5 Catalog Design Essentials for Your Business

If you have a small business with a large product or service offering, odds are you have a catalog, and if you don’t, then you’ve probably wanted to create one, but didn’t know where to start. The process can be daunting–with so many elements to pull together and all sorts of design options to consider. So to help you get started, we’ve made a list of 5 tips to keep your efforts and design on track.

1. Know Your Audience

When choosing a design for your catalog, keep in mind your audience and appeal to their style, interests and demographics. Creating a sense of lifestyle will help you connect with customers and position your product as an object of their desire.

2. Reflect Your Brand

Keep your catalog style consistent with your brand style. You want to be sure they can make a connection between your website, logo, and service/products and your catalogs. Whatever you do, design with your brand in mind and be sure the voice and design of the catalog matches the voice and design of your brand. Once you have established a successful look-and-feel for your catalog, resist the temptation to change it. Repetition builds brand recognition, favorable reception and sales.

3. Use Quality Photography

All images should be of the highest quality possible. Make sure your pictures are clear and vivid, not pixilated. Poor quality images will send the message that the products are low quality. If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, read up on blogs and forums for great tricks for taking your own product photos. Also try to mix up the type of shot. Catalogs benefit from pacing and surprise – simple silhouetted images, closeups of details, wide angles, full-bleed photographs and lifestyle shots sustain viewer interest and keep them turning to the next page.

4. Space and Layout

The most important thing about a catalog is highlighting your product, so be sure you have ample white space for each item. Cramming text and images into a page, or using the exact same layout throughout the document will make it look stale and won’t encourage your customers to really pause and look over the whole spread. A consistent layout throughout the catalog enhances readability but can become boring, so be sure to break up the monotony of a predictable layout by including a unique page or two to highlight a favorite product or create an editorial opportunity for your customer to connect with the product.

5. Use fonts and color wisely

Be sure to use fonts that fit your brand’s style. If you have a children’s apparel brand, your typeface selections will be very different than if you have a luxury spa brand. Do not go overboard with typefaces, it’s probably best to limit your selection to just three. You can read more about this in our recent typography blog post.

Start Planning and Then Start Publishing

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for creating your catalog, just remember to keep it simple so that your product attracts more attention than your design. After all, the objective is to sell more, right?

A good starting point is to jott down words that come to mind when describing your brand: Is it whimsical? Sophisticated? Luxurious? Fun? These words will make the perfect litmus test as you assemble your catalog. Then every step along the way you can ask yourself, is this publication reflecting this image?

Now that you are ready to get started, take a look at some of the great examples of catalogs on MagCloud. We hope they will help inspire you. Already published a catalog with MagCloud? Share it below in the comments!

4 thoughts on “5 Catalog Design Essentials for Your Business

  1. Parker 9 Jun 2013 / 10:07 PM

    It is essential for designers to include quality photographs having high resolution in the catalog. This will attract readers and inspire them to read more details about the products, provided by the company.

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