Your catalog is one of the most critical parts of your marketing campaign, displaying your products to customers so that they’re motivated to buy. This means that choosing the best catalog printing services is essential to your marketing success.
The trick is knowing how to find a catalog printing service that’s worth it, and how to maximize the quality of your print runs.
Here’s what you need to know to craft a high-quality catalog, and what to look for in the best catalog printing services.
What Affects Catalog Printing Quality?
In order to get the best possible results from your print run, you first have to know the components that make the best catalog printing results.
The good news is that many of the same factors that affect print quality also apply here. These include:
- Paper quality
- Paper type
- Paper weight
- Printing method
Printing a catalog also comes with some unique quality considerations, including:
- Paper coating
- Binding method
Unlike other printed products, catalogs are more likely to use coated paper, which affects the shine, feel, and durability of the paper. Coating also changes how the paper accepts ink—in general, coated paper does not absorb ink as well as uncoated paper. Coated paper options (from most to least glossy) include:
Catalogs and magazines also have binding styles as a unique consideration. They generally use one of two binding methods: saddle stitching or perfect binding. Saddle stitching is when the printed pages are stapled together and trimmed to size to form a booklet. Perfect binding is better for large projects with a lot of pages since the pages are glued to the spine and the cover is wrapped around the glued pages.
How to Get the Best Catalog Printing Results
To get the best catalog printing results, you need the right combination of paper type, paper coating, paper weight, and binding method.
This begins with selecting your paper stock, i.e. paper weighting. Your everyday office printer paper has a weight of 20 lb bond/50 lb text. Commercial printers carry thin gloss paper (think 60 lb gloss text) which is ideal for magazine pages. However, you’ll have to think harder about your cover, since magazines typically use heavier paper for the protective cover.
In considering this, you’ll also have to consider the glossiness of your paper. This provides a professional finish that makes photos pop while also making your pages more durable. Coating allows catalog pages to stand up to significant handling in the mail and when your customer receives the final product.
Know Your Cover, Body, and Binding
From there, you have to judge a book by its cover. And its pages.
The thicker the cover stock is relative to the pages, the more the catalog will feel like a book. This can be helpful for catalogs with a lot of pages that need more protection, but it can be an annoyance in thinner catalogs.
The weight of your catalog pages should be determined by how many pages there are and what types of products you sell. Luxury items, for example, often look best on thicker paper relatively close to the cover paper weight.
However, try feeling the paper weight in your hand and think about how it feels to flip through as a page. If it’s a nuisance to flip through a lot of pages at that weight, your customers won’t do it.
Your binding style is directly determined by the number of pages in your catalog. Smaller catalogs (generally 64 pages or less) can get away with saddle stitching, but any page count higher than that will need perfect binding.
How to Choose the Best Catalog Printing Services
Regardless of your final product combination, catalog printing is best done by an experienced commercial printer who can give you a great end product for a fair price. After all, this is a professional representation of your business, and you want to give your customers the right impression.
Here are a few things to look for that will differentiate the best catalog printing services from the rest.
Equipment and Finishing Options
You’re going to a printer for professional services, which means they should have the equipment and finishing options necessary to give you a great final product.
Think of it this way: there’s a huge difference between a 12-page catalog and a 48-page catalog, even if they’re printed in the same quantity. Enough difference to warrant finishing them on different equipment for cost reasons. A good printer will have a variety of options available to give you the best result.
You should ask your printer what type of equipment they utilize and whether they use single- or multi-pass printing. This changes what type of equipment they use and directly impacts your cost and quality. You should also ask if they have in-house binding capabilities—the better to avoid damage to your print run transitioning between printers.
Direct Mailing Department
You should also ask if the printer has a direct mailing department. While you could mail your catalogs yourself, a professional printer with a direct mailing department understands the variables in postage cost and will know how to control costs during direct mailing.
Plus, it removes all the headache for you. All you have to do is give the printer your files and your customers’ mailing addresses, and they’ll take care of the rest.
The Best Catalog Printing Services in the Las Vegas Area
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a five-person startup, we are proud to offer the best catalog printing service in the Las Vegas area.
From digital printing to binding to direct mail, we have all the services you need from start to finish, whether you’re looking for standard services or specialty techniques. And with shifts running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you can rest assured that your catalog will be made with the time and quality you need. We’ve been printing for decades, so we know how to do printing runs right.
Ready to make your next catalog print run look its very best? Click here to request a printing quote and find out more about how we can make your catalog look its very best.