The Age-old Argument Artists Are from Mars, Marketers and Merc
Then there is the artist's bane: vendor-supplied photography. It's no secret that every artist would prefer to shoot the entire product in any catalog they design.
In addition to giving the artist layout flexibility and image quality control, controlling product shoots insures that products will be represented in a way that's both brand-enhancing and that portrays all the benefits in the best light. However, vendor-supplied photography has become a virtual given in today's catalog market; and as necessary evils go, it can be quite a time and money saver.
To make vendor-supplied photography work for the bottom line rather than against it, images must be supplied before the design phase, and there always must be a quality-control checkpoint.
Every artist needs the discretion to refuse vendor photography when it's inadequate, or at least to be able to alter the photo for improvements. Poor photography, lighting, benefit representation, resolution, brand-enhancing environment ... all these are good reasons to re-shoot a product for which a vendor has supplied a photograph.
The question to ask: Will the value of the new presentation outweigh the cost of a re-shoot? The product must earn the space it's given in the book. Poor benefit representation, or muddied or bit-mapped resolution, can cripple the product's ability to earn its keep.
Lastly in the merchandising information segment is the identification of hero products in the design phase. Everyone saves time and frustration if the merchandiser can identify which products should be featured based on sales, margin and brand-enhancement value. If you let the artists choose, they'll always pick the really neat looking indigo ostrich plume clock.
Why? Because artists are visual folks, and that ostrich plume clock is too much of a visual temptation for even the most Mars-literate among them to resist.
4. Production Specifications.