Lookbooks vs. Catalogs vs. Booklets banner

Lots of terms get thrown around in the marketing world, especially in print marketing – in particular, the catalog, booklet, and lookbook meaning gets confused all the time. Data shows that print ads are still the most trusted advertising channel, even in today’s digitized world. This is why smart marketers are still using lookbooks, booklets, and catalogs to connect with customers and boost their sales stream. But what is the difference between these three types of print marketing, and how can you use each one to your best advantage? Read on for our breakdown of these chronically-confused pieces of collateral, get the scoop on their unique characteristics and the value they bring to your marketing plan, and learn how to use Gold Image Printing to design them online with ease!

Lookbooks Ignite the Imagination

The main difference when it comes to a lookbook vs catalog is the intended purpose: lookbooks present products through visual story-telling, whereas catalogs focus on purchasing specifications like price, size, color, etc. Lookbooks tend to mimic magazine spreads, with large-scale photos that capture immediate interest and lots of white space to minimize visual clutter. To give a comparison, let’s say you’re considering printing a fashion catalog vs lookbook. A catalog would include your exhaustive list of products with individual photos of each item, including complete product descriptions and pricing. A lookbook, on the other hand, would feature staged photographs of models wearing several of your clothing and accessories styled together to create a complete look, combining items that have a common theme, whether color, mood, or season. Text is minimal in lookbooks, which focus on visuals that evoke a particular feeling or desire. 

Lookbooks are a staple in the fashion industry, and are becoming increasingly popular in other sectors like home decor, food and beverage, and more. Most customers make their purchases based on emotion, making lookbooks an indispensable part of your marketing plan. Stimulate their imaginations with lush, colorful photos that help your customers envision what they would look like wearing your bespoke garments on a summer vacation, or using your niche technologies to simplify their day-to-day. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let your photos do the talking when you print customized Lookbooks through Gold Image Printing, the leading online printing service!

Booklets Go In-Depth

Whereas lookbooks are focused on aesthetics, booklets are geared toward education. The most basic booklet meaning is: a short, concise way of informing your customers about your business. Many booklets feature a specific product or service as a way to do this. For example, a startup wellness company might tell the story of how they source their exclusive fair-trade organic energy drinks, one of several products and services they sell at their brand-new location. Booklets use both photos and text to tell a story that piques customers’ interest, calling them to take action – i.e. shop your products.

As far as the differences between a booklet vs catalog, a booklet is usually directed at a specific segment of your customer base, like pet owners, young adults, or busy professionals. Since catalogs cover your entire product line, they are designed to be sent out to your universal customer base. A booklet mailing should be more targeted, such as promoting a new product launch, or during a specific time of the year.  Thankfully, you can utilize custom bound book printing anytime, anywhere with Gold Image Printing’s online Booklet PrintingBulk Offset Booklets, and Bound Book Printing services. We also offer specialty booklets for special occasions, like Booklets with Foil Covers that glisten with a touch of gold or silver. 

Catalogs Cover It All

By this point, you probably get the gist of the catalog meaning and the differences between a catalog vs lookbook: basically, a catalog serves as the exhaustive collection of your products, and any information a customer needs to make their purchase, such as the name of the item, price (and applicable discounts), sizes/measurements, colors, availability, etc. A catalog covers all your bases, so that your customers don’t have any unanswered questions when they’re ready to make their purchase.

Here’s an insider tip: if you sell only a few products or services, you may not need to invest in long-run catalog printing – you could simply use Lookbooks or Booklet Printing to serve the same purpose. Catalogs are usually more text-heavy than lookbooks and booklets – but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be visually stunning! At Gold Image Printing, our in-house designers will be happy to work with you to create custom Catalogs that contain all the information you need while looking upscale and chic. Simply reach out to us for a custom quote to get started. 

The Perfect Trio

We’ve looked at the differences of lookbooks, booklets, and catalogs. Each piece has its own unique strengths and serves a unique function within your marketing plan. But when you combine all three, they pack a powerful punch to boost your brand awareness and subsequent sales. Use booklets to promote a new product to a specific customer demographic you’re targeting. Send out a seasonal lookbook to get customers thinking about how to combine your products, rather than shopping for individual pieces. Then send out your comprehensive catalog to clinch the sale.

If you have any questions about designing your collateral online for printing perfection, Gold Image Printing is here to help you each step of the way. We can get you answers to all your specific questions, whether through Gold Image Printing Blog posts like Should You Ask Your Printer To Do Offset Printing or Digital Printing?, or directly from our help page. Get the gold standard in quality, service, and support when you print your marketing collateral with Gold Image Printing, the leading online printing service!