Catalog printing represents some of the most lucrative opportunities for graphic designers. From product photo editing to design, layout and even typesetting, most catalogs are major undertakings that require many man-hours – all billable, of course.
But just because a project is large doesn't mean is has to be difficult. As a graphic designer you can certainly handle the Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign work. But how do you handle it when a customer also wants you to take care of the catalog printing? Here are three of my favorite catalog printing tips for graphic designers, each given here to help you increase productivity, efficiency and profits: Catalog printing tip No. 1: Use a layout template. This should be self-explanatory, but you might be amazed at how many graphic designers tediously set up their own templates without regard to their printer's preferred formatting. Save yourself the hassle and expense of press problems and download a free catalog template from PsPrint. Then, customize two- to four-page layouts and build out your catalog library so you can quickly reuse page layout styles and design elements without a fuss. Catalog printing tip No. 2: Become a reseller. Why should you invest the time to quote the printing job and not get paid for it? You are in business, after all, so become a reseller for PsPrint and you can make 15 to 20 percent commission on every sale. The best part is that you can act as a print broker and have your clients' finished pieces mailed directly to them so it looks like it came directly from you. Catalog printing tip No. 3: When in doubt, ask. Nothing's worse than a guessing designer – ask any press man who has dealt with a designer who designs in four-color process for a spot-color press, or a designer who expects an exact reproduction of a Pantone color in CMYK format (there are ways to achieve this, yes, but a simple color conversion will not be spot-on – pun intended). If you're not sure what a particular color or other element will look like when it comes off the press, talk to your printing company. They'll be glad to help, since well-prepared files save headaches for them, too. Now it's your turn: Do you have any catalog printing tips to share with other graphic designers? Comment below!