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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Booklets and Catalogs – Should You Go for Full Color or Mono Color

How to Decide What Style of Booklet or Catalog Works Best for Your Business

1) Ask yourself, "What type of business do I have?"

Some businesses have made a name for themselves using newsprint mono color catalogs—L.L. Bean is one of the most famous. L.L. Bean markets itself as a natural company. So the look of its catalog is "natural." They may use color inks, but the general effect is of a organic company that promotes back-to-earth values.

You tend to see these mono-color booklet printing and catalog printing among businesses that are marketing themselves as "green" companies. There is the perception that newsprint is ultimately recyclable because the paper doesn't have a fine layer of clay on it in order to enable sharp color images. So if your business is centered in the green movement, using newsprint and mono color layouts may be just the style you want to use.

On the other hand, that same strategy would bomb entirely for a business that focuses on providing technology solutions. If you want to look like you are on the cutting edge of your field, you have to have an edgy look. While black and white can be very dramatic, your booklets and catalogs will be even more effective if you use full-color catalog or booklet printing.

If your business is primarily B2B focused, glossy paper and full color, or at minimum two color booklets and catalogs are essential for delivering a positive business image. If you do opt to use black and white, then you must have Ansel Adams quality black and white photographs. The saturation and contrast in any pics or graphics must be treated with the same care as the old cinematographers approached their craft in the days before color cinematography was available.

2) Ask yourself, "Why type of message do I want to deliver?"

Identifying the type of business you have should lead you to asking which style of booklet or catalog printing will best deliver your message. As mentioned above, newsprint has been used favorably by certain market sectors. And even when these sectors turn to color, they often use matte paper stock, rather than glossy. They are aware of the perception that glossy equals less friendly to the environment. Whether that perception is accurate isn't the issue. The perception exists.

Certain industries are best served by a very polished presentation. Glossy paper stock or paper that feels "rich" delivers the message your business doesn't cut corners. Full color printing delivers the message you value quality and providing a positive customer experience.

Of course, you need to pay attention to how you deliver your message through words, design and layout as well. Just because you use a certain type of paper and color doesn't guarantee positive results. You must have the right message, delivered in an appealing way to achieve your goals.

Ultimately, your decision to go with full color versus mono color (one ink color on any color of paper) should be based on where you want your business to be a year to five years from now. Don't be short-sighted and go with the "cheaper" option just because it costs less. Remember every print decision you make has the potential to grow or stall your business. Choose the option that lines up with your business goals.

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