Amscan is the world’s leading party company, offering a varied range of party supplies and balloons to suit every occasion. To highlight their wide range of products, the company publishes a comprehensive annual catalogue. Orion handles Amscan’s large-format annual catalogue each year, and this one was bigger and better than ever.
With warehouses located in China, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Australia, Amscan is never far from their customers and constantly have their fingers on the pulse of which products are in demand. Having forged successful relationships with international licensors such as Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and Viacom, the company is able to provide a huge variety of products featuring popular characters and the latest world-wide trends.
The 2018 Everyday Catalogue catalogue features everything from kids and milestone birthday party supplies to specialty balloons, costumes and much, much more. Amscan is ‘your one stop party shop!’ and wants to make sure their extensive range of products are presented in a clear and eye-catching way. To implement this, we were required to develop a series of processes and templates that would assist in streamlining the design process from initial conception until the final stages of print production.
Orion Creative was engaged to create Amscan’s 2018 Everyday Catalogue, which consists of more than 9,500 products spread across a whopping 1036 pages. Made up of 18 ranges, each product required an image, an item code, a description and a unique barcode. Layout and product information needed to be consistent throughout the catalogue.
The aim of the catalogue was to increase Amscan’s exposure as the market leader in B2B party supplies, allowing customers to view and order from their wide range of party supplies, costumes and balloons.
The scope of this sizable project included planning and management, design, proofing and coordinating a print run of 4000 copies. With a short three-month turnaround (that included a two-week Christmas shut down period), we had a very tight timeframe to deliver the catalogue in time for the client’s print deadline in early January.
Preparation is the key to success
The sheer breadth of the catalogue required an extensive planning process to ensure the whole process was as efficient as possible. Orion’s design team experimented with various templates that would provide both flexibility and functionality to be able to provide a framework that would work seamlessly across the various categories in the catalogue.
InDesign master pages, styles and library assets allowed us to roll out each product range so that they would all fit within the chosen structure. This was a huge time-saving exercise that allowed us to place a larger focus on image quality, accuracy and print quality.
Constant communication with the client was critical throughout the project, with a steady stream of product range updates, edits and new imagery filtering through on a daily basis.
Design is in the details
Each product had to be manually styled and proofed due to the number of variables that existed across the product ranges. This was one of the most time-consuming parts of the project, and required a keen eye to make sure each product number and description was placed with the correct image. Although we used text and image merge to speed up the process, things can easily go awry if imagery and text aren’t properly matched up.
Each of the 9000 products also required a unique barcode that was generated and individually checked using a hand-held barcode reader to ensure each item was scanning correctly.
Check, check and check again
To make sure no mistakes slipped through the cracks, the document was proofed very closely by Orion designers and copywriters as well as the team at Amscan. Keeping track of edits and proofing is a big job on a project of this size and designers had to ensure that any updates made didn’t compromise the format and flow of the document as a whole.
Once the approved document was sent to the printers, we received a final proof of the whole catalogue, and each page had to be individually checked and signed off. This was our last chance to pick up any errors and required us to closely check each product code, image quality and barcode.
We’re here to help you too
With more than 4000 copies printed, the Amscan 2018 Everyday Catalogue was a true testament to Orion’s project management, design and proofing skills. If you need help creating a catalogue or another type of large-scale document that will wow your customers, give us a call.