Takeaway Tip: Copy for low-product-density and high-product-density pages takes about the same overall time to write on a per-page basis. So don’t count on time savings in copywriting from a lower product density.
Step 7 — Allow for two complete rounds of copy revisions on average (some pages will need more, some less). Copy proofing and revisions take about the same time as design (see above), and can happen simultaneously if you have enough people proofing.
Step 8 — For cover photography allow a half day per cover for tabletop, and up to two days for a complex location shot. For product shots, allow six to 12 shots per day, depending on how fancy you’re getting. Some types of photography happen quickly (e.g., athletic shoes, drill bits), while some take more time (e.g., cooked food, fashion apparel on life-like forms).
Step 9 — As our technology advances, more prepress operations, such as color correction and page assembly, are migrating in-house. But don’t expect to save time. Begin page assembly as soon as the first spread is approved. Don’t wait for your designer to finish. A skilled operator with no missing images can assemble one page every one to two hours, depending on how much high-resolution work is needed. Add one week for unexpected additional prepress duties.
The above nine steps generally take one to one-and-a-half work days per completed catalog page, from pagination (what goes where on each page) to printer turn-in. And, if you have the time, adding four to eight more weeks to the front of the schedule for strategy, competitive analysis, product selection and pagination eventually will produce better sales.
Regarding the true-life example that began this section on creative: To get an Oct. 1 in-home date, this merchant’s 24-page catalog with two extra front/back covers (28 pages total) adds up to this: