If you need help putting together your catalogue campaign, then look no further. The tips below are designed to help you plan a catalogue campaign from start to finish.
Who is your audience?
Understanding the target demographic of your catalogue and your business will help you prepare an effective and suitable catalogue design.
What is the objective of your catalogue?
In order to understand the tone that needs to be taken throughout your catalogue, you need to know what it is you want to communicate to the reader.
Who will you hire?
Hiring the right designer can seem like a mammoth task. Don’t just look for a designer, look for a specialized catalogue designer that has experience in developing effective catalogues. Ask to see the portfolio of a catalogue designer that you consider as a serious candidate for the job.
Many designers without catalogue experience will often underestimate the amount of work involved. This often leads to the catalogue design being delivered later than planned and well over the quoted cost.
As well as a designer, you will need to hire a professional photographer. Again, ensure that the photographer has experience in producing professional product shots. You can’t afford for your catalogue to appear amateur.
What budget do you have?
Letting your designer know your budget in advance will help prevent any misunderstandings; and it will allow the designer to develop a catalogue based around that budget. You will also need to discuss with the designer how many people you would like the catalogue to reach, whether or not it needs to be made suitable for online use, and what your target demographic is.
Gather your data.
You need to start compiling the critical data for your catalogue content. This will include images, specifications of products and other important content.
Ensure your lists include the grouped format of your products, so that the designer knows which product needs to be kept together in the catalogue for easy accessibility with readers.
Write up your content.
You may think this is a task for yourself, but a professional wordsmith could bring a new lease of life to your text content. The bigger the catalogue, the bigger the need for a professional writer. Remember, your text content will require proofreading, before printing!
Descriptive product copy should be between 30 – 60 words long. If you are aiming the catalogue at the public, use this text to sell yourself well. If it’s aimed at professionals or businesses, then use the text to give specific technical details and important information about the product.
Plan for the complete look and feel experience.
The information gathered through the planning process will now need to be applied and implemented throughout the catalogue design. A master design will be generated, which will contain common page elements and themes. A mockup will be created, based on the master page; to ensure the design is moving in the planned direction.
Design the cover, spreads and inserts.
Once the overall look and feel has been created, and the desired paper has been chosen, you and your designer can get to work on the cover. The cover of your catalogue needs to have maximum impact in order to grab the attention of the audience.
At this stage, you start to blend together the ideas of the specific content with the general look and feel of the catalogue design. Any final tweaks need to be decided here.
Picture perfect products make for great catalogues.
Give your photographer the green light, and get those product photos ready. Be sure to direct your photographer clearly about single and group product shots. By deciding how many images will be used and where in advance, you can be sure that you will only pay for the shots you need.
The images will need to be processed through a recent version of Adobe Photoshop, allowing the addition of necessary clipping paths to particular product shots. The files can then be converted to a suitable CMYK format, ready for print.
Laying out the catalogue content.
Once the photos have been developed, then the final pieces can be put into place. The catalogue will be thoroughly checked by yourself and your designer, before being sent to the printing house.
Once at the printing house, you will need to ensure that the same manner of professionalism is applied to your catalogue; as the printing process is just as important as the design and planning processes.
Before catalogue production has been completed, you will need to devise and implement a suitable distribution strategy.