Coca-Cola, pink for T-Mobile, or orange for Home Depot. Achieve this same magic by choosing a solid colored calculator and printing your logo in a simple black or white ink.

#3: Bright Color With White/Black Logo

Have some fun with your colors! A bright calculator will catch attention on its own, so your company name or logo can be printed in a more muted black or white ink.

Most calculators are customized via screen printing, so only 1 ink color is included in the price. Be strategic about how you use color to get the most bang for your buck!

Tip #3: Print Your Logo & Company Name

What Should I Print on Calculators?

Now isn’t the time to write a novel or print a detailed picture! It’s best to keep the graphic design on your calculators very simple. Choose one of the following to print:


A logo is a visual representation of your company. With that in mind, you don’t have to print anything else on your calculators to get the point across!


The person who receives one of your personalized calculators is going to keep it in only a few places – their desk, their bag, or a drawer at home. Calculators don’t have as many impressions as other promotional items, so you can get away with just printing your name on the front.

Logo + Name

If you have a short company name, you can get away with printing it next to your logo. Some brands even have their name as part of the logo, which makes it easier to keep the print simple.

Clipart Image

Do you not have a logo? Print a clipart image on the calculators instead! You’ll find a ton of great options, from footballs for sports leagues to balloons for birthday party favors.

Other Considerations When Buying Custom Calculators

You’re almost ready to start shopping for promotional calculators! Before you get started, take some time to also think about the following:

Power Source

Solar power is the most common, but the calculators may run out of juice over time. Batteries are more long-lasting, but it can be a pain to replace them. Decide between the two before you place an order!


Let’s say you’re handing out calculators to all the kids at your elementary school. You’ll want something small and compact that will fit in their small hands, and then later in their pencil cases.

Made in the USA

Support the American economy by buying calculators that are proudly made in the U.S.A. You can get these in bulk and hand them out to your clients throughout the year.

Shipping Time

Time is ticking! You may be ordering the custom calculators for a specific event like a trade show or fundraiser. If that’s the case, look for options that come with lightning fast shipping.


Are you putting the calculators inside of goody bags for guests at an award ceremony or banquet? Order the exact number you need! Every item has its own minimum quantity, so compare before settling on the right calculators for you.


Last but not least, think about your budget before you start shopping. You know what you’re comfortable spending, so decide on a price range and stick to it!

What Are the Best Custom Calculators?

The best custom calculators have a unique color, shape, or design printed on the front. They’re not as complicated to use as scientific or graphing models and are typically extremely affordable promotional gifts.

The Bottom Line

Calculators aren’t only for nerds, dweebs, and geeks! They can be awesome gifts for a variety of occasions, especially when they’re custom printed with a design. Happy shopping!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.