Custom catalogs are supposed to look good. Furthermore, they are definitely supposed to bring in profits, too – lots of it.
Even if you design them in a way that makes your products and services look good, your catalogs will not be effective marketing tools if they do not sell. Remember that they are made for one thing: to sell.
Most business owners and marketers design their catalog printing without any idea of what it will take their catalogs to make money. Even if your graphic designer will be horrified at the thought, you cannot ignore the fact that print catalogs are precisely created for that particular job – to get lots of orders. These orders then ensure that you have a steady income.
If your catalogs do not sell, then you are just wasting your time, effort, not to mention your money in even starting the project. If your catalog design per se does not sell, here is how you can use it to get as many orders as you can from your custom catalogs:
• Apply a design element that calls attention to your products and services. Your designs are created to add emphasis to your products and services. It is therefore a very bad move on your part to have fancy designs that distract your readers from your selling message.
• Take for example the use of borders. Borders can look good and creative when you add them in the pages of your print catalogs. However, be sure to make them subtle so they will not take the spotlight away from the product that you are offering. On the other hand, you can also try to bleed your photos over the borders so you provide a 3D effect to your products.
• Get your photos popping off the page. In addition, since we are in the subject of 3D effects, photos that look like their trying to pop out of your pages can really grab the attention of your readers. Use drop shadows for that 3D look; and apply bleeds to your graphic images to make them look like they are extended off the page.
• Stop using scenes to improve the scenery. This technique is as old as the Stone Age. Your background only distracts and confuses your readers from understanding your selling message. You make it so hard for them to read your copy and therefore, make it difficult for them to decide in your favor.
• Do not get too excited with your color. Color can definitely bring to life your products and services. Also remember that too much of it can overwhelm and distract your target audience. Although you would want to attract attention by putting splashes of color in your catalogs, you might want to go back to our earlier principle that you are selling our products, not the design. Use the design therefore to highlight your products. Use your color to increase the appeal of your offer. In addition, not let your design get the better deal than your products and services.
Always remember that design does not sell. Your products and services are what will get the orders from your target clients. So be sure to emphasize them, not your design.