The problems one faces when preparing to print a catalog are compounded by the fact that the average catalog has many pages with many items and there is a massive amount of detail which may trip up the lesser able when catalog printing. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that people make when setting up a project for the printing of a company catalog.
1- Droll Cover: The very first thing that the catalog user sees is the front cover. Does your cover look like a cheap tool catalog or a Tiffany one? This is an area where some money should be spent as it is the first thing people see. It is the introduction to your product through the front cover of your catalog. If it is boring, you are not enticing people to look inside. Are your top products portrayed in the most prominent way on the catalog’s cover? Did you outline them rather than just use a picture box, so they pop more to the reader?
2- Poor Organization: If you do not organize your printed catalog in the best manor for your readers, they will miss items they may need and you may miss a sale. Organize your catalog into clear sections, and provide an index in the front so readers can go to the section of their interest. Color code the sections along both sides of the page, using a different color for an inch or so down the trim edge, depending on how many sections you have. This way when your catalog printer trims your catalogs, the colors will bleed through the edge and your reader will have an easy way to get to the section of interest. This concept costs no additional in the process from your catalog printing company.
3- Poor Images: Printers print in CMYK and not RGB which is used on the internet and your desk top printer in most cases. Files provided that are not CMYK will have a color shift. This does not mean that your catalog printing will have inferior images as a result, but just that you will lose control of what may be color critical during the default RIP process, when the prepress defaults to CMYK. Also did you know that 72 DPI has just 5% of the pixels (image information) necessary to print your catalog from the same 300 dpi of an appropriate image? If you can avoid using JPG images do so. Use Tiff images, as JPG’s add a “noise” factor to the image due to the encoding process which can become visible in large images. This is not a problem in small images in catalog printing.
4- Poorly Written Copy: You are willing to spend good money on design and photography so why cheapen your catalog with boring written text? Use a professional copy writer for catalog printing, which we can supply, to write copy especially for your cover and “mission statement” or any introduction in the front of the catalog. Lure readers in with copy that entices them to go further into your catalog. Explain the benefits of your products and with dealing with you.
5- Bad Files For The Printing Company: Most catalog printing companies today want their files as high resolution print ready DPI files. Therefore you must start by using a native application built for graphic design such as InDesign, Quark or Corel and not Publisher or Word which will simply give you low quality and all sorts of problems. Do not squish your images into place by re-sizing them in the document program, but rather first having done so in Photoshop, as you build files that are way too big and risk crashing the RIP and even potentially having your images default to 72 dpi. Do not give your printer single pages or two page spreads, as most people don’t know how to make printer spreads which are different than reader spreads. Give the catalog printing company one file with single pages within, as 1,2,3,4.. etc. and if there is a cover that prints apart and is different from the text paper or inks, a separate four page file for the cover. NEVER give the catalog printer more files or bits and pieces than is needed to successfully print your catalog. You will confuse pre press, waste time and cost yourself money and time.
6- Not Taking Advantage Of Quantity Breaks: Big presses run fast. Sounds like a Bruce Springsteen song, but it is important to know from an investment in print standpoint that it is not much more money to print a few thousand extra catalogs compared to the costs of reprinting them if you run short. Yes, I know that you may make changes in the future, but again it is less costly to create and print price changes, product changes as flyers or brochure addendums than to print the same catalog several times per year. Ask your catalog printing company to give you at least three quantity quotes for your catalog so you can see this clearly.
7- Not Taking advantage of Our Great Services: I just needed to sneak that one in, but it’s true. With PBD you get great pricing, excellent quality and expert and friendly customer service from the one of the best catalog printing companies in the business. You get the help you need to prevent costly mistakes and a guarantee from us that our work is done to quality commercial standards. Try us out. We won’t let you down.
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