Most companies use the product catalogue in their daily work – whether directly passing it on to the customer or attaching it to an online e-mail. In each case, the catalogue must fulfil its function, i.e. present the company’s offer in the best and clearest way possible. To achieve this, you need to remember about a few key steps and features that you must not overlook.
STEP 1: Analysing and determining the needs
Before the design process can begin, several important aspects need to be established:
- who the catalogue is aimed at,
- what preferences the selected group has – what it likes and dislikes
- what the language and style of the catalogue should be,
- what should the catalogue contain: the whole offer, the selected product group, current promotions or maybe news in the offer? What is the budget for printing? It is especially important when designing a catalogue cover, to know what kind of finishing to choose or to resign from in order to meet the budget criteria.
STEP 2. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Once you’ve answered all of the above questions, it’s time for more detailed arrangements. How to arrange the information so that the catalogue can fulfil its main functions? What to do to make it clear and intuitive? Here you should even consider aspects such as where viewers look first in a catalog, and how much space around the text makes it more readable. Properly selected information architecture will make it easier to navigate through the catalogue, make it more intuitive and make purchasing decisions a pleasure.
STEP 3. OTHER MATERIALS
A professional catalogue also includes professional product photos, renders, texts and translations. The project itself cannot fulfill its role if the catalogue is not enriched with high quality photos or catchy slogans. Spelling mistakes, incorrect design or incorrect translations will certainly scare the reader away. It is the coherent and balanced selection of all elements that creates the catalogue that sells.
STEP 4. DESIGN
At the beginning of the design work, one or two spreads are prepared. After thorough work and consultation with the client, it is possible to move on to the composition of the whole thing.
- What else is worth paying attention to?
- Make sure that all technical data, tables and charts are clear and easy to navigate,
- Products should be accompanied not only by an attractive photo but also a description highlighting the uniqueness of the product and its main features,
- Limit the number of photos on one page – sometimes one bigger, clearer photo can express more than 10 small, focused on details,
- Color combinations: remember not to use too similar backgrounds and font colors-it can be unreadable in printing,
- Graphical representation of the content. Icons, diagrams are always a good solution. We absorb and process such information faster, and what is more, it is an additional visual value of the catalogue,
- The smallest details. Dots at the end of sentences, the same line of icons or font size – remember that consistency is the basis and you should stick to one thing in the whole directory,
- When printing catalogues later, pay attention to the type and weight of paper. In the case of many photos, it is often better to use slightly thicker paper, and the photos themselves can be additionally protected with varnish,