Creating a lookbook for your startup business: how to
When a business is first established, they need to quickly increase awareness and build up a network of customers. A lookbook could be key to doing this.
Once solely used within the fashion industry, lookbooks feature bold imagery and minimal content to showcase a product range or services. Here to explain how to create an effective lookbook is litho printing specialist Precision Printing.
The essential ingredients
What do you need to include in your lookbook? Establishing this early will help you keep costs down. The essential lookbook elements are:
- Cover page.
- Sensible navigation.
- High-quality images.
- Enticing product/service descriptions.
- Key brand details (including contact information and social media addresses).
It’s important to get your cover right to ensure your lookbook makes the right first impression. The objective of the front cover is to grab attention, which means you need to think: attractive image, excellent use of colour, and an appealing title to compel the reader to want to know more. Cover pages typically detail the month and year and, if it’s not in the title, you need to have your brand name and logo somewhere here, too.
Likewise, you need to pay attention to the order of pages within your lookbook. You want to create a good experience for your potential customer when they’re reading your lookbook, and making sure it flows without interruption is essential.
Where you can, group related products together to help readers navigate the lookbook. If you offer both goods and services, keep these separate, and try to section off connected articles into clear categories to deliver consistency and avoid making your lookbook appear disjointed.
The right visuals will be critical to the success of your lookbook. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality, which means considering props, lighting, colour, setting, and image resolution for each shot. If this is one of your first print marketing campaigns, you don’t want any mistakes.
Utilising whitespace can give a professional finish to your lookbook and is widely used within the design process. Not every image needs to run border to border and whitespace is a modern photography technique used to create a focus point and highlight a particular part of the page — use it sparingly.
To achieve the quality finish you’re looking for, you may want to consider employing a professional photographer to take some shots for the lookbook. However, you can do these yourself if you prefer, but just remember to check that you have exclusive rights for everything you include if they aren’t all original images.
Copy is another essential element of your lookbook. Essentially, a lookbook will feature product/service descriptions and — if you’re a start-up — perhaps a brief brand description so everyone knows what you’re about.
What techniques should you employ when writing for your lookbook? Quality lookbook copy must be:
- Concise: no unnecessary words or details.
- Informative: don’t leave your reader asking questions.
- Interesting: grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
- Enticing: make them want to give you their custom.
Use your content as a method for forming a relationship with your reader. Use professional language to convey your reliability, but try and adopt a chatty tone to come across as approachable. Try to avoid using very long words and sentences — these sound stuffy and clumsy — and keep your product descriptions between 30 and 60 words in length to avoid taking focus from your lookbook’s images.
Lookbooks generally place contact information towards the back, however these details are still very important. If you’re a new company on the scene, you’re going to have to shout about where new customers can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:
- Shop address.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Social media addresses.
Lookbook printing options and final preparations
With the design complete, you’re ready to send it to print. Have a chat to your printing specialist about the type of paper stock and finishes that might look good and ask to see a few samples to get a better idea. The worst scenario would be to put so much time, money and effort into designing the perfect lookbook, only to have it ruined by opting for a cheap paper or poor finish.
Carry out a thorough check of your lookbook before sending it to the printers to ensure you are 100% happy with how it looks. Proofread your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. After its printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!