Great Catalog Design

written by Autumn Shultz


I really enjoy organizing, designing and laying out catalogs. I know that may not be a sentence you hear often, but I really do. I love all the moving parts, the attention to detail and the level of organization required to do a great catalog. Here are seven things I’ve learned working on catalog projects:


1. The whole catalog and each individual product has the opportunity to sell a lifestyle – to evoke the feeling they’ll get when they buy that item.


2. The product should always be center stage. The consumer should see product, the lifestyle, then price – everything else is extra detail.


3. Don’t skimp on photography. Since the product is the most important item on the page, poor photography – even of a great product – will evaporate sales. Photography is not the place to cut costs.


4. Pay attention to product positioning. Just like in magazines and newspapers, the top right corner is prime real estate – use this space for best-sellers and featured items.


5. Cross sell! Create companionships between different products inside the catalog and use the catalog to lead customers to your web site.”


6. Consistency is a must. Limit the numbers of fonts to just a few. Create a consistent hierarchy of information by placing the most used info in the same location each time.The goal is to make the catalog as easy for your customer to use as possible.


7. Catalogs can help carry your brand. Don’t lose your branding elements in a whole catalog redesign, just because you’ve grown tired of looking at it. Most likely, the same time you’re looking for a redesign is when your client is just starting to recognize the catalog as yours.