Despite constant talks about the demise of print promotional materials such as brochures, flyers, and catalogs, you’ll find that they’re still very much widely used, especially catalog designs. Many people may prefer to shop online these days and check e-catalogs, but there are also many others who still like browsing through the pages of their favorite brands’ latest catalog issue to see what they can find. The difference? Nothing much, except it, is still an undisputed way of showing off your merchandise visually on paper.
Many of today’s catalogs went through some changes to be more aligned with modern design and inspirational and diverse marketing. Such catalogs are considered as top class resource driving online or offline purchases and buying decisions in a business’ or organization’s advantage later down the line. A recent study recorded 70% of shoppers agree that catalogs trigger both offline and online purchases. Below are some of the most important elements in a designing a catalog for marketing or promotion:
1. Graphics: Nothing drives first impressions and the buyer’s decision to open and check what’s inside the catalog better than a well put-together cover. It should, therefore, be both aesthetically-appealing and be able to communicate what the contents include. A headline, a hook, or an offer can pique a reader’s interest or encourage a sense of urgency. The interior of the catalog should also have user-friendly layout and organization of content. Larger ones should include the table of contents, tabs, or folios and don’t forget to make use of white space.
2. Copy: The text or copy must be clear, readable and concise, depending on the catalog’s category or what it is trying to promote. Copy should also be entertaining and educational. On top of that, the reader shouldn’t have to struggle in finding any information related to purchasing or you’ll risk losing sales. Ordering information as well as item descriptions, pricing and quotation should be presented in organized and easy to read tables.
3. Photography: The most effective catalogs are those that are highly visual since people are also pretty picky when it comes to visuals, allowing the reader to go through it with little effort. Phenomenal photography supports the visual experience that people usually expects in picking up any print material. The most effective would be environmental photography. You can go outside and take advantages of great scenery or imagery of products in real life settings.
If you know what you want to include and have the resources to present it in a visually appealing and organized way, you’re on your way to transforming a great catalog design concept to a tangible advertising tool, especially if you follow these steps:
1. Gather your content: make sure that you have everything in place, from the product information to the prized and the pictures, before starting the actual design process. You probably also have to include images of all your products, their features and a list of other necessary content such as company information, customer testimonials, model quotes and any other type of information which is helpful to the customer for when he or she makes a buying decision.
2. Know your product features: Before writing down the content about each product you feature on the catalog, you have to make sure you know each of their specifications. Most companies also include item numbers, prices (original and discount prices for promotions), and limited offers. You can also write down the benefits you can think of while going through your products.
3. Write product descriptions: Each description should be short but they have to be complete. Keep it between 50-150 words, and you may want to include the features of each product, but make sure to “link” even the smallest but unique benefits into those features. Don’t forget to highlight the product’s main features. For example, the core features or a plastic container product features that of being microwavable and being made of hard, sturdy material.
4. Establish brand identity: The success of a catalog as a marketing tool is only as good as the strength of your brand. Popular and well-loved brands rely on establishing the name of the brand and a compelling visual brand representation through the use of graphics. Established brands usually make use of their brand names or trademarks for their catalog name. In the case of smaller and fairly unknown brands, a compelling catalog name and a header or literal description to avoid confusion would be very useful. Other aspects of brand identity include logos, and the subject of our next best practice, design.
Depending on how old you are, a catalog would bring back different memories. It might be the Christmas catalog from Sears that had pages full of toys for children. For middle-aged women and older, it could be the quarterly Tupperware Catalog filled with colorful products you’ve seen at demos and Tupperware parties. To achieve the same success for your brand, here are some tips you can use in your catalog design:
Here are the most commonly used catalogs for business:
A catalog can be printed in different sizes depending on the layout you want and how much you can afford for printing costs, but they’re usually printed in the following sizes:
Standard – 8.5″ x 11″ catalog is folded down from an 11″ x 17″ flat, trimmed size
Half-Size – 5.5″ x 8.5″ catalog is folded down from an 8.5″ x 11″ flat, trimmed size
Artists are not afraid with more vibrant and unconventional color schemes which is presented through illustrations, graphics and photography, that even the product pages (usually white) now works brilliantly with a colorful background. Then there’s this trend called “multilocalism” where beaches and mountain scenery are replaced with more interesting, intimate and unique locations capturing the local culture
There’s not much fun getting mail when you’re an adult than when you were a kid, because what you usually get, are a dozen or so bills. Getting a printed catalog through the mail still remains a great way to touch base with your customers. Also, they can always check a product whenever they want and order through the phone. Ordering online is good, save for the risk of losing your internet connection.
Creating a Product Catalog is one effective way to improve your customer base and get your customers to see all the products or services your business has to offer. A catalog also has the potential to reach and touch base with certain customers who cannot make the trip to your store, by mailing the catalog to their address.