Design should be simple. It is not the right place to experiment with fancy fonts or a crazy image layout. Catalogues are meant to be uncomplicated and straight to the point. Their main goal is to sell, anything that could distract from that end should be avoided.
Since it is the first thing your clients will see, images need to be beautiful and of high quality. Even if their resolution is downgraded afterwards to upload it to the internet, they need to start as a high quality image. Ask any graphic designer and they will tell you the same. Then, where do you get a handful of good looking images for your catalogue?
- Hire a professional. It may not be the cheapest option, but at least it will ensure you have an impressive result.
- Shoot your own photos. If you’re comfortable with a camera then maybe it would be a good idea for you to take your own pictures. You’ll save money and they’ll end up looking just the way you want them.
- Use supplier images. Depending on the kind of t-shirts you’re selling, some images could be supplied by the vendor.
Since this will be an online catalogue, stick to easy-to-read, sans-serif fonts. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to be turned off from your product because they can’t read the description. Common fonts like Helvetica, Arial and Verdana should do fine. If you want to create hierarchies, try experimenting with bold, all caps, underlines and italics.
It can be easily overlooked, but you’ll be making a mistake if you do. While it is true that images are what people are first drawn to, the copy is the backbone of any catalogue and when done well can inject with personality an otherwise boring list of items.
- Proof read. While it might not kill you, the embarrassment of finding a typo on a catalogue after it has gone live can be quite painful. For this, it is important to proof read the texts several times. Let it rest, and go back to it the next morning or after a couple of days. Try to show it to someone else, as well. When we’re tired and have read the same text over and over again, we can overlook even the most obvious of slips.
- Keep it short and sweet. Product descriptions need to be short or you run the risk of boring your prospective client. Focus on the main features of the item.