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If you have a business with lots of individual products, one thing is for sure in most cases: You will be printing a catalog of your wares that you have for sale. You may be a manufacturer, distributer, or retailer, but more than likely you will require catalog printing.

Let’s look at some of the many unique ideas for catalog printing that could win you new business and maybe an award for creativity?

Layout Ideas For Catalog Printing:

Don’t do the usual and drone looking. Take risks, such as cross over art with a massive display, possibly in your centerfold and thus designating the same time and effort to the layout as you would to your cover. Leave white space which can highlight your products as crowding is boring. Give each product its due and if you have a few more pages for your catalog printing, you will win in the endas your customers will be able to better appreciate your catalog AND your products.

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Don’t stick to the usual and predictable size format. Who said a catalog must be 8.5 x 11”? You can go digest size if you want to economize (5.5 x 8.5”) or a “slim jim” type of format, which is approximately 6 x 10”. These catalog sizes are press efficient, as is a landscape version of the standard size with it turned on end for 11 x 8.5” and giving you a catalog printer’s spread of 22 x 8.5”. You could also do an elongated sheet that would accordion fold, but if you have many pages it would not work, as the length of the press would determine the lengh of the catalog. However, if you did each section as a single accordion folded product and inserted into a custom binding case for your catalog that would be an eye popper. Expensive yes, but for reprints you would just need to print sections as prices and products change. This sure beats the look of a three ring binder.  catalog printer offers concepts in catalog printing

Use a copywriter to write your page copy and speak about your images, extolling the benefits to your users of how they will gain by utilizing your products and or services. Highlight your new additions, your best sellers, items you want to push and the most unique items in your catalog printing.

Create a Layout for Catalog Printing That Is User Friendly

Organize your catalog printing into sections and add an index to all of the sections in the front of the book.  You could add pricing to select items, all items or none and thus utilize a price chart in the back of the catalog you are printing. You could even have a price sheet as a separate booklet with just black ink on offset stock. Why this idea makes sense, is that you could update your catalog, without having to reprint it, on a regular basis should your prices change. If you are servicing multi level users, such as a distributor, wholesaler, end user etc. you could have different inserts priced for each.

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Make Your Catalog Sections Easy To Locate

If you do not want to add die cut tabs to the printing of your catalog, which can drive the cost up, especially if your sections do not break at even signatures of 16 pages, then color code the sections. Have a solid color an inch or so down from the top, changing for each section, and appearing under the last. Be sure to print on both sides of the page with the bars, as when the cutting blade slams down on the catalog it drives the ink into the edge of the paper and creates a color on the edge itself.

Paper and Coatings To Create Eye Candy

If you have a product to sell, try using a dull coated paper and then utilize spot UV for the ultimate effect, or for far less cost spot varnish on just the images. The contrast will be astounding. If you are selling a service, where I think this would be more appropriate, use a dull cream or natural coated stock with the same spot coating treatment for your catalog printing project.  Another nice touch for your catalog printing would be to use a UV Vellum translucent sheet right after the cover and before the text pages, with a personal message to the user. You could or not, add a matching sheet to the back of the catalog you are printing.

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 Try a Different Bindery Solution For Your Catalog

There is more out there than just saddle stitching or perfect binding should you have a page count that offers the minimum 1/8” in order to perfect bind.

1-      Wire-O Binding: This is a similar bind to spiral, where you seem to see two separate wires together but binds as spiral. It looks more up market than spiral bound catalogs but it actually costs the same and catalog printers prefer it to spiral as it is less labor intensive due to being a speedier process.

2-      Hidden Wire-O: Same as above, but calls for the printing of a wider cover to accommodate the “hiding”. The cover is placed on the text with the front cover opening wide and bent back. The holes are punched and the wire placed through the text and only the back cover. When the front cover of the catalog wraps back over it, the spine and front cover look as if perfect bound. This way if it sits on the shelf somewhere as a reference catalog, you can have your message printed on the spine as well.

3-      Die Cutting Treatments: You can die cut a simple square or round hole, or if you want to spend money on a more intricate die, something more artful and lavish. This can not only offer your catalog printing an artful look, but you can also layout your first page of text to be creatively read via the openings. You could further create a piece that opens as a high class invitation, from four sides, with square, round or pointed flaps and your text in the center as individual sheets or stitched or glued in place pad like.

4-      Presentation Folder Style: This style would allow you to benefit from printing a catalog cover that you could use for years and only having to print the text, and pull the covers from storage each time you need them. You could stitch a booklet into the center of the presentation folder, add loose pages, even staggered ones into the pockets and also build a “capacity folder” which allows for greater depth in the pockets and spine.

Personalization Of Your Catalog

If your catalog is being created for an existing customer base, it is not too expensive to “personalize” a page and place it in the front of the catalog. You could just have a standard paragraph, with addressing info added, such as Dear Jim, plus message and this could be done by ink jet printing. Should you want to personalize an entire page you would need to move over to the laser printing process where an entire page could be different for each customer with commentary that would only relate to that one person. Do you think that person would “feel the love”? I think so!

 Use your catalog to create a buzz, to be remembered and to make your products or services stand out. Create a catalog that people want to keep on their desk as it is a work of beauty and unique in its design. In the long run, the longer the customer holds on to your catalog, the more likely to buy your products listed in your catalog.

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