The 25 Key Essentials to hiring a Dallas Catalog Design Company
Factory Creative knows it can be difficult in hiring a Dallas catalog design company. To minimize the guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of the top nine reasons when it’s time to hire a catalog design company:
So, what makes for a great Dallas catalog design company? Glad you asked, we’ve compiled the top 25 essential factors, and questions to ask your brochure design company.
1. Allow will the catalog design to reflect graphics physically
Hiring a Dallas catalog design company will use brightly colored shapes for containing information. This makes the catalog very cohesive as a whole, each element working together to create a solid piece.
2. Can the Dallas Catalog Design company get creative with your inserts?
If you plan on including physical items inside your catalog, display it in an interesting way. You’re not limited to a simple sleeve in the back. The shape of the pop out gives dimension to the interior, which would otherwise be very flat.
3. Is the Dallas Catalog Design company able to think outside the “typical style”?
Stepping away from the typical structure and into something interactive and three-dimensional. It engages the viewer and creates a lasting impression.
4. Consider your catalog design materials
Depending on what the catalog is for, the material used can relate very well. Recyclable materials make your business look more environmentally friendly and ‘green’, while something more industrial gives an entirely different, blue collar feel.
5. Use texture as a graphic element
Sometimes photography just isn’t the right fit for the message you’re trying to deliver. Consider using a textural pattern to show brand colors rather than photography. The contrast between the color-filled pages add an interesting dimension to a potentially stagnant subject matter.
6. Keep it small
Bigger isn’t always better. If you can boil down your information into a concise enough size, why not make your catalog small enough to match? The smaller the catalog, the more likely someone will be to actually hold onto it.
7. Is the Dallas Catalog Design company willing to break catalog conventions
Typically a catalog is read left to right and down the page before moving onto the next page. Why not make it completely different, though foldable ends, which creates another ‘new page’ – allowing you to use the interior for all of additional branding information.
8. Use perspective to your advantage
Typography doesn’t have to be completely straight across the page. Use interesting angles to add visual interest and create visual elements in their own right.
9. Don’t be afraid of change
Not all of your catalogs must be identical. A variety of catalogs with the same information helps give the reader a choice in the one they want to pick up. Ask your Dallas catalog design company to show options with different photographs, using three different color washes to give each one its own personality.
10. Be clever
If there is a way you can make your message literal. Try to rethink your message, a simple change in wording can open up a variety of possibilities to how you can show it.
11. Use accent pages with the catalog design
This is the interior of the previous catalog. Consider utilizing die cut accent pages in a way that acts as a design element. Pages also don’t have to contain any long-winded information, yet they can still serve a function. They act to break up what the viewer is seeing, that way you can process each image individually.
12. Break catalog boundaries
Having a spiral bound book can make keeping the catalog open easier as well as add a design element. Sleeves are a great addition to make your catalog feel a little more upscale and personal, since you have to remove it to gain access.
13. Get angular
Unique cuts help to create a more interesting piece, giving it sharp angles and an envelope like effect when it’s closed.
14. Be creative with typography
Creating typography with graphics or photographs is a great way to make sure you’re implementing both. Try reversed out through the photograph. Experiment with different colors and shapes to give a unique look. Your Dallas catalog design firms will have the expertise to guide with this aspect.
15. Make sure your catalog design has a purpose
Catalogs can be functional. Try to think of things your catalog can become rather than just being a source of information. Functional design is a big trend right now. Our Dallas catalog design company takes a collaborative and holistic approach that produces greater ROI and success for your business. We create a seamless transition from initial concept to final production.
16. Appeal to lifestyle desires
Sometimes people buy to fill a need but most of the time people buy because of want. They buy something they want because they envision feeling better, more satisfied after they have exchanged their hard-earned money for the product or service you have to sell. The art of creating the desire to buy is appealing to the customer’s desire to attain a particular lifestyle. Show the customer the lifestyle they can attain and desire and you will sell more product.
Therefore, orient all the elements of your catalog around conveying lifestyle. Do this at all levels. Your catalog might have an overall lifestyle theme while the individual products might have modifications or even mini-lifestyle themes of their own.
The text and copy should not only describe the product in sufficient detail that the consumer can make a buying decision but it should tell the reader how this item will help them achieve the lifestyle they want. Great copy writing is key! We suggest hiring a Dallas catalog design company who have seasoned catalog copywriters on staff to achieve maximum effectiveness.
17. Design for the audience
Tailor your catalog design to appeal to your audience. A business-to-business catalog (B2B) should be very different than a business-to-consumer (B2C) catalog. Catalogs for young people will have a different look than a catalog for older folks. Make the style of your catalog match the style desires of your audience. Hiring a Dallas catalog design company will have the expertise to develop a style best-suited for your targeted audience. In doing so, you will gain more affinity and hence more sales.
18. Brand Awareness
Every catalog should be used as an opportunity for brands to impress consumers and build a relationship. Because the catalog is typically a consumer’s initial interaction with the brand, he or she needs to remember this first impression as a positive experience. The catalog, branding, text, and graphics need to be a clear representation of the organization’s mission and values.
Moreover, hiring a Dallas catalog design company must have experience in building and maintain a strong brand as well – not just catalog design experience. Remember, you’ll need value add services like: Branding Strategy, Website Design, Logo Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Brochure Design and Digital Marketing services to support your overall to-go-market strategy.
19. Make the product the centerpiece
A rule of thumb in catalog design is the larger the product photo the greater the product’s sales. To this end we generally strive to maximize the size of the product’s image, especially in conjunction with each product’s profit value – the more total profit a product generates the larger the product photo should be. Then support the product with compelling copy.
Some Dallas catalog design firms attempt to save money on photography and printing by grouping items together in photographs. This often results in poor sales because in such a photo no product stands out to draw the customer in. It is better to show items individually or in very small, related groups. We prefer to show most products with no background and with a subtle drop shadow. This allows the product to stand out from the clutter of the page. Then we add lifestyle shots with a subtle background to add variety to the design and convey lifestyle moods.
20. Use great product photos
Perhaps the single most important catalog element – the product photo – tends to be the place where clients cut first and it hurts their success every time. In some industries, and with some vendors you can get excellent photos of their products for use in your catalog. And so can your competitors.
However, most supplier images are just not that good in the first place. Almost all lack clipping paths requiring labor and expense at the catalog design side to use them well. This reduces the perceived savings of these free images. Plus your catalog will not have a unique look all your own.
Some clients hope to save money is by taking their own photos. The physical process of shooting the photograph is but about 1/3 the cost of preparing a digital image for use in catalog design but is most important to the resulting quality of the finished image.
We highly recommend hiring a Dallas catalog design company that offers in-house product photography services. This way you can control the photography, and usually the design company can negotiate reduced photographer rates.
In short, don’t risk it by scrimping on good photography. It would be better to show fewer products on fewer pages to save on printing than to cut your sales with poor photos.
21. Put important items on the outside edges of the page
Readers typically look to the top right first then sweep across the page to the other side. If they don’t see something compelling they’ll flip the page. Therefore, put your most appealing products (which are typically your products that generate the most profit) on the outside top corners. Make these elements strong – larger in size – than the remaining products on the page spread.
22. Use opportunities to cross sell between products
Suggesting companion products can increase sales another 5-15%. Take every advantage of cross selling in your catalog. You can do this in the product copy or with call-outs, or by placing companion products together on the page.
An advertising rule of thumb is multiple forms of advertising run simultaneously will result in greater response than the same forms of advertising run separately at different times. Take a retail store running some television ads and some radio ads. If they did a promotion with the television ads one month and a promotion with the radio ads the next month, they will have less impact than if they ran the same promotion on both television and radio at the same time. In essence, one feeds off the other.
The same holds true with your catalogs. Take advantage of cross media merchandising by promoting your website in your catalog and your catalog on your website. Post your print catalog in PDF format for people to download.
23. Use consistent type styles and limit their number
To keep a clean and consistent look use no more than 2 to 3 fonts throughout your catalog. Further, keep text spacing and placement next to images consistent. Use the same style of text consistently for common elements such as product name, product description, etc. Keep fonts to within your style and function – don’t get too fancy unless your style requires it. Choose fonts that are easy to read and whose style matches the lifestyle you wish to convey.
Be careful with fancy fonts. It is easy to reduce readability, the professional look and perhaps translate into printing issues if the font is low quality. Once again the product is the centerpiece and much of that is due to the product photograph. The text should support the reader to make a buying decision and not take away from the impact of the photo.
24. Hiring a Dallas Catalog Design Company that reinforces your “brand” image is key
Once a successful look has been established resist the urge to change. REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) has kept a rustic border theme for the last 5 years. The look of their catalogs and sale promotion catalogs is easily recognizable by their customers and has created a brand image. One advertising rule of thumb is when you are tired of the look of your catalog (because you’ve seen it over and over again) your customers are just starting to recognize it as your look.
Protect your investment by keeping your theme for several years and if you decide to change, do it in small increments over a long time. Moreover, consider hiring a Dallas catalog design company to assist with overall design changes as needed. Remember, repetition brings brand identity recognition and brand recognition brings acceptance and sales.
25. Design for economy
Postage rates have increases created a dilemma with traditional standard size catalogs and an opportunity to keep costs down using the Slim format called “Slim Jim”. Rates for standard catalogs rose 40% while for letter rate only 9%. Because of the extreme disparity the Slim Jim format will net a savings of 15-20% for the same physical printed space over the Standard format.
Formats such as a standard full-size, Slim Jim or digest-size catalog in whole signature page counts tend to be the most economical catalog designs to print and mail. Spend time with your printer and the Postal Service to determine an efficient trim size. Not only do standard catalog formats save money, they also tend to “fit” better. This is both a positive and a negative. A catalog design that is too unusual in format may not fit the customer’s environment and may get disposed of fairly quickly. On the other hand a standard format may come across as plain and boring, not getting the notice you desire.
Well, there you have it. We hope these 25 essential factors in hiring a Dallas catalog design company have been helpful. For more information regarding the value of successful printed marketing materials, we invite you to visit Forbes® article “Does Print Still Have a Place?”
If you have questions or need help developing your catalog, please contact Factory Creative today – we have the creative solution you’ve been searching for.