Catalog Doctor: Analyze Digests and Slim Jims
On the other hand, digests are the same proportion as standard catalogs, only half the size. Imagine an 8.5-inch-by-10.5-inch catalog folded in half width-wise, then stapled on its long side. There is no one size for digests or slim jims. Talk to your printer about what’s most economical to produce — most will have a range.
Patient: Are there any size, paper or other limitations?
Catalog Doctor: Yes, several.
“Aspect ratio” is critical. To get the aspect ratio, divide the long side measurement by the short side. The result must not be less than 1.3 or more than 2.5. Some other key factors:
• width can’t be more than 6.125 inches or less than 3.5 inches;
• length can’t be more than 11.5 inches or less than 5 inches;
• thickness can’t be more than .25 inches;
• the cover paper can’t be any lighter than 50 lb;
• keep total weight 3 ounces or less for best postage rate;
• the address area has to be parallel to the long side, and
• you need to tab it in two spots or tack the catalog closed.
What’s more, process your list for maximum deliverability. Talk to your data processing vendor. All this is to get the lowest “automated machinable” postal rate.
Don’t Shrink Square Inches
When you reduce your trim size, try to keep the same amount of square inches as in your full-size catalog. This will allow you to offer the same product quantity, and keep almost all your images just as big as they were before. You’ll just have fewer images per page.
Misleading Test Results
One cataloger tested a digest versus a full-size catalog. Both had the same page count. But since the digest was half the trim size, all the photos in the digest were shrunk to half size. The full-size catalog won this test — but what actually won? The trim size or the big photos?