Why Catalogue Design can Make or Break your Brand

Catalogues remain popular, even in the digital age. J Crew distributed over 40 million of its physical catalogues in 2013, and Jack Wills’ ‘Handbook’ has become somewhat of a collectable amongst teenage fans.

Print is an extremely powerful tool that marketers should not neglect, in order to focus solely on digital. Pick up a beautifully designed catalogue and you’ll get an impressive lasting first impression.

There is an art to catalogue design: namely ensuring it’s integral to the brand and overall shopping experience. It’s just a question of what constitutes creative catalogue design?

Firstly, it needs to be on-brand. It sounds simple, but consistency in font, colour and template with your other marketing materials will help resonate brand identity with consumers.

Speaking of consumers, they must be at the forefront of your mind during the design process. It’s easy to focus on portraying the benefits of your products/services, but you must ensure you create a catalogue that readers enjoy flipping through. Make it engaging and interesting, featuring products/services your customers will like, and they’re more likely to buy.

Simply creating any old catalogue isn’t enough. With many major retailers releasing them, you need to differentiate yours. Add unique touches by experimenting with textures, shapes and inserts to intrigue consumers and have them reaching for your catalogue.

Nevertheless, with the ever-increasing rise of digital (in 2015, the UK became the first country to spend half of their advertising budget on digital), brands like Ted Baker and COS are turning to online catalogues. While some are supplementing their printed version and others are replacing them entirely, it provides consumers with another way of accessing creative content.

If there’s one thing we can stress, it’s to not second guess the power of print. Research by econsultancy showed that 56% of respondents had referred to a catalogue at least once in the year before making a purchase. 23% stated to flicking through a catalogue at least once a month. The importance of beautiful catalogue design is just as strong as it’s always been, and something you should build into your marketing strategy.

There come additional options to consider when creating an online catalogue. Mainly, ensuring the download speed is fast, so users don’t hit the back button. Keeping your images small and in JPEG format will help with this. You can also add extra touches to bring your catalogue to life. Videos of models walking down the street in your clothing demonstrate the wearability of your clothing. It’s all about showing off your products in a way that consumers will find interesting.

Physical and online catalogues both have benefits, and many will argue that you can’t beat the feeling of holding a heavy catalogue. They’re something worth investing in, as they still play an important role in consumer purchase decisions.

As you may have guessed, we’re pro-catalogue. We love creating them for many top brands – having recently worked with Jon Richard and Go Outdoors.

We find the key to catalogue design is crafting strategic planning with visuals and copy, ensuring the brand is communicated to the end user with ease. If you’d like to collaborate with an agency who can offer extensive catalogue design services, just drop us an email at hello@photolink.co.uk – we’d love to talk with you!

Imogen Gee

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