A catalogue is a sheet of pages that are bound together in an arranged manner to present the valuables offered by a certain organization with a professional outlook. The reader who reads through the catalogue can get detailed information about the possessions that are being searched. The materials that are represented in the catalogue can be a service that is served by the institution or a product that is sought by a certain customer. Catalogues are used by many organizations such as a furniture maker who only operates along with the demands of his clients; a museum that guides its visitors with the artifacts that are being preserved; a library that stores the information about the different types of books and many more. Institutions create catalogues to store the records of the materials as it helps in arranging the inventories. Besides having a catalogue for its customers an organization also develops a catalogue of the available accessories to maintain their flow of business. Such a catalogue is not made publicly available and is provided to those who are within the boundaries of its management. Different types of catalogues serve different purposes for an organization. The most important function of a catalogue is to aid its readers in having an idea about the different types of items that are available with the organization. The mentioned item has a detailed report about its qualities and the purpose that is being served. The provided information varies as per the decisions of a particular organization.
Cataloging the inventory helps one to understand the possessed items, where they are (on display, in-store, on loan) and the stories it offers. It aids in prioritizing the work and resources by understanding how important any given item is. Catalog management is a very important aspect that enables a retailer to improve their business. The data provided within the catalogue is also an important factor that needs to be looked upon by the catalogue designer. Catalogues having a piece of consistent and fully-attributed product information ensures a pleasant shopping experience for its customers. The various physical forms of a catalogue are book catalogue, card catalogue, microform catalogue and online catalogue. Each of these different forms of catalogues has its advantages and disadvantages. Book catalogues and microform catalogues are inflexible when certain additions are made to a particular inventory. But a card and online catalogue have provisions for quick updates for the added materials.
As the name states for the different forms of catalogue, they are designed in a similar manner. A Book Catalog is a type of catalogue which is designed in the form of a book. Similarly, a card catalogue is a catalogue designed as a card, a Microform catalogue is a special type of catalogue created with the help of microfilms, and an Online Catalog is a catalogue designed on the internet. Designing each of these catalogues requires suitable time and effort as there are various elements associated with the design process. Importance should be given on certain elements such as the information that must be provided, a suitable graphical representation of the material, representing the brand or organization with a professional aspect, etc. Apart from that while designing a book catalogue additional elements such as the cover of the book, the binding process come into play, designing a catalogue on the internet adds on another set of elements such as the display features that must be added to represent the brand, the materials, the address for the catalogue that is being represented on the internet, etc.