There are many things that are important to catalog design.
Your images must be sharp and appealing. Your text and even the font you use for the text is important. The cover page design and the design of your catalog’s product pages all play important roles in designing a catalog that will bring in new customers and sales.
However none of the things mentioned above are more important than the type of paper you will choose to print your catalog on. The “feel” of your catalog is important to your potential customers. The longer they have your catalog in their hands, the more product they will buy. In this article I will go over some of the many paper choices you have to print your catalog on.
First you need to decide if the cover will be the same paper as the rest of your catalog. In most cases the cover will be of heavier weight then the interior pages.
Second you will need to choose coated or uncoated paper for printing your catalog. Coated paper is for the glossier layouts and uncoated is more economical, but can still display your products well.
So you have two things to consider first, “Will it be glossy paper or not?”, “Will my cover be the same weight as the interior pages of my catalog?”
Once you have answered those two questions the next decision is what the weight of the paper will be. Most catalogs go with 60, 70, or 80 lb. weights. So it would be 60lb uncoated or coated, 70 lb. Coated or uncoated. 80 lb. Paper usually is only chosen for 80 lb. Weight and above. Also, not all paper is measured by weight. Some is measured by thickness or “points”.
Now the above is really over-simplified. There are other types of special paper you can choose from. There is textured paper, photographic paper, and other more expensive paper to choose from if you are selling a high-end or expensive product.
There are also other considerations when choosing the paper your catalog will be printed on. Such as the method of printing you are going to choose.
If you are going to have your catalog printed on a hot-set web press, then you can choose uncoated or coated paper. The heat will dry the ink as it prints your catalog. If your printer uses a cold-set web press then the ink air-dries and is absorbed into the paper. A cold-set web press cannot print on coated paper.
If your printer uses a sheet-fed press then you can choose from any of the high quality papers they have available. The same goes for printers that do digital printing.
It will depend a lot on the printer you choose. You need to find out what type of paper is available and you will want to see samples of the paper to get a better idea of which one you want to print your catalog on. Also ask your printer to suggest the different types of paper they think will be the best for your catalog.
Here is a list of some of the types of paper your printer may have available for you to choose from or may be able to order for you.