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How do I make a print catalogue?

A printed catalogue is a comprehensive listing of products enabling a user/reader to easily find an item of interest, normally with some supporting information.

The Purpose of a Print Catalogue

Although the catalogue promotes the organisation it is from, its prime purpose is to engage the reader and influence a buying decision.  Often a product is shown in the catalogue with, for example, a short description, product code, pack size, available quantities and, sometimes, pricing details.

So how do I make a print catalogue?

Once the decision has been made to produce a catalogue there are a number of steps to think about.

    • Design
    • Proofing
    • Specification
    • Printing
    • Distribution

Catalogue Design

The design of a catalogue is crucial to its usefulness to the reader.  Anything overly designed will lose the attention of the recipient.  So the key is simplicity with intelligent use of white space, columnar formatting where applicable and ‘easy-read’ bands in tables.  Copy should be fully researched, concise and accurate.  All images must be of high resolution for quality reproduction.


It is essential that proofs are checked carefully when making a print catalogue.  It can be a good idea to ask somebody not involved in the project to read through a proof, as not being so close to the job, they can often spot errors that the originators have not seen.


Consideration should be given to the weights of paper and board (for the covers) to be used.  The number of pages will have a bearing on this.  Finishes such as lamination will enhance the final appearance as well as giving some protection – choose from gloss, matt or soft-touch.  How the catalogue is to be bound will, to some extent, be governed by the number of pages but is likely to be saddle stitched 2 wires (stapled), perfect bound or, less often, wire-o bound, or case bound.

Catalogue Printing Methods

There are three main production methods are used for catalogues.  For smaller runs and low paginations then digital is likely to be the most economic.  For medium runs then offset litho will be selected and for really long runs and larger paginations then web offset will prove to be the most cost effective.

Catalogue Distribution

Rather than simply having your catalogues bulk delivered you may wish to have them posted out directly after printing – a straight forward operation if your database is fully up to date.  If catalogues are being displayed in dealer outlets, for example, then consider a combined carrier carton with counter display unit as shown below.

Carrier Carton Display Unit for Printed Catalogues

Please check out our catalogue printing services page , for further information catalogue production. You can also call our catalogue expert, Martin Bender on 020 8391 3001 about how we can assist you today or fill out a quote request form here.