If you have a new brand and want to advertise your company in a sleek and professional manner, you need a lookbook. Used by fashion models and designers for decades, the lookbook is now making waves in a range of other professional industries — but why?
Lookbooks deliver a fast and effective way to spread brand awareness, focusing on striking images and minimal copy to grab your potential customer’s attention and entice them to learn more about you and your services.
How do you design and create a lookbook? Read our step-by-step guide and do it yourself in no time…
A sure-fire way to waste money is by packing your lookbook with unnecessary pages. Keep it simple and just include:
- Front page.
- Photos and illustrations.
- Contact information.
Like any magazine or newspaper, the front cover is your big chance to grab attention. 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.
Nobody wants to flip back and forth through a book or catalogue to find what they want. Chances are, anyone who reads your brand’s lookbook will be interested in a certain category of products or services, so group these together to make sure the lookbook flows well. To elaborate; 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.
Photos and illustrations
Visuals are the essence of a lookbook — that’s why they’ve been popular in the fashion sector for so long. To capitalise on this trend, make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professional-looking and of the highest quality. A good tactic is to utilise whitespace. 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.
There is much to consider when shooting your own images, but, if nothing else, bear in mind: props, lighting, colour, setting, and image resolution. If this is one of your first print marketing campaigns, you don’t want any mistakes.
Consider hiring a professional photographer, if you have the funds. On the other hand, it’s fine to do these yourself or ask a skilled member of your team to take your shots. Just remember to check that you have exclusive rights for everything you include if they aren’t all original images.
Although the lookbook is famous for its glossy imagery, the copy you include is still essential to its success rate. 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. Make sure that your language tone is friendly and engaging, and ensure that the text is:
- Concise: no unnecessary words.
- Informative: don’t leave your reader needing more information.
- Interesting: hold your audience’s attention.
- Enticing: ensure that they want to engage with your brand.
Images are fantastic for marketing a product, but helpful copy is also excellent at creating a personal relationship with your potential customers. 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 are stuffy and clumsy — and keep your product descriptions between 30 and 60 words in length to avoid taking focus from your lookbook’s images.
As a new brand, it’s important that you let people know how they can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:
- Shop address.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Social media addresses.
Before you send to print
Not proofreading your finished lookbook is very dangerous — everyone makes mistakes, but this can prove extremely costly if you send it off to print with errors. Check your copy for spelling mistakes, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices.
Getting your lookbook professionally printed
As soon as you’re confident with the look of your imagery and error-free copy, talk to your printing specialist about the range of finishes, paper stock and printing processes, such as litho print, that might work best. 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. Once it’s printed, start distributing it and reap the rewards!
A lookbook allows you to make an excellent first impression on potential customers. For a start-up brand, it’s definitely worth the investment if you want to stand out in the market.