If your business needs a new catalogue, you will probably turn to a designer to create it for you. A good designer will be able to guide you through the entire catalogue design process, making it as simple and stress-free as possible, leaving you with the perfect resource for marketing your products.
So how should an effective catalogue design process work? We set out to explain what to expect from your catalogue designer and the main things you need to do to help facilitate the process.
6 steps to a great catalogue design process
There are various parts in the catalogue design process, but there are six key steps you will need to take.
One of the first things you need to do is to start collecting together a list of every product you want included in the catalogue. It’s important to do this early as if you realise you forgot something part way through the design process it will likely cost time and money to fix.
Either someone from your company, the catalogue designers or a third party will need to write product descriptions for every item in the catalogue. The importance of getting this right should not be overlooked. Good copy can make all the difference when it comes to making a sale.
Choosing a look
Early in the process you will need to settle for the overall look and style of the catalogue. This needs to reflect your business, both in terms of branding and feel. A company selling high-end bespoke furniture will need a very different look to one selling mass-produced flatpack designs.
Layout makes a huge difference to how successful a catalogue is. Where products are placed in the catalogue can make a big difference to how well they sell. The layout also needs to be easy to scan to get the best possible customer engagement.
You will need both high quality product photos as well as a cover image and more general background imagery. If you do not already have these, they will have to be produced by either yourself or the catalogue designer. Make sure to spend plenty of time choosing images that really cast your business and products in the best possible light.
You really need to leave a good amount of time at the end of the production process to proof the final version before you send it to the printers, put it on your website or start emailing it to customers.
It can be really easy to miss minor mistakes, so make sure you get as many people as possible to look over the catalogue as many times as possible before signing it off. We’ve put together a useful guide on proofing your catalogue so you can ensure all artwork and design elements are approved as quickly as possible.
Things to consider as part of your catalogue design
When planning your catalogue, there are certain key things your designer will need to know to help shape the design process. Although these are all things your designer should ask you about early in the process, it is worth giving them some thought before meeting with your designer to save time.
Depending on your business, the price of the items in your catalogue could range from pence to thousands of pounds. This will have a big impact on the design, so it’s important to be clear about this upfront with your designer.
Their design needs to reflect your brand and your customers, and the price of your products will likely be a big factor in shaping customer perception of your brand. Your catalogue design needs to reflect this.
Many companies fall into the trap of focusing too much on the features of their products and services, rather than the benefits. However, benefits are what really sell to customers, so you need to clearly think about what benefits your products provide.
Your designer can then make sure they use all of the tricks of their trade, including clever graphics, imagery and typography to highlight the benefits as much as possible.
Call to action
This is perhaps the most important thing to work out – what do you actually want customers to do after reading your catalogue? How do they place an order? Do they need to call? Come to a store? Go online? Perhaps you offer free demos?
This needs to be absolutely clear throughout your catalogue so potential customers are left in absolutely no doubt what to do when they are ready to make a buying decision. Your designer should have all sorts of ideas for highlighting your call to actions, so make sure this is at the forefront of the design process.
Need more help with your catalogue?
Here are a few more related, very useful articles which are a must read…
Catalogue Design Planning Guide
Catalogue Design Content Generation Guide
Catalogue Design Concepts – What to Expect From Your Designer
Catalogue Design Artwork and Proofing Guide
Get a catalogue design that works for your business
Palmiero Design create catalogues which are both visually stunning and highly effective at selling your business and products. Our highly talented team of graphic designers have a strong understanding of both print and online marketing, offering a complete solution for your business.
We work closely with our clients to deliver a truly collaborative and responsive design process. That way, you end up with a catalogue that delivers the results you need with the minimum of stress.
One way you can make the catalogue design process much more effective is by producing an effective brief. Download our free guide for step-by-step tips and advice on creating the perfect brief for your designer.