Many companies print and distribute catalogs to showcase their company and offerings.

Magazines, whether they be lifestyle, sports, health and fitness etc. also need to consider these same 6 things to most optimally share with us as your print partner.

Corporations, and companies design catalogs, and magazines as a successful method to provide a systematic and aesthetically pleasing arrangements of products and services.

Catalogs provide valuable information about the company as well as important contact and ordering information.

Printing a custom catalog or magazine is a big undertaking. For your best success it is beneficial to get us involved early in the process and these are the some of the reason why.

As a someone who has been on the publisher side of the magazine industry and now on the magazine, and catalog printer side, I have put together the following list to help guide you.

To allow us to accurately quote and produce your magazine or catalog…

1) Quantity –
Knowing the desired quantity, you plan to print will help us make recommendations what type of printing press is best suited for your particular catalog project. For example, if you only need 200 copies of your catalog, it might be more cost effective to produce your catalog on the digital printing press.

Conversely, if you need 50,000 catalogs, then the web offset press will likely be the most efficient production method.

A mid-range quantity of catalogs – say 500 to 5,000 – will likely be better suited for the sheet fed offset press. Knowing the quantity will allow us to match your project to the press best suited for it.

2) Dimensions –
Some catalog dimensions – such as 8.5”x 11 are more common on the sheet-fed press and thus generally more economical to produce.

It is a bit of a different story on Web Presses as the most common dimension is 8 3/8 x 10 7/8. We also produce large, odd or custom size catalogs that some printers cannot economically print as it doesn’t fit their press size. It all depends on print and production equipment.

It is sometime beneficial to allow us to make size suggestions to help keep your production and distribution costs as low as possible. Again, this is why it is advisable on new catalogs to get us on board BEFORE getting too deep into the design and layout phases. A few subtle design changes upfront could translate to big savings later.

3) Page Count –
The page count of each catalog or magazine (along with the total quantity of catalogs/magazines needed) will help us to determine how much paper is needed to produce your project.

The page count will also help determine the proper Binding Style for your catalog (see #4 below).

Another important piece of information we need to know is are you printing on one side or two. Generally, pages with ink printed on both sides will need to be made from thicker paper stock in order to prevent ink from showing through to the other side.

4) Binding Style
Catalogs with a low number of pages – say 64 pages or less can generally be bound with the Saddle Stitch binding method. This economical method uses staples to secure the pages into book form

Page counts too great for the Saddle Stitch binding method are usually bound with the Perfect Binding method.

The Perfect Binding method uses glue to fasten the pages into the cover and can accommodate very thick catalogs. This method also produces a flat spine which can be printed upon.

Depending on your particular catalog or magazine, there may be other binding styles available to you, however in my experience the Saddle Stitch and Perfect Bound methods are the most frequently used binding methods for printed catalogs and magazines.

5) Ink Colors –
Will your catalog be produced with full-color pages and a full-color cover? Would you like to add a PMS color, Foil, Emboss, or Custom Rough Matte, or Soft Touch UV Coating? Let us help consult you in some fun and innovative ways to make your product and images pop and jump leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.

Some of the elements be printed in black ink only? How do you instruct your designer to set up a 4-color black for text and or 4-color rich black for solid areas?

Does the ink coverage extends all the way to the edge of the pages (called a Bleed)? If so you will want to ensure your design team allows for a ¼” bleed on all four sides of the design. This is definitely something that will save major time setting up in the design and layout stages vs after the fact.

6) Paper Characteristics –
The paper characteristics you select– such as thickness, texture and sheen level largely depend on two factors. The first factor is the image you want your catalog or magazine to project. For example, a catalog made with a heavy, lustrous cover provides a higher image of quality than its thinner, duller counterpart.

Logically, if you are promoting high-quality and expensive items then the construction of your catalog should reflect that.

The second factor is how durable you want your catalog to be. If you print a catalog infrequently, then you should consider using more durable paper with a protective clear finish or possibly a laminate. This will help it survive in circulation until the next printing. However, if you print a catalog rather often such as a monthly or quarterly publication then the thickness and sheen level of the cover and pages can generally be reduced, if you so choose.

Inkworks Marketing Print + Design Group has over 20 years of catalog and magazine printing experience. We can produce catalogs or magazines in just about any quantity, size, type, color or binding style your company may need.

We print in 18 U.S. cities + 2 Canadian locations to better serve you.

We’d be happy to quote on your next catalog or magazine publication project or answer any additional questions you may have about catalog printing.

Let’s talk soon.  Darlene Brown