Okay, by now you know that printing and distributing a catalog will help you sell your product. You have chosen how you want to design your catalog but you have some printing questions. In this article I will help you explore all of your options and give you some catalog printing tips you can use.
Lets start with the cover of your catalog. What options do you have and which options should you choose for printing the cover of your new catalog?
First Catalog Printing Tip: Catalog covers should be and most often are printed on heavier paper stock than the rest of the catalog. That means the front and the back cover of your catalog. The old adage about don’t judge a book by it’s cover doesn’t work for catalogs. If the cover is not designed well and not printed on the right paper, people won’t open your catalog. And if they never open the catalog... well you get the idea.
The paper your cover is usually printed on is called cover stock. It is a heavier weight of paper than you will be using for the interior pages of your catalog. This also makes your catalog last longer. It will be there sitting on someone’s coffee table for others to read for a long time to come if you print your catalog on good paper stock.
Second Catalog Printing Tip: You have a lot of options when it comes to printing the interior pages of your catalog. A lot depends on the type of products you sell. For instance, if your catalog is for industrial products, you can probably get away with a much lower grade of paper than you would for a high-end product like jewelry.
The types of paper you can choose from range from newspaper-like stock all the way up to glossy paper that is heavy in weight. The lighter weight text-stock paper is used most often for catalogs that will have a lot of pages. For catalogs that will be less than 20 pages, you might choose the same heavyweight stock you used for the cover.
Again this depends a lot on your product. For high-end products like furniture, fashions, or jewelry, glossy heavy paper-stock is the only way to go. You have to understand that the heavier the paper and the higher the quality of the paper, the more you will need to spend on printing. But you get what you pay for. If you want people to buy your high-end products, then you have to present them in the right way.
Third Catalog Printing Tip Colors: One of the major advantages of sending out a catalog is the expectation that more than just one person will read it. For a well designed catalog it is estimated that two to three people will read it.
The colors you choose for your catalog will have a lot to do with how much product people buy and how many people will pick up and browse through your catalog. Nowhere is this more important than both the front and back covers. If your covers are appealing, people will want to pick it up.
So your covers need to be printed with a 4-color process, especially if you are selling high-end products. But for all catalogs you want printed, choosing to use the full-color process will make you more sales.
Depending on your product, you may also want the interior pages to be of similar quality as the covers. For a catalog that is to sell high end products, glossy paper with full color for the photos is the only way to go. For an industrial-type of catalog, printing with just 2 colors is usually just fine.
Fourth Catalog Printing Tip Binding: This will depend a lot on both what type of product you sell and the number of pages you will have printed. For example, if you sell a high end product or you will have over 80 pages, you will want your printer to use “perfect binding”, where the pages are glued to the spine of your catalog. If you will be printing less than 80 pages and have a lower-priced or industrial type of product, then a good printing tip is to have them bind it with saddle stitching and stapled in the middle to hold it together.
Fifth Catalog Printing Tip Choosing a Printer for your Catalog: Make sure first of all that the printer you choose for your catalog has experience with producing catalogs, not just brochures, business cards, etc. One of the most important catalog tips I can give you is, “Do not let price be the deciding factor in choosing a printer for your catalog.”
I don’t mean the more you spend the better catalog you will have either. But the opposite is more often true than not. The cheapest catalog printer you can find will likely print you a “cheap” looking catalog that people will not be compelled to buy product from or even read.
You will need to be prepared before you visit your catalog printer. You will need to know how many catalogs you want to print. You need to know the number of pages you will want, (It is always a multiple of four pages, 4,8,12,16,etc.). You need to know the size you want your catalog to be, (8 ½ x 11, 11 x 17, 8 ½ x 5 ½, 4 ¼ x 5 ½, etc.)
You need to know the number of colors you want the cover and the interior pages to be. You need to know the type of paper you want used, although your printer can offer you those choices when you visit them. Just keep the catalog printing tips mentioned earlier in mind when choosing the type of paper you want.
You can also work with your printer on the type of binding they offer and how many times you want to be able to see a proof of the catalog before all of the copies are goinjg to be printed. This is important. The last thing you want to do is miss a mistake AFTER you have already printed 25,000 catalogs.