By Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.
I often receive park district catalogs and recreational catalogs in the mail. Having designed several of these magazines, I would like to relay some suggestions to my readers:
In order to develop an effective park district/recreational catalog you should have:
- An easy-to-use magazine layout that allows readers to easily locate classes with category headers or tabs.
- A table of contents that properly navigates the reader to the major class categories in the magazine.
- An inviting cover with photos that has a theme for that season.
- An easy-to-use registration form at the front or back of the guide.
- Under each class listing, the class description, instructor name, fee, time and dates.
- An effective use of white space to give visual relief.
- Classes arranged in sections by topic or interest.
- Within each section, a grouping of classes by instructor or location.
- A consistent color theme that wraps throughout the book.
- Photos which illustrate the classes and which are strategically placed.
- A supplemental online registration portal. This should allow readers to register online using a website or a mobile app.
- A welcome and/or introductory message at the front of the catalog.
- A section that highlights the most popular classes and special announcements.
- A park district map with locations of parks, classes and events.
- A calendar of important events.
- A theme and design that promotes fun, healthy living and exercise.
- A not too crowded, user-friendly and dynamic layout, with easy to find classes.
- A large print vendor that can provide print runs of 50,000 or more with an in-house bindery and fulfillment services.
- A call-out in the magazine for NEW classes to help draw attention to these recently added offerings.
- A section of kids classes, classes for senior citizens and adults.
- A very organized fulfillment department at the printer that can deal with multiple postal zones and a bulk rate mailings.
- A desire to build a fun publication that promotes recreation, learning and enjoyment for participants and the community.
- A paper stock that is recycled to help sustain a livable planet and to promote an environmental consciousness.
These tips are critical to developing an effective publication. My firm, HWDS, currently designs and prints recreation guides for municipal clients.
Remember: parks make people happy. Recreate your local recreation guide with a new design and help perk up the parks as well as the community!
If your company or organization needs an innovative or unique design solution for a publication, recreation guide or park district catalog please contact HWDS at firstname.lastname@example.org. We make beautiful things happen. To find out more please visit westdesign.com
Harlan West is the author of successfulcorporatecommunications.com and has been working as a creative director and design professional for more than 25 years and has designed and art directed hundred of publications for both print and online purposes.