Later, a very tight-budgeted cataloger wanted to reposition its brand to stand out from its competition — and a funky look was just what it needed. We unearthed Well-Funded’s type rejects, and Tight-Budget loved the funky reject, thereby getting a new-look font for no more than the cost of the font itself, and spending zero for research or mockups.
Another cataloger asked a designer for more cover ideas than were needed, so he could select the best. Frequently, several ideas are so good it’s hard to decide among them. Normally, rejected ideas get filed and forgotten. But this cataloger saves those good ideas for next time, sometimes eliminating the expense of a new round of cover designs.
The Phantom Designer
”Our catalog design was a disaster last year. We fired the manager who let this happen,” a cataloger said.
I murmured sympathetically as I held the merchant’s prior catalog in my hand. The design really was dreadful.
“We need you to give us an all-new design this year,” he said.
I agreed and assured him I could help. “It needs to be highly upscale, creative, really different and eye-catching — like a piece of art.” I started feeling heady. Not only would this infuse his brand with new life, but this project also was going to be fun. I already was thinking of which great designer I could work with on his catalog.
He caught my enthusiasm and smiled. “Just one more thing. Since sales were so bad last year, we can’t afford a designer. You can do this without the expense of a designer, right?”
Sound impossible? Not entirely. Although I love working with a great designer, surprisingly there are other ways to get top-flight design without having to pay top dollar. But you need to be a bit crafty and heed all the details.