catalog printing design

How to Make a Catalog Printing Design Stand Out

Ann O'Brien

September 26, 2022

Since most people are inundated with daily doses of digital marketing, many companies are again turning to tried and true print marketing like catalogs to sell their products. Companies that want to stand out create a sleek, memorable and tangible collection of their products in catalogs that customers love to receive. But creating a seasonal or evergreen catalog design can be tricky. So we have put together the top 9 tips you need to know so you can create a beautiful catalog printing design to work seamlessly together with your online or in-person business.

1. Make Your Catalog Printing Design All About the Pictures

Living in a digital world, your customers already are exposed to high-quality pictures and graphics on a daily basis. If you want your catalog printing design to stand out, you will need to make sure that your catalog only uses the best quality photos and graphics. Not only will your products look fantastic, but your customers will transfer how they feel about the quality of your catalog to the products you offer – good or bad.

  • Use at least 300dpi for the best quality photos possible.
  • Choose quality pictures for a product over a large number of pictures.
  • Color correct photos when needed so customers will see the right shade in print.
  • Edit pictures if necessary to make the products pop in the photos.

2. Choose a Catalog Focus

While not all catalogs have a theme or fit a season, deciding ahead of time what the focus of your catalog is will streamline the creation process as well as help you develop a cohesive catalog that your customers will love. Your theme may or may not be obvious to the customer, but the overall tone and purpose of the catalog should be noticed by readers in the details and structure of the catalog.

Evergreen: A catalog that works all year round or presents all products without spotlighting one specific line or type of product is an evergreen catalog. This catalog printing design should be one that looks just as appropriate during every season of the year and focuses more on the company branding and product lines.

Seasonal: A seasonal catalog printing design presents products in a way that showcases their use or necessity during certain months or seasons of the year. Halloween, Spring, Back-to-School and Summertime themes are all common seasonal catalog themes.

New Product Showcase: A catalog is a great way to roll out new product lines to customers either in a mini-catalog or as part of a larger catalog.

Event or Activity-Specific: Businesses can print a catalog that coordinates with an event or activity that the company is part of or is attending.

3. Show Your (Corporate) Style

Another way to make sure your catalog printing design stands out is to use it to demonstrate your business’s personality. Whether it is quirky or serious, fun-loving or compassion-driven, include features and elements that show your customer who you are and what makes your business unique and special.

4. Don’t Overdo It

Minimalism is best when it comes to catalog printing design. Allow for plenty of white space around pictures and don’t include lengthy descriptions that may take away from the products themselves. Finding a balance between beautiful photographs, exciting content, and white space is key, so that customers focus on the products and are entertained and informed without too much fussiness or clutter on the page. Everything that is included in the catalog must contribute toward the overall purpose and tone you want for the catalog.

5. Remember That the Details Matter

Gorgeous pictures and quality content are only the informative part of the catalog. The way you put the catalog together entails a handful of details that can present your business and products seamlessly if done correctly. So don’t skimp on tending to these critical details or your customers may not hold on to your catalog in favor of one that was thoughtfully created to be a catalog they want to keep.

Cover

Your catalog will be more memorable as well as more durable if you choose strong paper stock for your catalog cover. Add luster to the cover with a gloss or matte coating to make the catalog look even more professional so customers will want to hang on to this keepsake. And the cover design is key for providing an instant impression of your business, the products and your brand so consider consulting with a design expert to make sure your catalog cover catches the eye and gives the customer an idea of its purpose.

Binding

Depending on who will be using your catalog, choosing the right binding option will make your catalog look great while standing up to its expected use. For catalogs that are sent directly to customers, Saddle Stitch or Perfect Bound catalogs work well and give customers a classic look. If your catalog will be used by buyers who will repeatedly refer to the catalog for a season or longer, Plastic Coil or Wire-O binding is sturdy enough to stand up to heavy use.

Length

When self-publishing a catalog, remember that every page counts. Evergreen catalogs that include an entire product line may be longer while seasonal or product rollout catalogs can be shorter. Keep the length appropriate to the purpose of the catalog printing design while optimizing the attention you have of customers who flip through it.

Materials

Choose the interior page size and weight for your catalog to both reflect the purpose of the catalog as well as demonstrate your business’s professionalism. Weightier pages are appreciated for trade catalogs that require a more durable material suited for long-term use while lighter ones are appropriate for traditional catalogs that are sent out to retail customers.

Digital Connection

One of the best ways to engage customers with your business is to tie in the digital side with your printed catalog content. Include a web address or a QR code that links directly to your website, social media or even email contact information. Customers can also be directed to an online ordering portal where they can instantly place an order for your products from the printed catalog. Consider providing a discount code for ordering from the catalog to encourage sales and to connect with new customers who might not have ordered before. Linking the print and digital sides of your business will also show customers that your business is agile and modern.

6. Employ Branding Basics

Make your catalog stand out by showing off your brand and your company’s mission strategically throughout the catalog. Professionally designed brand material like your logo, tagline, and brand colors should be the basis for your catalog’s look and feel and should flow well with the theme or focus of your catalog.

7. Develop an Effective Layout

Use a free catalog template or format guide to help you include the key components of your catalog printing design. Peruse competitor catalogs to see what works and what doesn’t before settling on your own format.

8. Editing and Proofing

Just like any other book, make sure that you use a professional editor to help you finalize the content of your catalog. Hire an editor and proofreader if at all possible to catch the little details that can keep your catalog from looking great. Since catalogs are meant to be kept and browsed more than one time, having a spelling, content or other error will project poorly on your business. Editors and proofreaders that are familiar with catalog and book publishing will be able to help you make your catalog and business look their best.

9. Work with a Quality Printer

The final way to make sure that your catalog stands out is to work with an experienced and trusted printing company like Publishing Xpress. Your catalog is a key component in your marketing and sales strategies so ensuring that it looks great and is made from quality materials is the best way to bring your products directly to your customers in printed form.

Getting Started with Your Catalog

Creating a catalog for your business’s product line is a great way to reach new customers and engage existing customers with new product lines. Catalogs can show customers who you are as a company and tell the story behind the brand. Making your catalog distinct, memorable, useful as well as beautiful are all possibilities when you keep the purpose and focus of your publication in mind during the creation process. Managing your brand, creating an impressive cover, utilizing a proven format and showing off your business’s unique style all contribute to making your catalog stand out. Publishing Xpress can help you transform your products into an attractive catalog that will showcase the best of your product lines to help drive new sales as well as increase awareness about your company.

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