How to make an impactful catalogue

An impactful catalogue inspires you to pick it up, read it and purchase. Catalogues still have the highest level of influence on shopper purchases, preferred by 37% in a 2012 report from AMP Capital Shopping Intent. And with 93% of buyers heading in-store after reading a catalogue, they’re incredibly powerful tools that connect brands and customers with relevant product and messages that people want to hear.
At Kinc, we’re all about creating irresistible catalogues that drive people in store. It goes much further than just a nice design; it’s a consideration of trends, styling, planning, photography, content, printing – and most importantly – your audience.

This year, Homemakers Furniture asked us to refresh the catalogue for its Autumn / Winter 2017 edition. Their goal was to improve its audience’s access to quality, affordable design and make it easier for people to achieve a look reflective of their own life and personal style. For better reader engagement, we reinvigorated the catalogue as an on-trend look-book. We featured aspirational looks, accessories and professional styling advice. And to help engage the audience in considering how products could work in their own homes, a mix of in situ, stand-alone products and styling tips were included.


Insights into creating persuasive catalogues

Know your audience
The best catalogue is always highly targeted to your audience. It needs to be informative, interesting and enjoyable for them to read. And it pays to understand the peaks and troughs affecting buyer behaviour when it comes to promoting your products. For instance, they’re more likely to purchase a car during an economic boom, rather than in a recession.


Before starting on any design work, plan your content with pagination. This helps to determine the hierarchy of your content. The most important things you want to say should be in the first few pages.

Plan your photography, with consideration of its placement and sizing of your product imagery within your catalogue. Shoot for the front cover, and where you can, inject colour into your photography – either through product styling or painted background walls for greater effect. Give your old products a new lease on life by 
re-shooting them with on-trend accessories or graphics.

Keep an eye on current trends and consider including some in your photography or design and layout. The styling of your photoshoot should work in with your products. But don’t force a trending style if it doesn’t work for your brand or audience.


Content is key to a well-crafted catalogue. When planning content, think about the experience you want your customers to have. It’s not about overloading them with all of your products and information. Create a comfortable pace for them to absorb your catalogue, with large imagery and white space. Sometimes less is more.

Heighten customer engagement by placing your best sellers in highly noticeable positions, like your front and back covers. Feature your new products with your most popular products. Interesting styling tips can help your customers envisage your product in their own lives. And consider activations (like promotions or competitions) that encourage customer engagement and get them talking online. Whatever it is, make it measurable!

Print Vs. Online

Print is a great tool to get your customers onto your website to view all your products. And with more brands choosing digital over print, printed catalogues now have greater cut-through and tactility. Post your catalogue on your website and use hyperlinks to direct your customer from the catalogue to the products featured.


Channels: So you get the biggest bang for your buck, be sure to make use of all your platforms and socials to promote your catalogues.
Size: Changing the size of your catalogue can have huge impact to its design.
Printer: An attentive printer is crucial to help you maintain quality control.
Paper stock: Does the paper you’re printing on align to the brand? A high-end brand needs to be presented as such—so thin, glossy stock is a big no-no. 
Don’t be afraid to look at different paper stock to change the look and feel.
Design approach: The design of the catalogue should consider your brand and positioning.