Principles of a good catalog design

Principles of a good catalog design

Entice life-style dreams

Appeal to what tends to make a individual purchase

Occasionally individuals purchase to fill a need but generally individuals purchase as a result of want. They’re buying some thing they desire simply because they imagine feeling better, far more fulfilled once they have traded their hard-earned cash for the product or service you have to offer. The skill of generating the motivation to purchase is appealing to the customer’s wish to achieve a certain life-style. Show the purchaser the life-style they’re able to achieve and want and you’ll sell a lot more merchandise.

Pictures, content and page components

Consequently, orient all of the components of your catalog around promoting life-style. Repeat this at all levels. Your catalog may have a general life-style design whilst the specific items may have alterations and even mini-lifestyle designs of their very own. The written text and content shouldn’t only explain the product or service in plenty of detail that the buyer can certainly create purchasing decision nevertheless it ought to explain to your reader how this product can help them get the life-style they really want.

Design for your target audience

Customize your catalog design to fascinate your target audience. A business-to-business catalog (B2B) ought to be totally different compared to a business-to-consumer (B2C) catalog. Catalogs for young adults should have a different look than a catalog for more mature people. Make the design of your catalog fit the style dreams of your respective target audience. You will get a lot more appreciation and therefore a lot more product sales.

Make the product or service the focal point

Olympus Catalog Cover Design
A rule in catalog design is the larger the product image the more the product’s sales. Accordingly we normally make an effort to capitalize on the dimensions of the product’s photo, particularly in partnership with each and every product’s profit value – the greater overall revenue an item produces the bigger the item photograph needs to be. Then aid the item with persuasive copy.

Some catalog providers try to save cash on pictures and printing by grouping products together in images. This frequently translates into terrible product sales since in this particular photograph no item stands out to draw the customer in.. It is much better to exhibit products separately or perhaps in very compact, related groups. We would rather display most items without any background and with a subdued drop shadow. This enables the item to stand out from the clutter on the page. Then we include life-style photos using a understated background to provide variety to the design and communicate life-style moods.

Use terrific product photographs

The Risks of Scrimping on Product Photographs

Developing a catalog is costly and everybody wants to reduce expenses when feasible. Nevertheless probably the most powerful catalog component – the product photo – is frequently the place where customers trim initially and it injures their results each and every time.

Vendor provided photographs

In certain sectors and with some suppliers you can aquire superb photographs of their items to use inside your catalog. And so can your competition. Nevertheless most supplier photographs are simply just not that great to start with. Virtually all are lacking clipping paths necessitating work and expense on the catalog design side to utilize them effectively. This decreases the perceived cost savings of these free photographs. And unfortunately your catalog won’t have a one of a kind look all your own.

Internet photographs

About 50 % of our new clients started life as a web-based business and the pictures they’ve produced thus far are low resolution web images. In other cases the pictures obtained through the vendor are web resolution photographs. These pictures aren’t adequate for print catalogs! They’re significantly less then 1/4 the resolution and possess no clipping paths. If you utilize them your items are going to be blurry, the design will suffer and so will profits.

Shooting your own photographs

Another way customers wish to save cash is by taking their own photographs. The physical process of shooting the picture is but about 1/3 the money necessary for preparing a digital image to be used in catalog design but is essential to the resulting quality of the finished picture. We strongly suggest utilizing a volume product photography service like ourselves or one of the numerous others available. If you think you have to do your own digital photography we offer a short article with tips on producing the very best picture possible but expect to spend extra at the design side to prepare those photographs for publishing.

What a terrific photograph can do

A terrific photograph is “worth a thousand words” but an inadequate photograph can convince a client not to purchase your product. Don’t risk it by scrimping on great digital photography. It might be far better to display fewer products on fewer pages to save money on printing than to reduce your product sales with very poor photographs.

Place essential elements on the outer edges of your page

Visitors normally look to the top right initially then sweep over the page to the other side. When they don’t see some thing engaging they’ll turn the page. Consequently place your most captivating items (which are generally your products or services that create the most profit) on the outside top corners. Make these elements powerful – bigger in size – than the remaining products on the page spread.

Use the opportunity to cross promote

Between products

Recommending companion products can raise product sales an additional 5-15%. Take every advantage of cross promoting within your catalog. This can be achieved from the product copy or with call-outs, or by putting companion products together on the page.

Between your website

A marketing principle is several types of advertising run at the same time can lead to increased response compared to same types of advertising run individually at different times. Consider a store running some tv advertisements and a few radio advertisements. If they did a campaign with the tv advertisements one month and a promotion using the radio advertisements the following month, they’re going to have less impact than if they ran the same advertising on both tv and radio simultaneously. Essentially one feeds off the other. This holds true with your catalogs. Take advantage of cross media merchandising by advertising your site within your catalog as well as your catalog on your site. Post your print catalog in pdf format for individuals to download.

Use consistent type styles and restrict their quantity

Restrict the quantity of fonts and/or weights to 2 or 3

To maintain a clean and consistent look use a maximum of 2 to 3 fonts throughout your catalog. Additionally, keep text spacing and placement next to pictures consistent. Utilize the same style of text consistently for frequent components for example product name, product description, etc.

Keep fonts to within your style and function – don’t get too fancy unless of course your style calls
for it

Pick fonts that are easy to read and whose style matches the life-style you intend to express. Be careful with fancy fonts. You can actually decrease legibility, the professional look and possibly result in printing problems if the font is low quality.

Type must be secondary to product pictures

Again the product is the focal point and much of that as a result of the product photograph. The text must support the reader to make a buying decision and never take away from the impact of the photograph.

Keep the style consistent from issue to issue strengthening your “brand” image

After a effective look has been established avoid the impulse to change. REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) has maintained a antique border style for the past 5yrs. The look of their catalogs and sale promotion catalogs is easily identifiable by their clients and it has created a brand image. One advertising principle is when you’re tired of the look of your catalog (since you’ve seen it repeatedly) your customers are beginning to recognize it as your look. Safeguard your investment by retaining your theme for many years and if you choose to change, do it in small increments over quite a long time. Repetition produces brand identity recognition and brand recognition brings approval and sales.

Give products the room that they need – and evaluate the outcomes

Give your top sellers more room than your less significant products

Loehmanns Catalog Design
When first creating your catalog give your products which produce the most profit – the most total profit over time, not specifically products with the most profit margin – more room inside your catalog than lower profit products since the general rule is the more room an item has inside your catalog the higher the sales are going to be.

For example take two products. Each cost $5 and make a profit of $2.50 for each item sold, but product A made you $5000 in profit last year while product B made only $2000. Thus product A needs to have more room and exposure inside your catalog. And here’s why: let’s say giving more room to a product will increase sales 10%. In the event you give product B more space you could possibly increase profits by another $200 but if you gave product A that space it would increase profits by $500.

Evaluate the outcomes

About two months after your catalog has been sent out evaluate the profit results using square in . analysis. Using this type of analysis you calculate the total cost of the catalog (design, printing, mailing) divided by the total square inches of available selling space. Then determine how much each product cost to show in your catalog by multiplying the cost per square inch times how much space each item received inside the catalog. Compare this cost against the total profit earned on each item. For the top 20% of most profitable products give them more room inside your next issue. For the bottom 20% give them less. By doing this repeatedly you will continue to improve your catalog costs and maximize profits.

Design for economy

The new Slim Jim benefits

The 2007 postage rate increases are creating a dilemma with traditional Standard size catalogs and an chance to reduce expenses using the Slim format called “Slim Jim”. Rates for standard catalogs rose 40% while for letter rate only 9%. Due to the extreme disparity the Slim Jim format will net a savings of 15-20% for the same physical printed space over the Standard format.

Standard catalog formats tend to be more affordable.

Formats such as a standard full-size, Slim-Jim or digest-size catalog in whole signature page counts usually are the most affordable catalog designs to print and mail. Spend time with your printer and also the Postal Service to determine an efficient trim size.

Not only do standard catalog formats lower your expenses, they also have a tendency to “fit” better. This really is both a positive and a negative. A catalog design that’s too unusual in format might not fit the customer’s environment and could get discarded pretty quickly. However a standard format may seem plain and boring, not receiving the notice you would like.

16-page count increments tend to be affordable.

Heat-set web presses print in signatures of 16 pages. Printing in even signature page quantities, such as 16, 32, 48, 64, etc., will produce the most pages for the dollar. In the event you can’t hit increments of 16, then your next smartest choice is increments of 8 pages. This will include page counts of 8, 24, 40 and 56.

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Tony Mack

Creative Director at One Source Graphics
Tony Mack is an award winning graphic/web designer and internet marketing expert that operates One Source Graphics, Inc. He works with small local businesses and large internet based companies to create dramatic marketing material that they use to get more sales and more clients. In addition, he has a highly successful internet business that publishes e-products, learning products, iPhone and windows software, and has helped thousands of people learn and improve their own internet marketing strategies.
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