Your catalog cover can say a lot about your company, intended or otherwise. That's why it's important to carefully consider what cover is best suited for your catalog. You want your customers to relate to your style as soon as they see your catalog, rather than hope that they'll actually open it to see what's inside before making a judgment call. Professional catalogs incorporate great covers, but that doesn't mean there is one standard, accepted catalog cover.
Here are a few options you can consider, and the pros and cons of each, for your next catalog cover:
100-pound gloss cover
100-pound gloss cover has an incredibly professional sheen that reflects colors and adds brilliance to your catalog cover. A thick paper stock, 100-pound gloss cover feels sturdy in your customers' hands, projecting an image of company stability. It's also a good choice for catalogs bound with Wire-O. This type of stock costs more than other catalog covers.
100-pound gloss text
100-pound gloss text is similar in look to 100-pound gloss cover, except that is it thinner. A great choice for sturdy, stapled catalogs, 100-pound gloss text is more economical but lacks some of the prestige of its thicker cover stock counterpart. Smooth as silk, this paper stock has an exceptional feel in your customers' hands.
80-pound gloss text
80-pound gloss text is a thinner, more economical version of 100-pound gloss. It still looks great and is often used in bulk catalog printing. This paper stock is still thick enough to feel robust and has all the sheen of the other gloss paper stocks mentioned here, but it tears more easily and is more prone to handling damage. Saddle stitches are appropriate, as 80-pound gloss text will not hold up as well with Wire-O binding. It's an excellent and widely employed all-around choice.
70-pound matte text
70-pound matte text is thinner yet but is a strong paper with a more subtle appeal. Many catalogs printed on matte paper carry an air of beauty, which is why many companies prefer this type of paper stock. As an added bonus, companies such as PsPrint offer eco-friendly recycled matte paper, which falls in line with a green agenda that you can promote to your customers. Matte text stock is more expensive than 80-pound gloss text.
Full color vs. black and white
Paper stock isn't the only catalog cover consideration; you also have to decide whether your catalog cover will be printed in full color on both sides (4/4), full color on the front and black and white on the inside (4/1), full color on the front and no printing on the inside (4/0), black and white on both sides (1/1) or black and white on one side only (1/0). Full color on both sides has the most impact and is cost efficient, and is highly recommended. Compare paper stock and color printing pricing using PsPrint's instant price widget.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but that is exactly what most customers do when your catalog comes in the mail. Your catalog cover is largely responsible for influencing whether potential customers toss your catalog in the trash or whether they kick back in their easy chairs to see how you can help them. Make the right decisions when it comes to your catalog covers, and your customers will make the right decisions when it comes to purchases.