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How to Plan for a Mind-blowing T-shirt Catalogue


The catalogue is what will show your potential clients what you’re selling and, eventually, make them buy from you. So it is important it is the best it can be.

catalogueKnow the purpose of your catalogue

To sell, of course! You might say, and you would be correct, but you’ll also need to wonder if there is any secondary motive. Maybe your business is a new one and you want potential customers to get to know it, or you just simply want to replace the old catalogue because it’s outdated. A catalogue that’s meant to renew a brand won’t look the same as one that’s meant to launch a new product.


Once that you know the purpose of your catalogue it’s time to get to the drawing board. A catalogue is a process that requires a lot more involvement and time. It is important to plan ahead because any problems that could’ve been foreseen might set you back hours, days or maybe even weeks depending on how big your catalogue is.

catalogsThink of your (potential) customers

What’s your target audience? Your niche will dictate the visual aspect of your catalogue, the types of images, colors and even the language it uses. A brand with millennial mothers for a target audience will design a catalogue completely different to a company who wants to sell to a middle-aged sports fan.

Think of your brand

Think of your brand when making design decisions! This goes beyond using your corporate colors and printing your logo on every corner. How does your brand’s storyline translate to a catalogue? If it has a cheeky personality then maybe you could include jokes inside the product descriptions, or if it’s a brand geared towards geeks the pictures of the t-shirts could feature models wearing masks of famous comic or sci-fi movie characters.

distressed logoOutline your content

Make a list of everything you want to show up on your catalogue, products, descriptions, pictures, about section. Anything you can think of needs to go on that list. Know your products’ features and keep them in mind. This process is meant to organize your ideas. If you know exactly what you want to appear then the designing part will be much easier.

Start sketching

Even if you’re hiring a web designer to do the work, it’s not a bad idea to sketch what you would like your catalogue to appear like. This doesn’t necessarily have to be done by hand, it could be done on the computer or if you lack the abilities, make a folder composed of catalogues that you’d like to emulate.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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