In catalog design the cover often has little information. A photo, company name, maybe a website, and a header possibly with subheader seems to be fairly common.

For an example here's a Ford Fiesta catalog:

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They could've put additional copy. The HP, Best in Class, ample cargo space, etc in some of that white space and still had a nice design.

Here's a Pelican case catalog cover:

enter image description here

Again, they could've chosen a different design to fit a small blurb about their cases build quality and durability on there beyond the "Watertight Protector Cases" tagline.

Is there any factual data to support this design over jumping right into the body copy on the cover? Understandably there's a historical trend from books of... This is the cover, open the cover and then you have the content. The question is, in current design of marketing collateral does any data indicate a relevance to keep with that precedence?

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    So you are coming at this with the idea that it might help to cut 4 pages from the paper budget by starting on the cover ("if trying to cut costs")?
    – Yorik
    Sep 21, 2016 at 15:44
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    @Yorik I'm not really sure how that's relevant beyond back-reasoning. The question whether I'm looking at it from a budgetary perspective or not is still the same --- "Is there data to indicate a traditional cover sees better return than going straight into some copy."
    – Ryan
    Sep 21, 2016 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


There probably isn't data one way or the other, as nobody would bother researching what's both obvious and routine... that of leaning on a brand's reputation through confident presentation (and the absolute projection of confidence) for a product introduction and establishment.

Perception is 9/10ths of the law in design and marketing. ;)

More seriously, even if there were some stats on the impression/perception lost versus the money saved in print, how are you going to measure that against the sales velocity (or otherwise) created by the new brochure?

Furthermore, the expectation is a presentation. You'd not sprint through the start a speech without properly introducing yourself, your credibility and contention to save time.

Look up "False economy" and "First impressions"


As usual, it depends… on the "appeal."

Advertising and marketing material is designed to appeal to a specific target audience. To generalize, a rational appeal uses information while an appeal to emotion uses triggers such as colour, composition and layout.

Most designs use a bit of both kinds of appeal. At some point, a targeted appeal may go to one extreme. Adding more copy to a dramatic cover layout pulls the appeal from primarily visceral to a more rational one. That may or may not be desirable to the marketing product campaign manager.

Here's more on the dichotomy by Ken Orwig: http://www.orwig.net/articles/rational_emotl/rational_emotl.html

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