The Catalog Production

Written By: Maricon Williams

After the completion of the planning process, catalog production starts. These are the steps when producing a catalog:

First is the gathering of data. Before any design to exist you must first gather a complete list of all the products you will include in the catalog, as well as all non-product copy. If some items will be grouped together as one catalog photo block such as a shirt that comes in 4 sizes and 6 colors, check to ensure that it is clear for the designer. Sort further the list into categories or spreads.

Second, write the product copy. Although most every company can pull a list of products, item numbers and prices from their computer system, virtually no company maintains proper product name and descriptive copy. Product names used in inventory software typically have names like “IVY T-SHIRT RED MEDIUM.” In your catalog that same product would instead be called “Ivy T-shirt”, available in red and size medium.

Keep in mind that the descriptive copy for general customer catalogs should range from 30 to 60 words. Business and technical catalogs should be as brief as achievable while getting across the information a corporate buyer needs to make an informed purchasing decision.

The third step is to plan and design the overall look and feel of the catalog. In the planning questions you may have determined the catalog dimensions, catalog objective and catalog audience. With that information you can design the master layout for the catalog. All page design will originate from this master layout. In the master layout, you can design all common page elements, grids, design themes, and type specifications for all type of occurrences. To examine the design specs, you can mock up a couple of pages.

Fourth, design the spreads and cover. After the overall look and feel of the catalog has been designed, product list and copy created, you can now sketch out each spread to identify the items on the spread and their approximate layout. You can also indicate any product photography that needs special shots such as with a background or model, and sketch approximately how we envision the photograph’s layout.

The fifth step is product photography. This step involves the acquisition of all the picture and graphic files. The next thing to do is to process the images in Photoshop. There you can adjust the levels, add a clipping path and convert the image to CMYK.

Finally, you can now layout the catalog. This is the most thrilling part of designing a catalog. Here you can put all the elements together on the page to come up with a functional and attention grabbing catalog.

Additional Information about the articles can be found at http://www.catalogprintingexperts.com

About The Author

Maricon Williams

I love reading. Give me a book and I’ll finish it in one sitting. Reading is the chance to be transported to a different world and so is writing. I’m more enthusiastic about writing however, since you can relay your ideas to someone else. I can only imagine that feeling when I hear a complete stranger talking about my ideas which read on an article somewhere. To relay my message to as many people is the same as touching people with music. Only mine’s less harmonic. I try to make up for it with the color I bring with words. And most of the time, its more than enough.


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