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When it comes to advertising companies there are many ways one could use to do this. Some companies go for advertisement and as a major part of their campaigns and lay a lot of stress on billboards, TV commercials and newspapers while others lay more emphasis upon print media which is inclusive of catalogs too.

Television commercials and other such forms of advertisement are quite expensive. Advertisement costs are extremely high but companies that can afford to allocate part of their budget to advertisements manage to do so. Catalogs are another form of advertisement.

Catalogs serve two purposes (and that, too, better than other forms of advertisement do)- firstly, they can explain and elaborate upon certain features of a product/service or issue, which advertisements cannot. So, for example, if a company states that a mobile has a "5 megapixel camera", those who don’t know much about technology won’t be able to understand or relate to the advertisement and since the costs of advertisement are exceedingly high, not many companies are willing to overspend on advertisements because the cost per minute is quite high.

You cannot use a billboard for the same reason and in addition to this, not many people have the time to stop and read everything written on a billboard or a poster. Those who do may not be able to understand how a feature works or what would differentiate the feature of mobile A from mobile B since one can only fit a certain amount of information regarding a product on a billboard or in a commercial.

This is where catalogs come in. A catalog can be used to explain this difference. One may compare two (or more) mobile phones and their features in the catalog. This would make it easier for the potential client because he can refer to it whenever he needs to in order to understand what a 5 mega pixel camera is, for example. Or one could explain how a 5 mega pixel camera is better than another one.

Then there are companies that are involved in making products that they cannot explain to lay people or they cannot explain these at all because the product is such: clothes are an excellent example of such products. One can only go on to explain so much regarding clothes and their designs but in order to be able to truly get an idea of what the clothes look like one needs to actually see the clothes. Not everyone has the time, money or desire to watch (or go to) a fashion show to check out the clothes that a designer is soon to launch nor does everyone know what words like "paisley, lining or bell-bottoms" mean. This is where a catalog is useful. In addition to this a catalog can also be used to list down the prices of certain clothes and accessories. The advantage of this is that a customer can skim through the catalog and decide whether or not he/she would like to buy a something from the store, rather than asking the salespersons the price of these over and over again.

Many fashion designers use these so that they can give customers an idea of what their clothes are, what they look like and how certain combinations of clothes could look on a person. Though many can afford to give samples of their clothes in magazines or show these on the ramp, there are those that would prefer a catalog over other means of advertisement. These are also informally referred to as "look books".

Then there are companies that would rather go for catalogs to deal with other companies, simply because catalogs may be more professional (though not necessarily cheaper) or comprehensive than other modes of explaining what their product is to another company or individual. Companies involved in the production of oil rigs, pipelines and such like use catalogs to explain to other companies what it is that they have in mind. These catalogs may be used to attract investors by explaining the concept of a project via visual illustration and printing words on the catalog would help investors understand things more clearly.

Catalogs are used for different purposes and reason by different people/companies and individuals. Anyone who uses a catalog has to ensure that their catalog design befits what it is that they envisage, produce or want to explain. They also need to ensure that the design is captivating enough for their target market or for the people they would like to attract. If the idea is to attract the masses, this would be easier because that way a company has to analyze what it is that people like in the market generally and incorporate that into their designs. If one would prefer going for a niche market, this could be a little challenging because of the fact that the market is defined and so, one needs to keep in mind the specific interests and mindset of that particular market when designing a catalog.

Your catalog is one of the things that would/could affect your image because it defines what you want and what you have in mind. You speak to people when using a catalog. While printing words on a catalog is fine, you need to pay attention to other parts of the catalog and this mainly refers to the design. What do you want your catalog to say to people? How do you think you could tell people that your company is different from others? Why should people go for what you have to offer rather than going for another company which may be relatively more well-established than you? Or if you’re a company that wants to attract investors, why should investors invest in your project when there are so many others who probably have the same concept in their minds? What makes your project different? What kind of products and people are you using to work on that project? If you’ve got everything in mind, how do you want to present it? Do you have any pictures or designs in mind? Ask yourself these questions before you make your catalog. Every person has a different picture in mind and goal to achieve and the design used on the catalog helps reflect these.

Catalogs are quite expensive to make and the more the pages required, the higher the cost for designing a catalog. A fashion designer might go for fewer pages than someone who wants to convince investors why they should invest in their project in which case the page count would be higher. Your designs depend upon your company and the image you want your company to have. Some companies incorporate the design of their companies into the catalog so that people are aware of the company making use of a product. So, if, say a company prints the head of a man onto a tin of oats, the same company may enlarge the picture and get this printed on to the catalog as well. This way people would be aware of the maker of a product and they may want to get to know more about a product due to the fact that the product is produced by their favorite company or brand.

Designs also depend upon the audience. By way of example, if, say, a brand wants to attract 20-30 year old men, the designs used would be different as compared to an audience of older men. In the latter case one may go for something more elegant rather than bold and stylish because the target market is such. The models and designs used for every segment of the target market would be different.

Henceforth, the target market, the message being conveyed to the audience, the purpose in making the catalog and the ability to express what you want to express in the catalog would all contribute to the cost of designing a catalog. The cost to design a catalog depends on what you want. Do you want to explain how a product works to potential customers? Do you want to use pictures or words (or both) to explain a product to people who aren’t aware of how a product operates? How much detail are you willing to get into to explain a product to the market?

The more detailed the message and the more intricate the design, the higher the costs of designing a catalog. The cost incurred depends upon you and what you want. Think about the design lay out, the font size, the word count, the color options and the variety of these colors, the photographs and images to be used in your catalog and the kind of background you want. These are usually the factors which directly affect the costs of designing catalogs. You want to be able to pass on a message in a comprehensive and concise way so use images and words accordingly. This would help a reader understand your product and how to use it, too.

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