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Whether you’re about to create and send out a direct mail campaign, or looking for new print marketing materials to display and share with those that come into your businesses, you’re probably considering printing either booklets or catalogs. 

We know it’s a common question print companies get from customers, if booklets or catalogs are better for businesses. So to answer the question “What’s the difference”, we’ve put together this article to highlight the differences as well as sharing how to decide which to use for your business.  Let’s take a look at the details on Booklets vs Catalogs and Catalogs vs Booklets below.


The Differences Between Booklets & Catalogs

Although there are a lot of similarities between the two, there are some major differences that impact which you use for your printed marketing piece.

Number of Pages

Ultimately the biggest difference is the total number of pages. A booklet is a shorter document with a minimum of at least 8 pages while a catalog has many more pages due to the contents of the piece which we’re sharing below. 


What’s included in the piece also determines if it should be a booklet or a catalog. Booklets tend to be more focused and highlight a specific product or service using a combination of both limited text and visuals. You don’t want to have too much informational copy that it overwhelms the reader. It has just enough imagery and text to entice the reader to either learn more or purchase. 

Catalogs typically include most, if not all products and services offered. A catalog has all necessary information about each product to allow a reader to make an informed decision. This information includes pricing, benefits, product dimensions, etc. 

Intended Goal

This is pretty straightforward but critical to deciding which piece to print. The overall goal of booklets is to simply attract the attention of potential customers while the intent of catalogs is to inform and sell.

So if you’re wanting to “show off” your products and services to current and potential customers, booklets are a perfect fit. But if the goal is to sell more of your products, catalogs are better suited for that.

Target Audience

The intended audience of a printed piece directly affects the final look and feel. Catalogs are often created to target a wider audience because it’s focused on selling your products to highlight a specific product or service that may turn away potential readers if it doesn’t appeal to them. 

Booklets are designed with a specific audience in mind based on the product or service being highlighted. Whether it’s men or women, adults with children or pet owners, when booklets are created to reach the intended audience, the impact is greater.


Should I Print A Booklet Or Catalog?

Even after reading about the major differences between the two you’re still stuck on which one you should print, here’s a quick guide to choosing. 

Catalog Printing is For Your Business If: 

  • Your products or services are clear to showcase and easy to explain
  • You sell a high number of low cost products

Booklet Printing is For Your Business If: 

  • You only sell a few products
  • You sell services, not products
  • Your products or services are expensive
  • Your products are customizable
  • Your products or services require a lot of information before someone can purchase


Hopefully this article makes it more clear the differences between booklets and catalogs and If you follow this simple guide when deciding to print a new marketing piece, we can guarantee you’ll see a bigger return on your investment. So if you came here looking for an answer to the question “What is the difference between a booklet and a catalog?”, now you know!