Jewelry Catalog Printing



Traditional designer reorder catalog pages. One photo, one scan, one page.

With a penny weight reorder catalog as many pieces as possible are fitted on to page and a single photo taken.

Wholesale Jewelry Catalog

I you were looking for a quick explanation and pricing of jewelry catalog photography, production and printing you are not going to find it here. If you are looking for a solution to your jewelry catalog photography and production process needs, this is the place but with some explanation. The new digital technology is bringing rapid changes to jewelry catalog production. I view wholesale jewelry catalogs in three categories: pennyweight reorder, designer reorder and marketing image catalog. The simplest of these is the pennyweight reorder catalog. This is where merchandise is lined up in even rows and columns like little solders and you have page after page of this. You try to get as many piece on a page and there is nothing but merchandise on a page. You always have a top view of the piece of jewelry and backgrounds are simple. If someone is already sold on your product, they can use it as a reference to reorder a piece they might have sold. This type of catalog works simply as a visual reference tool. The next progression is the designer reorder catalog. This catalog also works as a reorder catalog but by putting fewer pieces on a page, with interesting arrangements, props, and backgrounds, you create a more stylish catalog. There also may be some space or sheets just for image or company information. Through page design and information a company's image is represented in this type of catalog. If someone is unfamiliar with your company, this catalog will not only show your merchandise but also leaves one with a good impression of your business. The final type of catalog is a marketing image catalog. One can reorder or first time order from this catalog but it does much more. This catalog creates a company image (branding). A smaller amount of merchandise is shown at its very best. A great deal of attention is giving to the purpose, goals and design of this catalog. This catalog contains more then just merchandises. With this type of catalog space is devoted for copy, headlines, pictures and graphics, all designed to sell the company's story and image and to turn lookers into buyers.

Jewelry catalog pages composed of individual digital photos and assembled in Photoshop into a single page.

As you progress from the pennyweight reorder to the marketing image catalog the amounts of time require designing and producing a catalog increases. This of course has an effect on the cost. Five years ago the cost of a designer reorder catalog was four times as much as a pennyweight catalog. The cost of a marketing image catalog was twenty times as much. But the new digital technology is changing these numbers. Pennyweight catalogs have gone done in price and remain the cheapest way to show a large line of jewelry. But with the Internet and media CDs these printed catalogs are becoming obsolete. The designer reorder catalogs still cost more then the pennyweight catalogs but only a bit more. The marketing image catalogs have come way down in cost thanks to the new technology and may run only three to four times the amount of pennyweight catalogs. This is opening up new branding opportunities for jewelry designers and jewelry manufacturers.


A Marketing Image catalog page containing small group photos, theme images and company's message. Photographed on film, scanned and assemble to a single page in Photoshop.


Equine jewelry catalog photographed digitally and assembled into a single page for printing.

This catalog was done several years age. Photos were individual shots on film, scanned and assemble in a page layout program.


Retail Jewelry Catalog

A retail jewelry catalog will normally have quite a different marketing objectives from a wholesale catalog (customers generally are not reordering something they already bought again and again). In some cases a catalog on the style of a designer reorder catalog might get by on a retail level but in most cases to be effective you need a marketing image style catalog. This is one reason why retail catalogs are more expensive to produces then a manufacture's wholesale catalog. Retailers also have to bare the expense of a catalog every year (Christmas) while a manufacturers catalog may get reproduced every five years. This does give a retailer more opportunities to try new ideas but it also means a catalog has to bring in more sales to be cost effective. Retail jewelry advertising and promotion materials are just more complicated then business-to-business wholesale materials. I offer complete marketing, advertising, design, and production service through Van Rossen & Associates.

The new digital technology has brought the cost of a designer image way down and offer new branding opportunities.


A designer reorder horse jewelry catalog. Photographed as a single page with props and graphics added in printing pre-press.

Going to Print

Color Printing cost still remains the largest expense in jewelry catalog production. But new digital technology is having a big impact on these costs. More of the work that was formally handled by the printer is becoming a responsibility of the photographer. The most important of these is color management. A photographer use to take the picture of the jewelry on film (normally color transparency) and after capturing a satisfactory image would hand the project off to the printer. The printer would scan and print to match the film. But with a full digital work flow there is no longer a piece of film to reference to. Often the only person in the entire catalog production process who saw what the product looked like was the photographer. Because of this the photographer must manage the color of the project from first lighting the photo to final press check. It is important that the photographer has experience with the entire catalog production process not just taking the photo.

The new digital color management workflow has been easy for me. For the past 20 years I have taken catalog projects from conception, to film, through the graphics, to the spot color proofs, to final color proofs and to final press checks. Today the workflow is changing to calibrated profiled monitor, PDF soft proof, digital final proofs and final press checks. Making sure the color of the original product matches the final printed piece remains the critical goal.

Jewelry Catalog Photography

Today jewelry catalog photography stands at a transitional point. A catalog made up of individual photographs of each piece of jewelry has always been the most effective. Each piece of jewelry can be shown from the best angle and a person can understand the design of each piece better. But the cost of film, color separations, layout time and stripping time made this process unaffordable for most jewelry firms. For the last 20 years we normally shot single page shots of a full page of jewelry showing every piece of jewelry from one angle of view, one lighting setup. The view of each piece was compromised for the whole of the photo and all for cost savings. We still do a lot of catalogs by this single page photo process. Today, however, with the new digital technology it is becoming possible to build catalogs made up if individual digital photographs of each piece of jewelry shown at its best. And the costs have come down to where most jewelry companies can afford it and justify the slight increase in cost because of the increase in sales. In addition these individual jewelry photos can be used for a company's web site and to build other advertising materials. Today there are more choices and options there ever on how to photograph and produce a jewelry catalog.

What Next

So what type of catalog or photography service is right for you? Because there are so many variables I am not able to offer pre-pricing. Also, the total number of catalog pages and the number pieces per page can have a big effect on services needed and the final price. With a large catalog you can reach an economy of scale that you just don't get with a single page flyer. I am happy to discuss what your needs might be, work out the specifics for you project and to quote you a price. Please contact me at 503-735-1925 or by email.


Copyrighted 2002 Van Rossen & Associates