5 Catalog Design Basics You Need to Know to Help Revamp Your Brand

When you walk into a major store, there’s no doubt that you’ll see great examples of catalog designs that entice you to purchase products. A well-designed catalog can increase sales, showcase your brand, and generate new leads. Catalog design can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you don’t use the right tools. To help you get started in the right direction, here are the basics of catalog design that you need to know before building your own.

1.   Color Psychology

Understanding which colors to use can help you create a design that will resonate with your audience. Colors are symbolic, and each color will have a different meaning to each person. Choosing colors with positive connotations can help your catalog design convey your message more effectively. Color meanings may differ depending on designing for print or web. So it’s essential to understand which rules apply to you.

For example, if you create a printed piece like a catalog, many people will generally perceive black as formal and elegant. In addition to understanding how colors work together within your catalog design, you should consider basic layout principles when creating any printed piece. However, you need to consult a professional catalog designer to produce an excellent catalog design. A good designer can differentiate between success and failure in selling your products through catalog sales.

2.   Page Layout and Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is an essential part of any piece of design, but it’s particularly critical in a catalog. Every detail matters because if your customers can’t find what they’re looking for, you won’t close sales. The first step to setting up a good visual hierarchy is breaking down all elements on a page into groups. You can do it based on type (heading or subheading text, call-out boxes, images) and then arrange them from most important to least.

It’s also worth noting that many people think of catalog pages as being organized horizontally—from left to right. However, it can be more effective to organize vertically instead. That way, you’ll be able to create a dramatic impact with an extensive image at the top and smaller ones below.

3.   Font Usage in Catalogs

Choosing a legible font, easy to read and pleasing can be difficult. Serif fonts (fonts with short lines coming off letters) are generally best for catalogs because they make it easier to distinguish between similar characters, such as b and d. Serif fonts are also often more readable when you place them in columns. Sans serif fonts (without serifs) are suitable for headlines and other areas where you want the text to stand out. It would help if you sparingly use decorative fonts because they’re harder to read than standard fonts.

To highlight important information, use boldface type. When using italics, underlining, or quotation marks, make sure your readers know what these design elements mean by placing an explanation next to them. If your catalog includes charts or tables, don’t try to fit too much information on one page; instead, create separate pages for each chart or table so readers can easily find what they need. Also, avoid using too many colors in your designs; two colors will suffice unless you have a particular reason for using more.

4.   Use White Space as an Emphasis Tool

White space is a designer’s best friend. It helps create a visual hierarchy that makes navigating through your catalog easier for your audience. If you use white space as an emphasis tool, you can direct people’s eyes where you want them to go, rather than letting them wander across a page. It makes it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for and a more enjoyable experience.

For example, instead of cramming all your products into one long column down the middle of a page, make room around each product image or description by using boxes or dividing lines. Using more significant blocks of white space around images or descriptions will also draw attention to those elements on your pages.

5.   Photography in Catalogs

A good catalog should always use quality photography. Does it capture your eye and pique your interest? If not, don’t invest in it. Likewise, if you are a freelance designer on an existing project, make sure that an adequate photo budget is available. The photos must be strong enough to sell your products effectively and beautifully. However, the images should be simple enough to draw attention without distracting from what they’re selling and the call to action.


A quality catalog is a great way to build your brand and connect with your customers. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your products and services uniquely. The above tips are just a few basics you should consider when designing your next catalog. A good business catalog should keep it simple, be visually appealing, and provide information that will entice your customer to purchase. However, it’s crucial to contact a professional catalog designer if you help to help create or revamp your next catalog.

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