Catalogs are an essential asset in the marketing toolkit of small businesses to big enterprises. They help generate interest in your product line, bring new leads, and boost revenue. A well-designed catalog can extend your brand identity and create awareness among your target audience. 

Similarly, a poor catalog design can hurt your brand image. According to a USPS survey, 84% of people have purchased after seeing a product in a catalog. As catalogs continue to influence the audience's purchasing decision, this article aims to simplify the process of catalog printing and provide you with tips to create the right catalog design for your business.

Factors to Consider Before Getting Your Catalog to the Printers

Photo Quality

A catalog is a communication mode through which you are introducing your product line to the target audience. More than text, it is pictures that capture and retain the roving attention of the viewers. For this reason, you need to invest in high-quality photos for the catalog. Get a professional photographer to do a product photoshoot.

Your products have to be showcased in an appealing and flattering manner. If your products have any distinguishing features, highlight them. Through pictures, show readers how to use the product, how it is made, or its application and scope. Create an engaging experience with images to draw their attention.


Your catalog design should be well-balanced; leverage white space to direct the attention of the readers into different sections. Provide product details in crisp short sentences. Do not bombard readers with information. Experiment with different typefaces to emphasize key points.

Many printing businesses offer free templates depending on your industry vertical. You choose to go with those templates or customize the design according to the brand image you want to portray.

Binding Types

Once you have the design locked in, you need to decide how you want the catalog to be printed on physical paper. The most common types of binding options are:

  • Saddle stitch: A single sheet of paper is printed on both sides, numbered, folded, and held together with thin-wired staples pins.
  • Perfect binding: The catalog is printed like a book block with a square spine held together with PUR glue on the edges of the binding. A material like cardstock is used for the front and back covers of the catalog.
  • Spiral binding: The catalog is held together with a plastic coil. It is durable and should be preferred for a type of document that one might frequently use, for example, instruction manuals, guidebooks, cookbooks, and more.   
  • Wire-O binding: A metal wire is used to hold the catalog pages together. This binding type offers flexibility. The catalog can lay flat on a surface, and one can quickly wrap pages around the catalog.

Saddle stitch and perfect binding are two of the most popular binding types used for catalogs.


Glossy, matte, and uncoated are the commonly used paper types for catalogs. Glossy textured pages make for colorful, vibrant, and standout photos. The smooth texture enhances the experience of flipping through the catalog pages.

Matte papers are also coated with a low gloss finish which makes them easier to read. If you want to present a text-heavy catalog, then you could opt for uncoated papers.

Steps for Professional Catalog Printing 

Several premium printing vendors in the marketplace can print a high-quality, visually appealing catalog. Ask for samples and templates. Look for customer reviews before you choose to work with a vendor.

Your focus should be on creating a catalog design that narrates your brand's story, how your product can enhance the lifestyle of your audience. Quality pictures, use of whitespace, typeface all contribute towards creating an impact customer experience.

Here are the steps involved in getting a catalog printed:

  • Collate the content required for the catalog.
  • Format the Illustrator software content, use the templates offered by vendors or leverage the vendor's design tools to personalize the catalog according to your brand requirement.
  • Decide on factors like the type of paper, binding type, size, ink, and quantity.
  • Proof-read content and verify placement of pictures and text.
  • Email or upload the catalog design on the vendor's portal.
  • Once the vendor's checklist has approved the design, the catalog will be printed and be ready for distribution.      

With catalog printing, you can generate brand awareness, influence purchasing decisions, and lay the foundation for a multi-channel product purchasing path. You no longer have to decide between traditional and digital marketing trends. Instead, pick options in both mediums that work for your business.