Westland Associates needed a new catalog design for their network of services. Westland is a membership-based, group purchasing association. At the time I worked with them, they were focused on the automotive industry. This catalog was used as the primary source of information for members to order services.
The Planning Stages
The first steps involved figuring out the type systems for the catalog design and working out the column breaks. Working with stock photography, I developed the cover with the fading lines based on some earlier advertisements Westland had run. Another key concern was the page count. There was a tight budgetary constraint, which meant that we needed to keep the catalog from expanding to another spread. Once all of the text was roughly formatted, we knew we would have to be aggressive to keep to the page count. Some of the highlights of the design are the color breaks for the regional versus national services so you know you’re in the right section, the table of contents, and the vendor by product listing.
In all honesty, the most difficult part of this entire project was getting all of the logos from the vendor organizations that were part of the network. Some companies didn’t have an art department but had an art guy, so I needed to call them. Some had an art department, but they were on vacation. Some had no art contact at all and just kept using the same low-resolution file for their logo. I remember this part of the project taking nearly two weeks to come together. Finally, I had everyone’s logo and was able to get everything in place.
We had three rounds of revisions. This was a little tricky as we were so tight on space. Any time there was an addition of text, there needed to be a similar cut in order to keep the page count where it was; and (in later revisions), in order to keep the page wraps intact. This was a great learning experience for me, and looking back, I can see how the project informed projects that I’ve done since then.