Self-promotional lookbooks — steps to consider when creating one

July 28, 2018

If you’re new to an industry or taking the initial steps to launch a fresh brand and hope to get customers on board as quickly as you can, a self-promotional lookbook can certainly prove an incredibly effective resource.

While fashion models and designers have been making use of lookbooks for years, those in various other professional sectors are now also seeing them as a great tool to advertise a brand and its services. A reason for this is that content is kept short and minimal, with eye-catching images taking centre stage so that ranges can be showcased in a sleek, professional and stylish manner.

If you’re struggling to know where to begin when creating a self-promotional lookbook for the first time though, design specialists Precision Printing, which provides personalised wallpaper among many other printing services, offers the following tips:

Five key elements to have in every lookbook

To ensure you’re not wasting money on pages which don’t need to go into your lookbook, here are the five essential elements of these resources — followed by an explanation on why they’re each important:

  • The cover page.
  • Sensible navigation.
  • High-quality images.
  • Enticing product/service descriptions.
  • Key brand details (including contact information and social media addresses).

1. The cover page

Never rush when creating the cover page of your lookbook, as it will be the only section where you can make a 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.

2. Sensible navigation

There will be more of a chance that your lookbook will achieve success if it’s got a nice flow. 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.

One tip here is to collect ranges of products which tie into each other and make them sections of your lookbook. That way, readers aren’t having to flick backwards and forwards through your lookbook to find the items that interest them. 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.

3. High-quality images

As we’ve already mentioned, images should take centre stage of every lookbook. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality then, which may mean 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.

Whitespace can also be so effective in lookbooks. 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.

Don’t underestimate the value that a professional photographic can have when creating images for your lookbook too. 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.

4. Enticing product/service descriptions

While images will take centre stage in a lookbook, copy should accompany them to inform readers just what they’re looking at on each page. 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.

To write high-quality and effective copy in a lookbook…

  • Make copy concise: no unnecessary words or details.
  • Make copy informative: don’t leave your reader asking questions.
  • Make copy interesting: grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
  • Make copy enticing: make them want to give you their custom.

Another reason for using content in a lookbook is that it can help to build a relationship between the resource’s creator and potential customers of a brand. 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.

5. Key brand details

Addresses of interest and contact details should be inputted at the back of a lookback. This positioning doesn’t mean these elements aren’t 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.

Advice when printing a lookbook and some final pointers

Have you finished creating your first self-promotional lookbook? The next step will be to print out the resource. 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.

Before sending it from print though, check every element of your lookbook to make sure there are no errors present. Proofread your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. Then once it’s printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!


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