Designing a catalog to promote your product or service is a great content marketing technique. You may be wondering how to make a catalog or if you should outsource the project.
Don’t underestimate your abilities. Designing a catalog is easier than you may think. The greatest asset to your layout design is having professional-looking high-resolution images. The rest is up to your creative artistry.
Catalogs have a strong influence on purchase decisions and people enjoy them. Keep reading for valuable steps to making your own catalog.
How to Make a Catalog to Increase Sales
The way to create a catalog is to start with a vision. Once you have a good idea of what the finished product will look like, start looking for a design program.
The program you choose should have easy instructions and come with tools that guide you through the process. Popular programs include:
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Adobe InDesign
For digital-only catalogs:
- Catalog Machine
Various aspects you’ll need to incorporate.
- Will this be a one-time catalog?
- Will you offer a print and digital version?
- How will it be distributed to your client-base?
- Do you have a budget for the project?
Once you’ve defined the basics of the project, it’s time to get to the layout.
Determine the Size
To design a catalog you’ll need to know what size you want it to be. There are standard print sizes that printers will want you to use. Custom print sizes can increase the cost of the project.
Print sizes are based on the basic page sizes.
- 8 1/2 x 11 (11 x 17)
- 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 (8 1/2 x 11)
The size of the content boxes on the pages will also play a part in the catalog size.
How Many Pages
Next, determine how many pages your catalog will have.
One important note, layouts call for 4-page sets. For example, the front and back cover plus the inside of the front and back covers are considered a 4-page set.
When determining your layout, remember to count by four. You may have to make a decision to cut some content or to include extra information.
Filler pages can include information about your business, customer testimonials, or section dividers.
Another element is binding. The size of the book and aesthetics will guide your decision. Popular bindings are saddle stitch, case binding, and perfect bound.
Color or Black & White
Creating a catalog in a digital format means you can always go with vivid bright colors. The cost of a print catalog is based on several factors including the ones already covered. Size, pages, and now color.
Printing anything in color will always cost more. Not only is color ink more expensive, but you also have to look at the type of paper to use. The difference between the paper’s weight, and whether to use matte, semi-gloss, or glossy paper will also impact the cost.
It would be a bad look for content on one page to be visible on the underside or next page.
To get a better idea of printing costs and specs that will be required, visit this website.
The best way to design a catalog will include professionally done photographs. This does not mean you have to hire a professional photographer. It does mean you’ll need to implore the techniques of a pro.
Smartphones today, capture great images. For a print catalog, your images need to be in high-resolution and shot in the best light.
For still photos of merchandise, you can use a portable lightbox.
This is a device equipped with LED lights. The item being photographed is placed inside the white box and you take the photo from the front. Sometimes this is all you need.
When it comes to large items, you’ll need a green screen or a solid wall. Use large LED photography lights with umbrellas to block shadows. For clothing or other products, the outdoors on a sunny day is perfect.
After you have your photos ready the next step is the product descriptions. This is the verbiage you’ll use to describe what you are selling.
When using a digital catalog you want to keep in mind the rules of search engine optimization. These include using searchable keywords and descriptive URLs.
The product descriptions need to be concise but brief. Start with the product name in bold letters. Give the most useful information in 50 words or less in regular font. Include the price and shipping information at the bottom.
Your layout design for creating a catalog depends heavily on the number of products you will showcase. Also, consider if you have segmented products. Examples are a company that sells clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Determine how many products per page, and how many sections you will need.
Order Form or Online Ordering
If you create a catalog that is in print, you’ll need to include an order form. The best practice is to do everything you can to persuade a customer to order online. However, there may be people that prefer mailing in their order.
With online ordering, create an eCommerce website that is connected to the catalog. Utilize opportunities to add links to product pages so consumers can get more information.
Create a shopping cart to register items when the user select buy now. Also, allow people to create an account that holds their shopping cart for future purchases.
The final step is distribution. How will you get the catalog to your consumers? Direct mail services through the printer will be your best option.
Most printers will have marketing lists for the type of business and distribution areas you plan to reach.
Ready! Set! Sale!
Understanding how to make a catalog can save a lot of money when it comes to your marketing budget. Even if you’re not sure how it will look, give it a try. You’ll be surprised by the outcome.
Did this article stir-up your creative juices? Check-out our other business articles and keep coming back as we upload new content.