19+ Catalog Examples, Templates & Design Ideas in Illustrator
Advertising materials are among the must-haves in a business entity. Through these promotional materials, a company’s offers are reached out to their customers. Among the widely used marketing materials is the catalog. Through time, catalogs have proven their effectivity and efficiency as a marketing tool.
Your catalog must be designed not only for maximum functionality but also for aesthetics in order to catch the interest and attention of your market. It must be something that can drive increased sales for the company. How can you make an eye-catching and, at the same time, functional catalog? Provided in this article are catalog templates and examples as well as the basics and guides in creating a catalog.
Elements of an Excellent Catalog
Similar to a company logo or a business card, a catalog can help reinforce brand awareness. Aside from providing information to the customer about the goods or services offered by the company, it must also represent the characteristics and personality of the entity. In order to achieve this, it must consist of the following important elements:
1. Front cover: Oftentimes, customers would check out first on the cover of catalog before browsing the pages. The catalog cover will provide the customer a short glimpse of its content. It must be designed it in a way that it presents an overall background of the products and services offered because the customer can draw conclusion and expectations based on what they have seen in your front cover.
2. Thumb index: This pertains to the letter or marked grooves on the side of your catalog. It is not necessary that you always include a thumb index in your catalog, but it is useful for easy reference especially when you are creating a catalog with a lot of pages. Through a thumb index, the reader can easily scan through the pages and jump to different sections of the catalog.
3. Introduction pages: The first pages of your catalog must present the main description of your catalog including a short background of the products and services contained in the catalog. It is an opening advertisement of your catalog and products and services as a whole.
4. Table of contents: A catalog must have a table of contents in order for the reader to easily locate the pages of certain topics or keywords. It must contain a list of the chapters or sections and sub-chapters of the catalog as well as page numbers and indicators.
5. Product layouts: The main body of a catalog consists of all your items—goods and services—to be offered to your customers. The products must be arranged accordingly, and the information for each of the products must also be included. Among the important information of a product are the following: product name, brief description, high-quality image, size, dimension, weight, and price.
6. Final pages: The final pages wrap up your advertisement and provide additional notes or terms and conditions of your offer. These are important to have a proper closing of your catalog, serving as an end note and providing a takeaway for the readers.
7. Back cover: For the back cover, it contains designs usually similar to the front cover or the inside pages. Similar to the back cover of a greeting card, it may contain the company logo and contact information of the company issuing the catalog.
Creating a business catalog requires careful planning by the key personnel as well as a little touch of creativity. You have to note that while you are working on the visual presentation of your catalog, you must also be mindful of its functionality and content. Only then can you create a catalog that is effective in promoting your products and services as well as boosting your branding.
Here are some important points that you must know in creating a catalog:
Know the purpose of your catalog: Before starting to create a layout or deciding the format of your catalog, it is important that you know and understood the purpose of your catalog. You must identify whether you are creating them for a specific market or you want them to be placed on information desks or simply on lobby tables.
Decide on the catalog format: It is without a doubt that catalogs are created digitally, but the finished product may be print catalogs or digital catalogs. Decide whether you want it printed such as a traditional catalog or you want a digital copy in the form of PDF, e-book, among others.
Decide whether to use a template or start from scratch: You may opt to use a template that you can find on the internet such as those displayed above or work on a blank canvas. If you immediately need to publish your catalog, it is recommended that you look for appropriate templates. On the other hand, if you want to fully create your own catalog, you may start from scratch.
Incorporate the elements of a catalog: As discussed above, front cover, thumb index, introduction pages, table of contents, product layout, final pages, and back cover are the essential elements that must be present in your catalog.
Organize and experiment on different layouts and styles: After incorporating all the necessary elements, you may try positioning them in various ways and styles until you achieve the layout you desire.
Save and publish your catalog design: Finally, save a copy of your work and publish it by printing or through launching them online in your website or social media account.
Tips for a Remarkable Catalog Design
Keep it simple: Do not overdo your designs and keep everything simple. Make sure the legibility of your font, ensuring that the reader can still read your text despite the designs around the pages.
Use striking headlines: Headlines can trigger the interest of the readers. So, ensure that you are writing a striking headline, the one that would entice the reader to read more about a certain topic or browse more through the list of products and services. The more they get interested in your headline, the more they browse the pages of your catalog.
Highlight profitable items: You must present your profitable items in a way that it can easily be seen by the reader. Position them on areas where they are highlighted or you can even spare a page only for those items to make them stand out from the rest. Note that these items would contribute to your increased sales and serve as a leverage for an increased profit.
Use high-quality photos: To make your catalog professional-looking, it is highly recommended that you use high-quality photos. Photos are among the factors that would contribute to an eye-catching catalog, so make sure that you are only including those high-quality and professional photos. People are innately visual, so the first thing that would catch their attention are the photos of your products or services. Take a look at photography catalogs as reference.
Provide white spaces: White spaces pertain to the areas in your catalog that are intentionally left blank in order to give breathing space for your design and text. This would also help you make your items organized and not cluttered.
Types of Catalog
Advertising catalogs used for product promotion comes in different types. The purpose and function they serve may be similar, but there are few differences that you must know and be aware of. If you are planning to use a catalog to showcase your products and services, it is best that you get acquainted with the different types in order for you to decide on which type of catalog would be perfect for your company.
Print catalogs: These catalogs are tangible, the traditional printed ones, with an exceptional staying power. These will allow you to showcase single and multiple product categories through a medium that they could touch and use whenever necessary.
Online catalogs: If you would like to cut printing expenses, you may opt for online catalogs which allow you to constantly update product description, prices, as well as images a lot quicker than its traditional counterpart, the print catalogs.
Single company catalogs:These catalogs are produced and used by a single company to showcase their product line, often grouping similar items to allow customers with specific interests to quickly find what they are searching for.
Multiple company catalogs: These catalogs are typically used for mass retailers, featuring products from a variety of manufacturers usually of the same industry. These make showcasing a series of items from competing brands easier.
Another important decision you need to make in creating a sales catalog is choosing the appropriate size where your content would exactly fit. Take a look at these available catalog sizes:
5.5 × 8.5 inches: This size is suitable for watch and jewelry companies. Its width and length are appropriate for those companies because it allows manufacturers to feature product images with short descriptions within the small space.
6 × 6 up to 6 × 9 inches: These sizes are perfect for low-volume products or services with minimal features.
8.5 × 11 inches up to 9 × 12 inches: For companies in the clothing and apparel industries, these sizes are their primary options because these allow them to include images of their products as well as brief description for each item. You might be interested in taking a look at some clothing catalogs.
12 × 12 inches: Considered as the biggest standard size for catalogs, this is used for showcasing a large number of products or services at a time.
Some of the commonly asked questions are answered below.
What is the importance of a catalog?
Primarily, customers need your catalog in order for them to easily browse through all your products and services. They do not need to physically search your store for certain items that they need. They can also easily compare the different variants of a product as well as their sizes. Moreover, they need not ask anymore for a salesperson to discuss with them the details of the product. On the other hand, companies would issue a catalog not only for showcasing their products and services but also to increased brand awareness and exposure. More and more people will get acquainted with your company as well as your products and services offered through your catalog.
Who must be in charge to create a catalog?
There is no single person who can be appointed to create a catalog alone. Instead, many people must be involved in the creation of a catalog for this requires proper planning and preparation. Representatives from different teams or department of a company must be involved in the creation process. Representatives must be from sales, marketing, IT, and graphics. These people must work hand in hand in order to achieve a presentable and elegant company catalog.
What kinds of catalog publishing processes are there?
By publishing process, this means inserting the information into the catalog in a structured way. This can be done by manual publishing or simply copy and paste, which is prone to error; automatic publishing, which requires in-house or on-premise software; and cloud publishing, which requires a cloud software.