Friday, October 26, 2007

De-Mystifying Catalog Design

Your catalog is designed with one purpose – to make people aware of the products you offer, and convince them to buy. Your printed catalog is your Advertising vehicle, a good one will drive your sales right to the bank. An online version of your print catalog is highly recommended – the USPS reports that 55% of online shoppers shop with a printed catalog in hand.

Cover these five areas with the help of advertising professionals who will design, photograph, write -- and get your catalog online.

1. Product Photography High Quality – poor quality photos diminish your credibility Image Focus – whether sharp or selective, be consistent with your brand Color – accuracy is a must and depends on paper, prepress, and printing Consistency – of style regardless of type (silo, background, location) Visual interest – all your photos should be interesting to look at Space allotment – bigger is better, use as much space as possible

2. Product Copy Balancing act – romance with personality plus descriptive information of product Always benefit driven – customers want to know “What’s in it for me?” Always credible – accurate, authoritative, helpful and informative Targeted to the audience – know who you’re speaking to and use appropriate language Easy to read and understand – readers don’t want to have to figure it out for themselves Space allotment & size – consider brand, product being sold, and target audience

3. Page Layout Product is focus – quick identification of what’s being sold Price point visibly noticeable – especially if price is your niche Clean and simple and easy to shop – readers usually don’t spend a lot of time Consistent in format and purpose – all pages should look like they’re from the same brand Space allotment – good design sense is key here White space – rest for the eye is critical Location of information/order form – make it easy for the customer to purchase Overall print quality – must be consistent with your brand

4. Front Cover An invitation – inviting the reader to open the catalog Provide a taste of what’s inside – use top sellers Point to purpose of catalog – is there a season or other reason Focus on merchandise – you are what you sell Convey company image – ALWAYS be consistent with your brand Provide stopping power and reason to go inside – there’s a lot of competition out there Highlight new products – especially if you carry the same items each month Sell company services/policies/extras – sell your customer service right up front

5. Company Policies and Services Guarantee – strong return policy visually evident Make shopping simple – customers will go elsewhere if not Ordering info – placed where easy to find Web address – placed where it’s easy to find, and specify online services Personalize and caring feeling – utilizing demographic information and purchasing history Going beyond basic services – poor or non-existent customer service is not an option Honesty and Sincerity – be your image.

Don’t ever promise what you cannot deliver Linda Lullie is co-owner of Inspired 2 Design, LLC – a full service Advertising Design & Production company specializing in Small Business Marketing Solutions. Free Consultation and Special Value-Added Packages for Start-Up Companies. Visit them at Article may be reprinted only with Author’s bio and links intact.

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