Designing a catalogue requires more than just product pages. There are key pages in catalogue design that grab the customers attention and lead them on through the catalogue. Stimulating the catalogue recipient, keeping their attention, and making use of the catalogue as easy as possible also require consideration in the design process.
The catalogue front page design is the shop window to what is contained within. This sets the tone and gives your customers an indication of your product offering and what your company stands for.
For a prestigious catalogue a single product or lifestyle image could be used in an attractive manor, giving a magazine feel. Alternatively, for a more aggressive sales orientated catalogue cover design the cover can display numerous products with price flashes and calls to action.
The catalogues front cover is the most viewed page within the catalogue. Getting this right can prove to be make or break when it comes to getting your customers to open the catalogue and make those all-important purchases.
Catalogue Back Cover
The catalogues back cover design can again be done in an upmarket way using a large photographic image or colours that represent your brand identity. However, if you are wanting to maximise sales you can again add product onto the back.
The back page can contain your contact details and information relating to your social media presence.
Inside Cover Design
If you are producing a multi-page catalogue you can take the opportunity to introduce your company, your products and what is contained within the catalogue on this first page. If on the other hand, the catalogue is smaller you may wish to get straight into displaying your products to maximise the space.
If you are to create an introduction piece on your inside cover the best approach is for it to be written by a senior person within your organisation. This gives a sense of importance that allows the reader to see that this information Is created by someone who speaks for the company. They can explain what has been happening with the company since the last catalogue and introduce the reader to new products or new product ranges. To add extra importance to this, a photograph of the author could be added with their signature at the bottom of the written introduction.
There is various other information that can be positioned on the front inside page in advance of the reader reaching the actual product pages. Examples include a basic contents page that breaks down the sections but does not go into actual products. This can show page numbers so the customer can get straight to the section that contains the products they are looking for. Information on delivery options can be added. Details on your company’s service levels and guarantees can be highlighted. A how to order section gives you the opportunity to let your customers know your preferred options such as directing them to the website or giving credit card details or telephone numbers and email addresses.
For larger catalogues that run into hundreds of pages this information can be spread across the first two, three or more pages. This allows you to expand on the information and give additional details.
For smaller catalogues, say 40 pages or less, an index is not necessary. Perhaps basic details of the pages where sections start would be useful but again not essential. For larger catalogues an index makes use of the catalogue much simpler. On completion of the catalogue artwork some companies may need to work through the position of products on pages to construct an index manually. This can be very time consuming and laborious. If the catalogue is produced through a product information management system, or a content management system, this can be done at the touch of a button. In most cases the index will appear at the back of the catalogue, this would be where most customers would expect it to be, therefore possibly the best place. However, some companies may choose to put this at the beginning of the catalogue.
Centre Page Spread
for smaller catalogues that are stapled together the catalogue often falls open revealing the centre page spread.
This can therefore be a primary selling page. If this is the case, you may take the opportunity to pay special attention to this spread and put key products in there.
Section Introduction Pages
For larger catalogues the customer can sometimes become lost and not realise they have left one section and entered another. A good way to let the customer realise they are about to enter a new section is to design dedicated section introduction pages. This can be simply a large page that has the heading of the section, or they can contain some of the products that the customer will be introduced to once they enter this new section.
Colour coding sections also helps the reader realise they are in a new section. This can be used as part of the catalogue design with nice bright colours used throughout the catalogue.
In the creative catalogue design process, there is no set way two layout pages. This depends on the type of catalogue, the type of company and most importantly the type of market the catalogue is aimed at.
A catalogue of prestigious products may wish to use white space on the page and just have a few products on each spread. If on the other hand, the catalogue contains low value budget products then you will want to maximise the space on every page by getting as much product as possible on there.
There may be certain products that you wish to draw the customers attention to. These are referred to as hero products. When designing your catalogue pages techniques to highlight these products should be developed. They may include adding a colour behind the product entry or putting a key line box around the product. Obviously increasing the size of the product entry is an excellent way of achieving this.
As we have seen above there is more to catalogue design and catalogue production than just finding attractive ways to display your products on pages and a specialised catalogue designer can assist. The catalogue front page design sets the tone for the whole catalogue and other pages complete the process giving the customer all they need to make that important purchase.
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