Okay, so it’s that time of the year when you have to get your next product catalog ready. You have some new products that need to be included, specifications and offerings of some existing products have changed, you are running a mad search through the files looking for those perfect photos and racking your brains to come up with that perfect layout which will lure existing and potential customers while turning your competitors green with jealousy.To make things worse, you have a fast approaching deadline and your boss and other team members can’t wait to see the final version. Before you drive yourself crazy taking care of the umpteen issues you need to address, take a few minutes to read this short list of pointers before you dive into the befuddling world of catalog design ideas.
1. Professional Photography Is A Must:
Hire a professional photographer to do a proper product photo shoot. Brainstorm ideas and work with your photographer to come up with dramatic poses for your products. Make sure along with looking pretty, these photos highlight the product functions and do justice to their ease of use as well. Remember, your catalog is that one piece of collateral that will prompt your end users to make a buying decision.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words!
So, make sure your pictures are perfect and speaking for themselves, allowing your catalog to be less wordy.
2. Use honest images to avoid customer ill will:
So, you were asked to include photos of your upcoming product in the catalog, but Alas! the product is not finished and ready yet. So, you get a recommendation: create a layered image. Let me cite an example. A company I worked for used to sell a white electronic device with a white remote, until they decided to sell a modified version of the white device with a shiny black remote. Technically, this would be a new product package. Thanks to globalization, the device was being sourced from China while the new black remote was being manufactured somewhere in the Midwest. We, being located in Silicon Valley, had never seen the two of them together, let alone photograph them. So, someone in the team came up with an ingenious idea: the white device hasn’t changed much in external appearance, so why not paint the existing white remote black and add the image as layers to the photo of the similar looking older version of the device so that it looks as if they have been shot together.
Never fall for such traps! As soon as your customers lay their hands on a published catalog, they expect all products to be immediately available as advertised. If, by chance, your black remote is not ready by the time your customer sees the photo of the white device paired with the black remote and tries placing an order for it, you’re in for a big trouble. Beware of advertising something that doesn’t exist yet ! It’s much better to provide honest pictures and just make an announcement that you have new products coming soon.
3. Get the specifications as accurate as possible:
Get as accurate product information as you can. Your catalog will be around for at least a year and specifications may change within that period. But make sure, working on it NOW, that you gather the most accurate and updated information from your product teams. Feel free to ask them to red line your versions as many times as needed. It should be a concerted team effort and not a stand alone job.
4. Print is going out of vogue:
No matter, how much we love to design glossy catalogs with shiny pages, there’s no denial that print publications are gradually going out of fashion. Depending on your industry, product offerings and consumer behavioral trends, make sure whether you need a print version at all. Or will it be better to create an elegant online PDF version to be uploaded on your company website and just update your customers through email blasts or social media blurbs that you have a new downloadable catalog available now.
5. Printing Options:
This is especially true when you’re opting for an online only version. You have no idea whether the customer who is going to download and print pages from your catalog has a colored printer or can print only in black and white. Make sure your layout and designs are such that in addition to looking appealing in color print, they look good in black and white as well. A little farsighted design can help to tie loose ends really well.