Checklist for creating a great product catalogue

Checklist for creating a great product catalogue

Whether you are considering creating your first Catalogue or your old one needs an update, FM Litho are here to help with this blog that will take you through a checklist, summarising the key aspects of putting together a great quality product catalogue.

Firstly, a product catalogue is a booklet that lists essential product information. This might include descriptions, dimensions, features, price, weight, colour, reviews and more. It will essentially help to guide potential buyers to make purchase decisions.

Important checklist to consider when building a catalogue

  • Consider your target audience and who will be receiving the catalogue
  • When do you want to release it?
  • Have you got a good understanding of your brand identity and image?
  • How can you integrate with your digital marketing strategy?
  • Do you have quality photographs of your product/services?
  • What material do you want your catalogue be printed on?
  • What binding type do you want holding it all together?

Target audience 

Considering your target audience is extremely important for all marketing materials including catalogues. Do you sell straight to customers (Business-to-customer)? Or, do you deal with other businesses that sell the product or service for you (Business-to-Business)?

For example, a kitchen manufacturer can go two ways when producing a catalogue. The first would be for individuals looking to rebuild their own kitchen. This catalogue may include more images of the products displayed with a variety of customer reviews. The second option, would be a catalogue for architects or kitchen designers. This may include extra product details, and a more detailed, broken down price list for bulk buying that an individual would not need. The manufacturer would consider who their main customer is and revolve the catalogue around them.

The target audience will also play a role in the design of the catalogue. You would tailor your catalogue to the demographic. For example, if you want to give the impression you are a luxury brand to your luxury clientele you must have a luxurious catalogue!

When to get it made 

An important part of planning and creating a catalogue would be knowing the time frame you have and when you would like to release it. If you are starting from scratch then you might want to give yourself a few months’ notice for a release date. You will need time to gather all of the information, including quality photography. If you do not have a high quality camera, hire a photographer to take pictures of your products for you. Also you should give thought to when in the year your company does the most business. Do you need a summer catalogue or a Christmas holiday one?

Have you got a good understanding of your brand identity and image?

When it comes to the design of your catalogue it is important to see a synergy between all of your brands marketing. This would include any digital marketing and updating your website so the customer is aware of whose product or services they are looking at. The most effective campaigns have physical marketing materials integrated with their digital marketing. Combining your print and digital media doesn’t need to be complex.  It can be done by ensuring the colours, fonts and design are similar across the board. Another interesting way to integrate digital and print may be to add QR codes to your catalogue  which takes the reader to your website or social media!

 Do you have quality images of your product/services?

It should go without saying that investing in high quality photos of your products or services has a huge return on investment. They help provide the customer with a clear image of what they will expect to receive. Creating a good first impression of your brand and inspire trust in your customer.

High quality images help sell your product!

What material can the catalogue  be printed on?

There are many factors to consider when deciding what material your catalogue should be printed on. For catalogues that hold over 100 pages you will have to begin thinking about paper weight in respect to how heavy the total catalogue will be. The Argos catalogue has around 1500 pages which is why it would have been printed on thin paper stock below 100gsm (gsm is the papers weight). However, this effects the quality and durability of the catalogue, so you may consider a more robust paper. On average we produce covers with 350gsm matt or gloss and inside pages with a standard 150gsm.

So what are some other options;

Gloss lamination ensures a crystal-clear end product. With a shiny finish, it’s great for  catalogue printing. Alongside this, gloss paper can also be written on, meaning it’s ideal for catalogues where customers will be making notes.

Matt lamination  gives a more of a ‘natural’ appearance. Unlike gloss lamination, matt lamination can provide a smoother look, as it can produce lower contrast on darker colours.

Soft touch offers a protective finish with a matt effect and a soft, velvet-like texture. This distinctive finish encourages people to engage with the product due to its appealing surface.

What binding you are wanting to hold it all together?

Saddle-Stitching is method in which staples are used to bind together sheets of paper. A saddle staple is a small piece of C-shaped wire, which is pierced into the spine of a book and whose protruding endings are then flattened to hold the sheets together. A perfect budget-friendly option for catalogues with 70 pages or less.

catalogue saddle stitch

Perfect binding is the same used for paperback books and magazines. Pages are attached to one another with a strong adhesive, for a professional looking, fit spine. This would be used and suited for catalogues and brochures more than 40 pages long.

catalogue perfect bound

Coil binding is commonly seen in notepads but have their benefits for catalogues. Catalogues bound by spiral coil can open flat on a desk or table and allow for easy note taking. A different approach that may only be used by a select number of organisations but done properly can look great.

catalogue wire bound


Catalogues are a powerful way to express your business and to gain new customers if done correctly and appropriate planning has gone into it. I hope this has been helpful to you and if you need any help at all please contact us at FM Litho, our friendly team can help you with any part of this process!

Or call 01787 479479


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