A firm favourite with fashion retailers and designers, the lookbook — a combination of striking images and neat copy, beautifully presented in one book— is now being used by startup businesses across all sectors. Here’s how to get your design right to ensure maximum impact from your lookbook.
Your lookbook should include
Decide on what your lookbook will feature early to save cash in the long run. 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).
Your cover page may be the first thing potential customers see about your brand, so it’s important to get it right. 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.
You should also carefully consider the running order of the pages in 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.
As an example, grouping related products together will make navigation of the book easier for the reader. 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.
Because visuals are imperative to the success of your lookbook, it’s crucial that you use strong imagery. 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.
Don’t be afraid to use whitespace within your designs too. 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.
If you’re concerned about capturing high-quality images for your lookbook, you could instead enlist the help of a professional photographer. 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.
They may be image-led, but your lookbook will still need to include copy. 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 must you consider when creating copy 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.
View the lookbook’s copy as an opportunity to better connect with your audience. 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.
Even though they are important details, keep all of your company’s contact information in one place towards the back of the lookbook. If you’re a new company on the scene, you’re going to have to shout about how new customers can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:
- Shop address.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Social media addresses.
Finalising your lookbook
Printing is the final stage of creating your lookbook. Have a chat to your digital 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.
Thoroughly check your lookbook before you send it over to ensure everything is 100% correct. 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!
With the right lookbook in place, you can get your startup business off to the very best start.