Different Types of Catalogs, Brochures, and Booklets



Supply Catalogs

A supply catalog is primarily designed to function within a business-to-business relationship, which means that you primarily sell your product or services to other businesses. Usually included in a supply catalog are your products, item numbers and any detail specifications about each product. Pricing is included along with any pricing details such as minimum orders, contact information and shipping information. Some supply catalogs could even have an order form template that can be used by the client to place orders. Pictures can be used to help your clients choose the appropriate product, but it doesn't have to be very fancy. More importantly, supply catalogs should be designed with efficient organization of products so that your clients can easily find what they are looking for.

Retail Catalogs

A retail catalog is when your business product or service caters directly to the public. It is with the retail catalog that the catalog design is crucial in capturing your client to want to look at your products and purchase them. This catalog can and should have a visual "wow" factor. Definitely use high quality pictures of your product and have your catalog professionally layer out. Paying attention to the "hot spots" areas of a catalog can greatly benefit your business in selling your products.

Digital Catalogs

With technology moving as fast as it does today, we should all be aware of the digital possibilities. Having a virtual catalog of your products available to your clients have never been easier than now. With the right tools your catalog can be downloaded fast and viewed efficiently. You virtual catalog can be e-mailed and can offer an online purchase option. Now your clients can order from you at their convenience, anytime, and day.


Instruction Manuals

Also referred to as owners manuals, instruction manuals are created for any product that requires additional information about specifications, assembly, installing, servicing, warranties, safety, etc.

Reference Guides

Reference guides are the "short and sweet" version of instruction manuals. They condense the information into the most important topics and instructions. This is especially beneficial if the detailed instruction booklet is 76 pages long and all you need is just a quick reference guide on the key features.


There are businesses that could greatly benefit from having a professional portfolio to present to their clients. Companies that create custom products, like built-in cabinetry, faux designs, millwork, sculptures, etc.. All these businesses could use a portfolio booklet in showcasing their unique talents and expertise to potential clients. Not only would a portfolio booklet inspire confidence in the client about the quality of craftsmanship, it would also reflect the pride of ownership for the company with a proper portfolio booklet.


Booklet Brochures

The difference between a catalog and a booklet brochure is its purpose. A supply or retail catalog focuses on the product, and a booklet brochure discusses the product or service in a more informative and educational manner. Booklet brochures are great professional sales tools to educate your clients to why they should choose you over your competitor. Booklet brochures are designed to have multiple pages bound together, usually saddle stitched (stapled) at the fold. Booklet brochures can have as few as 8 pages (including the cover and back) and increase in multiples of 4 pages.

Pamphlet Brochures

Widely used as a means to advertise a business, product, or service, they can be bold, colorful and informative. Brochures are often printed on a single sheet of glossy stock and most of the time, in full color. There are many shapes available by folding the paper in different ways. One of the most common is the tri-fold brochure, folded from an 8 1/2 x 11 paper into three sections. Next in line is the bi-fold brochure which is folded in the middle of the page. The bi-fold brochure can be created from an 11 x 17 size paper, folded in half.


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