How to Design an Effective Industrial / Manufacturing Catalog

Manufacturing companies use digital ‘flipbooks’ and traditional paper industrial catalogs to show off their products. Digital methods are preferred by companies, but many consumers prefer physical catalogs to look at. Physical industrial and manufacturing catalogs give a taste of your products at home, in the office, or elsewhere. They allow for interactive use like circling favorite items, marking pages, and easily viewing prices. Studies have shown that consumers to trust print ads more than its digital ads. For more information on the psychological and economic advantages of using catalogs, check out our blog post, Catalogs Are a Marketing Gold Mine.

In this blog, we will cover the 5 considerations to take into account when designing an effective Industrial / Manufacturing catalog. Many of these tips can also be used for other marketing materials like brochures.

Industrial & Manufacturing Catalog Layout

When planning your catalog’s layout customers should able to find what they need quickly and easily even if they aren’t familiar with your brand. Similar products and products that go with each other should be grouped together or shown on the same page. This example shows an industrial catalog that has a whole page for sandblasting machines, and right next to it, they’ve got a smaller section with all the accessories you need to use them properly. Come up with a plan on how all of your products are going to fit together into a catalog, then break that into sections. Looking back at the example below, this chapter is called Surface Prep. Having chapters will make it easier for you to create a table of contents for your customers or clients to easily reference while browsing your catalog.

Introduce Yourself

Even for regular customers, your catalog can be a connection to new potential clients. An educational ‘About Us’ section at the beginning of your manufacturing catalog sets a professional tone. Introducing your company’s story, highlighting your locations, and including brands that trust you can help consumers understand who you are and what your company can bring to them. In the industrial catalog below, you can see that they have locations in Miami, Columbia, Brazil, and Venezuela and that they are trusted by many notable brands for industrial products. This can add legitimacy to your business!

Include Basic Information for your Products

Like many industrial or manufacturing brands, you might have a lot of products to show your customers and may be wondering how to include all of them into a clean, concise catalog. What information do your customers need? Don’t worry, stick to the basics. For example, the catalog in the image below has a bulleted list for their products descriptions instead of a paragraph. This helps customers quickly see what the most important information is for each item. This example also shows that they grouped their products together, so they could add a chart for the size of the products and list their model numbers. This is a great idea to keep in mind for your manufacturing or industrial catalog!

Have Fun with Your Visuals

Industrial catalogs don’t have to be boring. Create an enticing catalog with unique graphics that show your products’ key features. Think outside the box to create images that tell the story of how your products can be used. Take a look at the example below and notice how they featured their gripper and magnet with a bold icon graphic that is clearly demonstrating the tools versatility. Small changes or additions like these can help to create a visually engaging and memorable impression on customers.

How to Design a Product Catalog?

This can really be applied to any industry, not just when designing industrial and manufacturing catalogs, but it is worth repeating. To create a high-quality catalog, you need to have a good designer. This catalog is going to be a reflection of your brand, so you want to make sure that it looks great. Learn how to create a catalog that sells with our top tips.

  • Use bright colors, engaging images, and clear graphics that represent your business
  • Make sure all of your images are 300 dpi or more to avoid low resolution or blurry images
  • Choose a legible font for the bulk of your text
  • Use negative white space to keep a good balance between text and images
  • Keep a consistent theme or style throughout your catalog

For more information see our blog post for helpful catalog design tips!

Thankfully, when printing with PrintingCenterUSA, creating a manufacturing or industrial catalog is easy. We offer free downloadable templates so that you don’t have to worry about your file specifications because they are already built into the template. These are good for Adobe creative products like Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat.

Step by step instructions on how to use PrintingCenterUSA’s free downloadable Adobe templates!

  • Visit
  • Select your product
  • Scroll down past the pricing tool to the “Useful Printing Resources” section
  • Click the “Free Downloadable Templates” button
  • Select a template and download it for your Adobe software
  • Open the downloaded template in your Adobe software and you’re ready to start creating your catalog!

If you don’t have a design program, you can use our free online design tool! The easy-to-use drag and drop technology means that all you have to worry about is uploading your images and dragging them where you want them to go. We have many designs that you can fill in, or you can start with a blank template. Once you’re done, you can add your design to your cart and check out.

Step by step instructions on how to use PrintingCenterUSA’s free Online Design Tool!

  • Visit
  • Select your product
  • Scroll down past the pricing tool to the “Useful Printing Resources” section
  • Click the “Start Your Design Now” button
  • Select your size and binding style
  • Your project will display on the screen then you can drag and drop your images and text onto your design to create your catalog!

Binding: The most popular binding types for industrial or manufacturing catalog are saddle stitch and perfect bound. Saddle stitch binding is great for catalogs that are between 8 and 92 pages. Perfect binging is great for catalogs that are between 28 pages and 2 inches thick. Perfect binding also gives you that professional looking square spine. Wire O and Spiral bound catalogs can be weaker binding styles and aren’t typically what you see for product catalogs, but it can be done.

Ink: Full color for both your cover and inside pages is highly recommended. Show off your products in all of their glory.

Paper: 80# gloss text and 80# gloss cover are recommended for a high-quality and durable paper at a more affordable price. Thin paper is not recommended as they will make your catalog easily perishable.

UV Coating and Soft Touch Lamination: To add extra protection against scuffs and scratches, add UV Coating or Soft Touch Lamination to your cover. An added bonus of UV Coating is that this coating is going to make your cover pop! Soft Touch Lamination is going to make your cover velvety-smooth. That extra finish really does make all the difference and can give your project that professional aesthetic buyers can’t resist.

Just beyond content, specifications for your catalog like binding style and finish will amplify the amount of attention it demands. Take a look at Ryan from Red Hill Mobility, he created his industrial catalog with a professional glossy finish and saddle stitched binding. His catalog became a standout in the crowded market and helped to set him apart from others. Read Ryan’s story here!

Other Services: In the other services dropdown there are a couple of options you can specify for your project.

  • Binding: Choose what edge you want your binding to be on to style the orientation of your catalog. Choose between left edge like a normal book’s binding and top edge like wall calendar style aka landscape.
  • Proof: Here you will be able to select your type of proof. We offer free electronic proofing, or you can select a hard copy proof (overnight or 2nd day) for about $50 depending on your project. (Prices can vary)
  • Shrink Wrap: This is when we package your project in a clear plastic film that shrinks down snug when heated. We typically bundle them depending on convenience and what we think will fit best without damaging the print but if you want a specific bundle size just select from the “shrink wrap” menu (there might be a small fee).
  • Hole Drilling: We offer two types of hole drilling to help organize your prints. 3-hole drilling, which is perfect for reports, guides, or anything you’ll store in a binder. Or 1-hole drilling which is like what you would see on a wall calendar.
  • Address & Mail: If you want to send your catalogs directly to your customers, all you have to do is upload a mailing list and select Address and Mail on the pricing tool. You can mail any extras to your business so that you can have some for in-house as well.

PCUSA: Industrial and Manufacturing Catalogs

When ordering with PrintingCenterUSA, you can quickly get your industrial and manufacturing catalog from your desktop to your doorstep easily. We have excellent customer service representatives that can help you with any questions you have and lots of online recourses to get your project off the ground.

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