Your product catalog is a major investment, and is perhaps the single most important sales tool you have. A well-designed catalog is both effective in closing sales, and cost-effective when printed. Since printing is our expertise, we will help you with the cost-effective part of that equation.
In order to do it right, you must think of the printing process throughout the entire design and layout process. Otherwise your finished catalog might not turn out the way you had envisioned it when you designed it on your computer.
The first, and most important concern is the size. MyPrintShopOnline.com offers two standard sized catalogs - 8.5" x 11" and 8.5" x 5.5". These are the most common sizes in the marketplace and also the most efficient to produce. When considering the size, also consider how many pages you think you will have. Consider how you will distribute the catalog. Will you mail it or hand it out? Will you put it in an envelope with a cover letter printed on letterhead?
When considering page count, keep in mind that you have to think in fours. All catalog printing is done in multiples of four pages. 4, 8, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, etc. The most efficient page counts are typically, 8 pages, 16 pages, and 32 pages. To keep your price as low as possible, try to keep to those three page counts. So when thinking about the size, play with the content to get the best number of pages to minimize your cost.
At MyPrintShopOnline.com, our standard pricing is for "self-cover" catalogs. That means the cover pages are the same paper stock as the inside pages. This is also the most cost-effective way to print catalogs. If you want a separate cover stock, we can do that, but it is a custom quote item.
A catalog can also be thought of as a brochure, and the better the design, the more you will sell. If you do not have the skill to design it yourself, you need to hire a professional graphic designer. Do not spend money printing a poorly designed catalog.
People like to see pictures. Take the time and spend the money to take good quality pictures. A poor quality picture makes the entire catalog look unprofessional. The graphic designer cannot make a bad picture look good. With today’s digital cameras, even an amateur can take good quality pictures. If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, buy a good digital camera, go get so light colored fabric from your local fabric store, get a couple of bright lights, and make your own little studio. Just be sure to save the pictures at a high resolution.
Make your prices easy to find, and always have the text describe all the benefits of each item. Fitting a lot of items on a page saves paper, but if the images get too small, they will get lost. Always use page numbers so it is easy for you to communicate with clients about particular items. Also, try to break it up into categories that make sense.
If you have any doubt as to how to start, pick up any catalog from a major catalog retailer, and you can get an idea of how to make it look professional. Big companies pay millions of dollars to ad agencies to make their catalogs look good. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. Pick a design you like and emulate it.