Opening the Project Vault: Specialty Sales’ Product Catalog | ODEA

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Opening the Project Vault: Specialty Sales’ Product Catalog

What makes a marketing effort successful? Results of course! But how we get there often involves communication, organization, and an AMAZING client. We’re thrilled to have hit the jackpot when it comes to the clients we work with. When Specialty Sales – a distributor of hose, tubing, couplings and fittings – asked for our help bringing the BOLD to their product catalog, we said, “Let’s do this!”

We teamed up with Specialty Sales to give their catalog a fresh look that reflects their new branding and provides a more cohesive user experience. Read on for more about the process of creating this masterpiece from Project Manager Megan and a sneak a peek at the finished product.

Before: The Original Catalog

When we first got our hands on the Specialty Sales catalog, we were a little overwhelmed, to say the least! Prior to the redesign, Specialty Sales built their catalog using assets from their various manufacturers. While convenient, it created a hodgepodge of a catalog. Page layouts didn’t match, images were missing, and there was little branding to be found. Our mission was to take this disjointed catalog and give it a BOLD refresh.

After: A BOLD New Look

After seven months of creativity and collaboration, it was incredibly rewarding to see the final piece. What was once a confusing mix of product listings is now a cohesive catalog broken into seven color-coded sections. Finding the right product is now much easier for customers. And the Specialty Sales team is now presenting a more consistent look and feel with subtle touches of their brand proudly shining through.

Our Takeaways

1. Let Your Brand Shine

You might have already heard, but we’re big fans of brand. After working with Specialty Sales last year to revamp their verbal and visual brand, we were excited to design their new catalog to reflect it. Sprinkles of their brand can be found throughout the catalog, like the color-coded sections and illustrated icons. Simply using the same font throughout the catalog went a long way in helping to begin to establish their new brand! Working through the catalog was a great reminder of why branding so important for a company. From the big picture to the small details, it all comes together to create a consistent presence to your customers and your team!

2. Learn to Pivot

Did we mention that a pandemic struck right at the beginning of this project? Ah, thanks 2020! We knew this project would need to be hands-on, so not being able to be in a room putting our creative minds and organizational powers together did put a small kink in our plans. But it didn’t bring our collaboration to a screeching halt.

Luckily, we had Google Meet to save the day! We were able to video call with the Specialty Sales team once a week, digging through the catalog page by page, product by product. We determined what information needed to be carried over, and what could be scrapped. Behind the scenes, there was lots of data collection and many mockup versions before we arrived at the final design. After tackling such a complex project while being 100% remote, we now believe in the power and success of virtual collaboration.

3. It All Starts with A Plan

Before we started creative, we had to decide on the structure of the catalog. Specialty Sales prints them in-house because information from their manufacturers changes so rapidly. So we designed the catalogs using Microsoft Excel (for the data) and Adobe InDesign (for the layout) in order to provide easy updates. Any time a change needs to be made to the data in the future, we simply update the linked Excel files and re-sync with InDesign! But this decision wasn’t made lightly. It took many conversations and lots of research to land on this plan. And it was critical that the decision was made before any work began on the design.

Be sure to check back, we’ll be opening up the creative vault and sharing more projects we’re working on in the near future. There’s a lot more BOLD to come!