Catalog Design

Catalogs, After Years of Decline, Are Revamped for Changing Times
January 26, 2015

In this digital age when filling a shopping cart requires little more than a click, the printed catalog keeps vying for a place on the coffee table. From Anthropologie to American Girl, Pottery Barn to Patagonia, retailers are still relying on direct mail even as they spend considerable resources on improving their websites to accommodate the steady increase in online shopping. Some of their catalog forays, however, barely resemble the traditional merchandise book. These days, retailers are employing devices like adventure tales and photo spreads of wildlife to catch shoppers’ eyes, hoping to secure purchases online or in-store.

When This Lingerie Brand Stopped Photoshopping Models, Sales Shot Up 9%
November 5, 2014

Aerie's bold decision to ditch Photoshop and other retouching tools in its lingerie ads may be paying off in more than just good karma and public approval. According to Business Insider, the branch of American Eagle specializing in intimates and sleepwear saw a 9 percent increase in sales in the last quarter. The company announced earlier this year it would leave everything from beauty marks to tattoos in its ad campaigns.

Ikea Mocks Apple in New Catalog Ad
September 5, 2014

It's back-to-school season, which means another article about Ikea's fall catalog. Since the Swedish furniture retailer's catalog was first introduced in 1951, consumers have eagerly awaited the beautifully designed book/catalog, showcasing the brand's unique and well-designed products.

Racy GQ Cover Spells Trouble for Lands’ End
August 14, 2014

Lands’ End is under fire from an outraged group of mothers after sending out an unsolicited issue of GQ magazine to its customers, many of whom purchased school uniforms from the retailer. Angry moms have taken to the company's Facebook page after receiving the magazine, which features a racy cover of a topless model covered only with a white floral lei, and inappropriate language. It was addressed to recipients as a "Lands’ End Bonus."

3 Reasons I’m Obsessed With Net-A-Porter
August 8, 2014

OK, as a journalist, I’m not supposed to show any allegiance to a brand. I'm supposed to be unbiased and straightforward with just the facts, ma’am. And most of the time I am. But I’ve been reading a lot about the cool stuff online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter has been doing lately, and I can’t contain my excitement. Here are three reasons I think it's a great company:

Rules to Live By
August 1, 2014

PATIENT: "Doc, you've been around the block a few times in the catalog business. In all that time, have you come up with any overarching guidelines that can help me out in my business?"

Cataloging is Rocket Science
July 10, 2014

Over the years, I've come to realize that in many ways cataloging is rocket science. Here are four reasons why:

What a Cataloger Learned at IRCE
June 16, 2014

There was an energy — not to mention growing audience — to the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) last week that reflected the fast pace of change in the industry. The hot topics for catalogers included the following:

Catalog Testing: Whys and Hows
February 11, 2014

It's very tempting to skip testing in a catalog. However, I've seen too many ‘great marketing instinct’ and ‘common wisdom’ ideas crash and burn. It's much better to test first.

Learn From Your Competitors to Keep Ahead
December 11, 2013

Customer benefits are what it's all about. What makes your brand best for your customers needs to be woven throughout all your editorial, product copy, page heads, design and photography. First, define what makes you the best at XYZ. Second, define how to make it clear to your customer. It's not just about design differences. If you can make a true case for how you're different and why that's good for your customers, that's what no competitor can copy.