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The PPE Catalogue 2018/19 – What’s The Story?

September saw the launch of the new Lyreco PPE catalogue – bigger and better than ever, jam packed with products from some of the world’s top brands.

The printing presses are running and the anticipation is rising, the long hard slog of putting together this masterpiece is almost at an end, at least for another year. So, what is the story behind the catalogue? How does it get made? Who does what in the process? Here, we proudly tell you the story behind the PPE catalogue.

Product and Brand Selection

It started back in late 2017 when the PPE product manager, Nadine Sherwood, had a round of meetings with suppliers to decide the products and ranges to be included. The meetings took place over many months and resulted in scores of new products and brands being introduced.

PPE catalogue brand logos

Thanks to all our suppliers who contributed to this years catalogue!

Putting It Together

Once all the products had been agreed, Nadine and the product management assistants, together with the product specialists, consulted the in-house design studio. The head of studio, Stu Fereday, talked to his team of graphic designers and appointed Chris Hughes to take charge of the catalogue. This was back in December 2017.

The product team selected the products and suppliers, and determined the first layout. Chris then designed the layout including the front and rear covers while the marketing communications department was responsible for proofing, negotiating the print costs, and booking in the print job and delivery slots with the appointed printing company. We’re a company that likes to support local businesses so we chose Precision Colour Printing (PCP) of Telford for our printing.

Nadine then paginated the first copy, preparing a rough draft to show the layout and page count. After this stage, the studio could start to design the page layout. The team of graphic designers used InDesign to infill text and imagery. The written content was complex and comprehensive, each product had detailed technical information which had to be perfect. PPE, by its very nature, has to be described correctly and each product specification must be 100% in its accuracy. With over 3,000 products in eleven sections, this was a mammoth job.

The first draft was then ready to be proofed – this happened multiple times, by numerous people. The more pairs of eyes that checked the content, the better.

Work ongoing with the catalogue

Our designer Chris Hughes working on the catalogue cover

The Cover Story

Next up was the all-important cover. Chris created a suite of potential cover options for the wider marketing team to mull over. The designs were well received and a couple were shortlisted as strong contenders. However, after further discussion, it was felt that we wanted to avoid using professional models or stills of equipment on the cover. We wanted to use real people wearing the actual products that we sell. We felt that this authenticity would resonate with our customers. The idea was that we wanted to be different, bold and original.

Then came the tricky bit – who would be willing to appear on the cover? A number of Lyreco colleagues were mentioned and a round of phone calls and emails ensued. A few hours later the list of “models” was compiled.

Stu recommended a photographic studio in Walsall, SAM Photography, again giving us the opportunity to support another local business.

Nadine rounded up some of our key suppliers and acquired the clothing and equipment to be used for the shoot.

Thursday, August 9th and photographer Sallie Magnante, together with Louise Hoffman, Lyreco’s marketing and communications manager, gathered the troops together and the shoot began. Our “models” for the day were:

  • Tony Farr – Senior E-Business Coordinator
  • Tess Skillen – Marketing and Communications Executive
  • Stuart Fereday – Graphic Design Studio Coordinator
  • Ellie Farley – Product Manager
  • Ash D’Souza – Graduate

(left to right) Stuart, Ellie, Tony, Tess and Ashley

While Sallie was snapping away, Josh Weale, digital marketing executive at Lyreco, was busily shooting a “behind the scenes” video. Keep your eyes peeled for that!

There was a substantial portfolio of photos for the team to choose from and the final cover shot was eventually selected. The front cover shows Tess, Ash, Tony, Stu and Ellie looking like they mean business and the three guys also take centre stage on the back cover. Ash is now contemplating a future in professional modelling!

And Finally…

The final round of proofing was completed and it was time to get the printing underway. PCP was briefed to print 50,000 copies in total – 40,000 for the UK mainland, 2,000 for Northern Ireland and 8,000 for the Irish Republic.

As well as the coveted print version, there is a digital catalogue available which you can access here.

Happy reading and happy shopping!

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