The perfect catalogue design in 5 steps – How to successfully Impress customers with print!

Social media campaigns, SEO, display ads – it is obvious that digital marketing has gained massively in importance in recent years. In less than ten years, global spending on online advertising has more than tripled

In the “digitalisation mania”, however, many companies make a serious mistake: instead of distributing the marketing budget sensibly between digital and analogue advertising measures, the budget for offline advertising is completely cut in many companies in order to then put it 100% into online marketing.

However, many marketers lose sight of the fact that print advertising can still be an extremely powerful sales lever. Brochure and catalogue advertising, for example, are still an incredibly powerful tool for reaching customers with (almost) all their senses – provided that the catalogue design is high-quality and tasteful.

We show you the advantages of catalogue advertising, how to design the perfect catalogue and the best way to reach your target group.

Customer loyalty starts with print: 3 unbeatable advantages of well-designed catalogue advertising

As soon as it comes to the planned distribution of the marketing budget, most marketing managers ask themselves year after year whether print advertising is still worthwhile at all. The answer is quite simple: yes, print advertising is worthwhile – as long as it is implemented well.

Of course, every company should also be present online nowadays, but it has been shown hundreds of times that a holistic cross-media approach is usually the best solution for advertising companies.

Especially luxury brands and suppliers of high-priced products should continue to rely on haptic catalogue advertising if they want to keep their premium image.

With a good catalogue design, you benefit from various advantages with your print investment compared to a purely online presence.

Create a message that sticks in the mind with multi-sensory marketing

Research in the field of multi-sensory marketing has increased significantly in recent years. As the name suggests, this field of research deals with how addressing the different senses affects the marketing success of companies.


Although there are different approaches and different research designs, the following applies in principle:

The more senses are addressed by the advertising message, the more strongly it is anchored in the minds of the recipients.

This already shows an enormous advantage of print over digital advertising. While online advertisements can only stimulate the visual and acoustic senses, catalogues, brochures, direct mailings and the like can also appeal to the senses of touch and smell.

Since the information from your catalogue advertising is distributed to several sensory organs, the products and messages shown remain longer and more intensively in the recipient’s memory.

So when the customer is faced with a decision between your product and a competitor’s product, you increase the chances that the choice will ultimately fall on your offer.

Your catalogue enjoys the undivided attention of the recipient

Since your competitors are also increasingly withdrawing from the analogue world, you can use this almost competition-free zone specifically for your catalogue advertising.

While your customers are bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages every day via email, on websites or in apps, there is usually a yawning void in the letterboxes. Every now and then a flyer might stray into the “analogue mailbox”, but you rarely get catalogues sent to you these days.

Or can you remember the last time a company took the trouble to send you an exclusive print catalogue?

So if you invest in high-quality catalogue advertising, you will draw the attention of the recipients specifically to your offer – and without having to share the attention, as is the case with Facebook Ads, Google Ads and co.

The customer associates the quality of the print catalogue with your products

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The customer therefore links the haptic properties of the catalogue with the properties of your product. The surface, structure and texture of the pages immediately trigger associations with certain attributes in the recipient, which they then relate to your products.

For example, rough, wildly textured surfaces are associated with natural and sustainable products and brands, while smooth, cool surfaces are associated with luxury and robustness.

For this reason, it is important not to simply design a boring 08/15 catalogue, but to rely on highquality paper and professional print finishing that matches your brand.

How to create the perfect catalogue design – in line with your brand and in just 5 simple steps!

Many companies see the design of a product catalogue as a mammoth task. Yet the process of catalogue design is actually quite simple and can be broken down into 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Define target group and products

Before you even think about what content should be included in the catalogue, you must first ask yourself the elementary question of who you are creating the catalogue for in the first place.

Only when you have decided which customer group you want to address can you select the content that is most relevant to them.

The main rule here is: quality over quantity. For reasons of sustainability as well as cost and exclusivity, a catalogue should not be produced and sent out indiscriminately and en masse. Instead, you should carefully select the recipient group and invest more in the high quality of the catalogue design.

In addition, the first step is to select the products to be promoted. A catalogue can be a real sales lever especially when it comes to marketing expensive products. If you decide to primarily include premium items in the catalogue, you should accordingly explicitly include customers with high incomes and a high affinity for design products in the recipient list.

Step 2: Determine structure and content

As soon as you have determined the target group and the products to be advertised, it is time to decide on the structure and content of the catalogue.

There are almost no limits to what you can do, but most catalogues contain the following elements:

  • Title page – The title page should be kept classy and simple and show your logo.
  • Foreword – A short personal address by your founder/managing director to the recipients always makes a good first impression
  • Table of contents – A clearly structured and concise table of contents with page numbers helps customers to find their way around.
  • Final page(s) – As with any other advertising measure, the catalogue should also contain a call-toaction at the end that encourages the customer to place an order.
  • Back cover – How you design your back cover is completely up to you. The only criterion is that the back page should harmonise with the front page and have a consistent design.

Once you have decided on a content structure, it’s time for the concrete selection of images and texts.

Here, too, you should pay attention to the best quality – convincing texts and high-resolution, aesthetic images are an absolute must in order to communicate the premium characteristics of your brand.

The overall layout should be coherent and the various graphic elements should fit well together in terms of their colours and moods.

Step 3: Typography and colouring 

The choice of font also plays an important role in the overall impression of your catalogue.

Decide on a maximum of three different fonts that harmonise well with each other. Otherwise, the entire catalogue design will quickly appear chaotic and inconsistent – characteristics that the customer should not associate with your products.

The only exception: If the different chapters of your catalogue represent different product ranges with different characteristics, you can choose separate fonts for each chapter that match the respective product type.

Step 4: Select paper and print finishing

When the customer holds your catalogue in his hands for the first time, his judgment of its quality and overall impression is made within a few milliseconds.

Choosing the right paper and print finish is therefore absolutely essential to convince the recipient that the catalogue is worth a closer look.


Hundreds of examples of this can be found in the book printing industry. Book covers sell much better when they have been refined to a high standard – both online and offline.

High-quality embossing or an unusual relief lacquer finish, for example, ensure that the catalogue has a unique and memorable feel, while finishes such as high-gloss or matt coatings create an appealing look.

Seismografics has specialised in high-end print finishing for decades and offers dozens of options for embossing, varnishing, die-cutting and foiling your catalogue. There are almost no limits to your design wishes.

Whatever idea you may have – we will do our utmost to realise it!

Step 5: Printing and binding

The final step is the actual printing and binding of your catalogue.

Be sure to choose an experienced and professional print provider!

Even if you have created the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing and unique catalogue design in the world – if the printer does not work with the best materials and the most advanced printing technology, the end result will be mediocre at best.

So after you’ve put a lot of time and effort into designing your catalogue, don’t sacrifice quality for the last few meters.


Your partner for exclusive catalogue designs

If you want to design an exclusive catalogue and produce it in the highest print quality, Seismografics is the right partner for you.

Seismografics offers you a wide variety of options for the design and finishing of your catalogue and other printed matter such as brochures, mailings and co. We tailor our solutions to your individual requirements, the intended use and the materials you require.

We see ourselves not only as a print service provider, but also as an innovation workshop. That is why we do not rely on standardised 08/15 concepts, but on a personal development process and the implementation of even the most unusual ideas and suggestions.

You tell us what effect you want to achieve with your customers – we suggest suitable concepts.

We have decades of experience with almost all industries and are happy to take care of both large and small order quantities. We give your catalogue a luxurious touch with a unique feel, a first-class finish and the use of the best materials.

Conclusion – Use print as a strong sales lever!

Print is anything but dead. While online advertising is becoming increasingly important, the unique multi-sensual impact of print advertising should not be neglected in marketing planning.

Catalogues can – especially in the premium segment – be a valuable element of a successful crossmedia strategy and make the attributes of your brand and your products tangible by appealing to the different senses.

The combination of visual, haptic and olfactory interaction ensures that your brand and your messages remain in the recipient’s memory for a long time, influences brand perception in a positive way and can thus significantly increase the likelihood of purchase.

While there are challenges to catalogue design, Seismografics is a strong print partner that can advise you every step of the way, from concept to finished catalogue. Use our advanced print finishing techniques and unique print concepts to inspire your customers.

Contact us now! We look forward to your inquiry and will be happy to advise you.