A vibrant, well-designed catalog mesmerizes. Aaron Kilby, Artisan Colour’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and his team of creative, short-run catalog printing pros leverage this power through specialized services that put meaningful finishing touches on a beautiful catalog.

The team’s catalog work includes heavyweights, such as Sundance and Williams Sonoma catalogs. Their reputation and track record attracted Whitney Lundeen, CEO of the women’s clothing company Sonnet James when she wanted to create her first catalog.

Reaching out to Aaron and his team, Lundeen asked Artisan to provide critical prepress services to ensure the accuracy of the final product.

The Sonnet James Story

A mom with two children, Lundeen created her women’s lifestyle clothing brand to serve women like her, who wanted to wear fashionable, fun clothing that they can wear to the store, bank, or while playing with their kids.

Whitney was featured on a 2019 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank. During her presentation, she explained the history of her brand and secured a $350,000 investment from Sara Blakely, CEO, and Founder of Spanx.


Image courtesy of The Shark Tank Blog

As a start-up, it’s important to spend marketing dollars wisely. Catalog marketing (paired with other efforts) results in a 49% increase in sales and a 125% increase in inquiries, according to a 2020 Harvard Business Review study.


Short Run Catalog Printing Full-Service Support

Since this was Lundeen’s first experience with producing a product catalog, she needed expert advice to help her make decisions that supported her brand and goals.

“Whitney thoroughly researched catalog printers and she called us because of our printing experience,” Aaron said. “I think she was pleasantly surprised by the level of service that she received from our team.”

Artisan support services include a dedicated printing specialist, prepress print proofing, prepress pdf proof, and numerous quality control measures to ensure accuracy and a beautifully printed final product.

How to Achieve a Visually Modern Product Catalog

Kilby and Lundeen discussed the size of the catalog and variable data print options, which allow for a more personalized approach to mailing the catalog to prospective customers. It was decided that the first Sonnet James catalog would be a 6-by-9 quarter-sized mailer, which made it a half-sized 20-page catalog, including the cover.

Suggesting an uncoated stock was a key step to producing a successful launch for their inaugural short-run catalog project. Even though it is more complex to print on, the matte finish would give Lundeen’s catalog pages a more natural, modern look.

Known as the color experts, it was easy for the Artisan catalog team to ensure good color saturation, clarity, and contrast to amplify the vibrancy of the end product.

Continuous quality control measures, from prepress to press checks and post-printing, ensured that Sonnet James’ debut catalog was as dazzling as their brand.

Expertise that Knows What Works and Why

When he saw the catalog page design the first time, Kilby was delighted that it featured models in Sonnet James clothing in everyday situations. “The images carry a lot of emotion which is important, according to the Harvard Business Review article. Research shows that catalogs that allow viewers to live vicariously through emotionally-charged images have the best success,” he said.

Direct mail has staying power. Mail, like postcards, stays around the average household for 17 days. Imagine the value of a beautifully designed and printed catalog: it’s likely to stay around longer.

The Sonnet James short-run catalog printing project went smoothly and when the Artisan Colour team delivered a flawless, eye-catching PDF proof, Lundeen gave the go-ahead to send the catalog to print production.

“I always feel proud of our team when we deliver a one-of-a-kind catalog, although I should be used to it by now,” laughs Kilby. Artisan Colour has offered more than 20-years of catalog services, including specialized color matching and photo retouching services to bring out the best in every image.

Are you looking to improve your marketing and your bottom line? Talk to the catalog and business printing experts at Artisan Colour at 602.806.6899 or email us for a quote.