How long does it take to lay out a direct mail catalog?

Answered by Marti Burton, President, Warthog Studios

Warthog Studios is listed in PBO's Resource Center:

What is the average production time for a designer to lay out a 64-page, 8 ½ x 11, direct mail catalog with an average of six ads per page?

Typically, the initial layout and design of a 64-page catalog takes three weeks. Then the back and forth with proofing, corrections, added copy changes, and changes to design can extend this process to four or five weeks. (The production schedule from inception to design, photo shoot, table photography, and prepress usually takes three months.)

This time varies, depending on the copywriting, ads, formatting, image, and model use, photo shoot requirements, design grid use, color intricacies, prepress support, proofing, etc. The other totally unpredictable piece of this schedule is the influence and input of buyers, marketers, and other staff -- which often results in many changes and additional time added to the schedule.
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