What Factors Constitute Great Catalogue Design?
While ‘great design’ is often a subjective judgement, we all recognise poor design – and no business wants this associated with their brand. Creating a memorable catalogue does not need to cost tens of thousands in fancy artwork but it does require attention to detail, careful design and an eye for quality production.
Equally important is the care needed to position the catalogue to address the needs of its target audience, in terms of both design and content. In other works, a well-designed catalogue should be an active marketing tool and not just an eye-catching document. What features can be incorporated into catalogue design to proactively engage the reader? Let’s take a look at a few suggestions:
Content-Centred Design Schemes
The design of a catalogue should always reflect the content contained within. This visual synergy will help tie the entire presentation together in a seamless fashion. For example, brochures focused around financial services should reflect clarity, accuracy and a sense of transparency. Equally, a clothing catalogue will often leverage stylised elements alongside a flowing typeface and relevant colours.
A catalogue can be envisioned as a billboard for the company in question. It should therefore reflect the same style and corporate branding as all your other packaging and marketing materials. Not only will the presence of consistent logos, fonts and similar visual elements help reinforce the uniqueness of what is being offered, but the reader is more likely to take action if his or her perception is periodically reinforced with branded visual elements. Common practices include placing a logo on the top of each page or including your strapline immediately below a block of text.
A Balance Of Visual & Written Content
Some consumers respond better to product images and others to descriptive writing while some react best to a balance of visual and written content. Despite the wide use of visual content in online and print advertising, information-rich catalogues regularly deliver excellent return on investment results for clients who invest in a quality print catalogue product to showcase their products.
It is important for your design to include the right balance of visual and written content- and to do them well - in a way that is most appropriate to your product. An engineer assessing the merits of two different generators may be more concerned with detailed information about energy consumption and power output. Meanwhile an interior designer considering a choice of wood burning stoves will need to see how each item interacts aesthetically with other design elements.
The key to great design is to know your market and recognise what customers need from your catalogue to make a purchase decision.
Customers are looking for a sense of consistency and reliability when browsing a catalogue. Variables such as fonts, typefaces, margins, and borders should all remain uniform throughout the document. This approach reinforces the trustworthiness of the company and it is much less confusing to the reader.
Prioritise New Products or Services
Catalogues are always concerned with sales and client engagement. Any new content or offers should therefore be placed toward the very beginning as well as at the end (to act as a subtle call to action). These deals will appeal to the reader and he or she is more likely to continue reading. This is actually the same principle employed when creating an online sales platform. Novelty is a sign of a forward-thinking business.
Winning Design From 21st Century Print
These are some of the variables which separate a memorable catalogue from one that fails to engage the intended audience. Those who would like to learn more about printing and design concepts are encouraged to contact us as well as to download our free Catalogue Print & Design Guide. We look forward to hearing from you.