Most every company with a sound business model utilizes catalog printing in order to categorize, display and sell their products with. So the question to be asked is; “How do I differentiate my catalog printing from that of my competitor?” Easy, use quality images, copy that sells rather than offers and excellent design. However there are things one can do when printing catalogs that in most cases are simple to execute and do not add much to the cost.
Here are some unique ideas to help you print a catalog that stands out from the pack:
Tabbing Your Catalog:
There are a number of tabbing treatments for catalogs that can be simple and add minimal costs, if any to your catalog printing. Here are some examples of tabbing:
Die Cut Tabs: This is the most costly as it requires tabs that first are die cut, an offline process, and then inserted, with tabs scored and folded so the tabs do not get cut off in trimming. Tabs can be left unfolded, but it would require that the cover overlap the tabs as well as using heavier cover and tab stock, with lamination on tab ends, so that the tabs are protected in the catalog from bending.
Trimmed Bleed Edge: This is a very cost effective way to create sections as all you would do is create colored bleed edges for each section, starting at the top of face edge and moving downwards using different colors of ink.
Custom Layered Trim: This would be created by trimming each section slightly smaller in a landscape format so that each section is visible with the catalog closed. This would mean that the top section extends towards the face with the smallest width, and the next section jutting closer to the edge and so on. This is not suited for mass run web printing of catalogs as it would be way too expensive, but more so for custom catalog printing on a sheet fed press and where there are limited budget restrictions and thus ideal for a high end shop or manufacturer.
Die Cut Catalog Printing: There are many ways to utilize custom die cutting for catalogs. One simple way is the die cut cover with a see through area to expose purposefully place copy or an image so it shows through the hole. The hole can be simple as a circle or an intricate and yes more costly die cut pattern.
Die Cut Corners: In addition to the opening as mentioned above you can print and bind your catalog and then round corner the four or only the two corners at the face.
Presentation Folder Options: There are several options you can utilize in catalog printing that incur the use in some fashion of a presentation folder. You can stitch the catalog into a pocket folder, insert the stitched or loose pages into the pockets and even split the sections into staggered ones or separate booklets and insert them into the pockets so that each booklet represents a different and easy to reference section of the catalog. You can even print an index showing which sections are for what and where on the pockets of the folder.
Custom Bindery Options:
Custom sizes, such as 4 x 9” or squared can also set you apart and if utilizing a single sheet for a smaller catalog on a sheet fed press, then consider custom folding of your catalog. An accordion fold is easy for the user to splay out and sell all at one time or to just thumb through the sections. A double gate fold is always a nice touch and it is where the outer two panels fold in and then the last fold is in half bringing the two panels together. You can also have a custom die cut fold where there are five panels, one in the center and one off each of its four sides. The panels that fold in can be square, scalloped or pointed and can all fold inwards or even tuck in. You can even place a little booklet in its center.
Custom Envelope: Once your catalog printer is finished with the basic book, you can then have it inserted into a matching booklet envelope, utilizing the same paper stock and imagery as the catalog itself. The envelope can be as intricate as you like with such as scalloped edging on the flap.
Catalog Paper Options: Generally speaking the reason catalog printers utilize gloss or dull coated stock is because “ink sits on top of the paper” unlike uncoated offset stocks where it sinks into the paper, thus spreading the image a bit. If you are selling products where “a picture is a thousand words” then clarity is king. However, there is no reason why you cannot opt for an uncoated cover and even one with a recycled look or laid look, especially for an upscale product. One thing to consider though, if you are printing catalogs for an auto parts company, that type of cover will get dirty real fast and you therefore would be better off with a coated cover and a UV or varnish finish to protect it.
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