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Tips for Great Catalog Printing

Catalog advertisements generate a large portion of business for large companies such as Office Depot, Cabela’s, Sears and others. Even smaller businesses can take advantage of this marketing technique by following a few simple catalog printing tips. A mail-order catalog should not only attract the attention of potential customers, it must also be properly assembled, easy to browse through and filled with helpful information.

Select a Printing Company
Finding a reputable and reliable printing company is perhaps the first and most essential step of catalog printing. It is important to find a company that not only has experience in printing the type of catalog your business requires, but also has a reputation for providing prompt quality service. 

Be Prepared – Know Your Printer
It is important that you are prepared before you visit a printing company. Make it a point to know how many catalogs you need, the number of pages desired and the size you want your catalog to be. Other factors to consider before visiting a printing company include color choices, paper type and, of course, content. Always double check the information within your catalog before sending it off to print. Make certain that all content is accurate and that customers are provided with all of the necessary information to purchase the product. 

While your selected printing company will provide you with various choices regarding colors and paper types, it is always a good idea to have some concept of what you want beforehand. 

Catalog Cover
The adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” simply does not hold true in the case of catalog advertising. Potential customers will immediately form an impression of your business and the contents of a catalog based upon the cover. The overall design and quality of your catalog’s cover is the primary advertising strategy that will attract potential customers, entice them to pick up your catalog and browse through it. 

The type of paper used for the cover of a catalog should be thicker than that used in the body. This paper is referred to as cover stock and will often determine the life of your catalog. Additionally, brighter colors are generally used on the catalog cover to attract the attention of potential customers. You might even want to consider using cover stock with a glossy sheen to draw more attention.

Catalog Body
The interior pages of a catalog are usually printed on a lighter weight paper stock than what is used for the cover. However, the weight of the paper you choose for the interior pages should be determined by the number of pages, as well as the types of products being offered. For example, if your company sells primarily industrial-type products, you can probably get by with a lighter weight paper. If you are advertising high-end products, such as jewelry, fashions, or home décor, you may want to consider thicker paper stock similar in quality to that used for the cover.

The color choices are usually more subdued on the interior pages than the cover, but the type of products being offered should again be a consideration when it comes to selecting colors. With current printing technology, full four-color printing costs roughly the same as 2-3 color.

However, for high-end products, you might consider a broader color scheme that will appeal to a wide audience.

Select the Right Binding
The type of binding used is largely a matter of preference, though consideration should be given to the number of pages. Many companies prefer to use saddle stitching for catalogs around 120 pages (this depends largely on the paper you select). Perfect binding, which involves gluing the catalog cover to the backbone, is often used for larger catalogs or those offering high-end products. 

Prevent Delays
In order to prevent delays in the printing of your catalog, make sure that you have all details in place ahead of time and that your selected printing company is clear about your order. You may want to consider scheduling the printing your catalog at least a couple of weeks ahead of the date you will actually need it to ensure that all mail-order catalogs are sent out on time.