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Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Australia
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 01:16

Hi all, this a new section? Great idea!!

Anyhow, i have a project coming up in a couple of months which is roughly a 60 page product catalogue.

The areas could be slighly different, with some sections having single products and some have groups like product sets that you can buy.

I was wondering if anyone can give me any tips on organising something like this. Do you normally sketch it out on 60 pages of paper first? Is there an easier/more flexible way.

I dont want to get to the point where the client wants to add another product then i have to shift all of the existing products around - not sure that that could be avoided tho!.

Also the products list is coming from a database so all the info will be there for me to grab out - not sure if its possibly to automate an illustrator file .

So yeh basically how is this process normally done, and anyone have any tips! Thanks all!

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 06-10-2004 07:10

I worked in Fingerhut's creative department for 14 years once the 2nd largest catalog house marketing company in the US. So I’ve worked on a lot of catalog work. Here was our basic work thou greatly simplified.

The process involved a complex formula system. Each product was given sales push value, which indicated how much space to devoted to selling the product. This value was determined by dozens of marketing factors such as Fad and Fashion, stock levels, overhead, and popularity of product etc....

Upon receiving this data the Art Directors began designing on paper and computer producing thumbnails and ruffs finally producing electronic comps. These comps would route to the client, in our case marketing and on rare occasion product vendors.

The comps would then route back to the Art Director and the process would continued until the concept was approved. Once approved new photography would be shot, prescanning would occur and copy would be written. While the production Art Directors would finalize the electronic assembly--placing in-position images and marking up instructions for prepress. These Keylines” would make one final route to marketing and management before routing to our prepress department/vendors through me. Prepress could complete the page assembly return proofs for a proof route. By this stage only minor and emergency change ideally happed. Finally the proof would the route back to me for color and prepress approval. I would then mark-up and changes and route pages for 2nd proof corrections or provide finally approval.

I would suggest something similar:

The first thing that needs to happen is preplanning: There are set page counts that are efficient for press runs. Each press form may contain for instance 8 pages (16 Front & Back.) So your total page counts would be a multiple of 16, unless you like wasting cash.

You will need some kind of contact with the printer before you begin. So you know the appropriate page counts choices and press options. While you are at it, ask about other technical aspects such is gutter, bleeds, safe areas, and margins. Will it be perfect bound or saddle stitched, does the printer what reader’s spreads or printer spreads. How should images be prepared? Try to get a printed spec sheet or print guidelines?

Next you need to estimate the space and each product will require. Which products to you wish to hype more or less. Give each item a page space percentage based on its sales importance. (Note: This percentage is the percentage used to sell the product, either copy, photo, or both.) Use this percentage to estimate page and space requirements. Don't forget to factor in white space, gutters and margins.

Now you can sort out the elements the will be placed on each page based on there percentage each page totaling 100%, and begin the design process with marker comps. It sometime help to produce your marker comps on grided layout board, as this eases marking out each products space percentage.) Once you receive approval on the markers, begin the electronic assembly. By this point you should solve most space issues. The hard thing is fitting all products into a set number of pages without orphans. Estimating, preplanning, and creative design help eliminate this problem.

One thing that can help is grouping similar products into a single image while using call outs to link the photos to the copy. Some add-ons or part may not need to be shown, If it's not a value as a selling point. does it really need to be shown in picture form?

(Edited by jstuartj on 06-10-2004 08:03)

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Australia
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 12:04

Thanks stuart that helps alot, obviously there is really 'simple' way to do it, and if someone wants to add a product last minute well naturally that would cause issues and you have to be creative about it!

Man i would love to have the experience you have in all of this, you should set up a website or write a book with the contents of your brain

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