Whatever design elements you choose (photos, illustration, line art), make sure they are consistent with existing branding in both familiar and unexpected ways. Your catalog should feel like your company, but look for ways to intrigue both new customers and your established audience alike with elements that surprise and delight. Think about unique headers and other compelling design work, and pull ideas from these or more unconventional places, like vintage catalogs, game rule books, or old-school maintenance manuals.
A cohesive and compelling message
Your catalog doesn’t need a high word count. Marketing materials like catalogs are built around simple blocks of information. A catalog of evocative imagery and minimal relevant information can work perfectly. Here are some important things to include in text form, so customers don’t get confused:
- Product names
- Pricing information
- Sizing information
- Return policies
Digital vs. print catalogs
If a print catalog isn’t in your budget, or your audience lives online, digital catalogs can be effective as well. A digital catalog allows you to create exciting and experimental digital spaces that are separate from your e-commerce store.
Create an interactive journey through your products, filled with videos, blogs, and other content blocks. Many of the principles of designing a compelling print catalog apply here too. The primary difference is that you are not bound by the limits of print — animation, interesting scrolling user interfaces, and links to other content can make your digital catalog a special experience.
When it comes to digital catalog options that ensure animations, video, copy, and layout work in tandem, designers may need different tools. Adobe XD features prototyping and design tools for digital environments, as well as sharing and editing options ideal for boosting collaboration and helping teams work efficiently.
Additional tips and tricks.
Because well-designed and thoughtful catalogs are rare — especially from smaller businesses — customers are often happy to browse through them. Make it worth their while. Try out a few unconventional strategies to reward the customer for using the catalog and engaging with your brand.
Use unusual materials.
Include different types of paper stock in the catalog. A nice cover made of linen or another material can take your work to a new level — these features can make a catalog feel interactive. Work with your catalog printing company to see what’s available.