Connect With Your Audience
Borrowing from Web design principles, print catalog design is about making all the tasks required to buy as simple and intuitive as possible. An integral part of making this experience easier is cross-selling. “Let’s say you’re selling bed sheets,” says catalog designer Schmutz. “Rather than have small shots of the fitted sheet and pillow, showing them independently of one another, it’s better to have the shot be in a bedroom setting where you not only have the sheets and pillows, but you now show the duvet, bedskirt and shams on the bed.”
Magellan’s makes the buying experience simpler by utilizing clear readability standards. “We know our demographics,” says Staneff. “They’d rather not deal with eight-point type, as tempting as it might be to squeeze just one more product on a spread.”
To be sure, your catalog may not need the adventurous prose of J. Peterman, the upscale look of Neiman Marcus or the clever covers of Lands’ End. But it does need to connect with your customers. Decide what makes your products unique and how that translates to real human experiences for your audience.
Once you discover that, you’ll have everything you need to produce a catalog that truly reaches your customers.
David Hunter is a writer at Rothstein & Memsic (www.rmideas.com), a Los Angeles catalog design firm. He can be reached at (323) 936-0868 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.