Creating self-promotional lookbooks for start-ups

Creating self-promotional lookbooks for start-ups

If you’re just launching your company, you’re probably looking for cost-effective ways to attract potential customers and build brand awareness.

One of the most effective marketing tools you have at your disposal to advertise your brand is the lookbook. Used by fashion models and designers for decades, the lookbook is now popularly used in a range of other professional industries. Focusing on striking images and minimal content, you get the opportunity to show your products and services in a way that’s sleek, stylish and professional.

So, how do you create a successful lookbook? For top tips form industry experts, check out this lookbook guide from book printing services supplier, Precision Printing.


Main components of a lookbook

What goes in a lookbook? Although these are versatile and can adapt to any industry, there are a few key features you should include regardless of your brand:

  • Exciting cover.
  • Attractive product/service descriptions.
  • Functional navigation.
  • Excellent-quality photos.
  • Important details (i.e. contact information and social media addresses).

Front page

You lookbook’s front cover is the first thing your potential customer will see — so pay special attention to its layout and aesthetic. The objective of the front cover is to grab attention, so it must have attractive images, good use of colour and an enticing title to draw in the reader. Cover pages typically detail the month and year and, if it’s not in the title, you need to have your brand name and logo somewhere here, too.


Although the function of a lookbook is to show, not tell; copy is still crucial. Essentially, a lookbook will feature product/service descriptions and perhaps a brief brand description so everyone knows what you’re about.

When writing for your lookbook, ensure that the copy is:

  • Inviting: to attract customers.
  • Succinct: to avoid boring your audience.
  • Useful: so your reader isn’t left with questions.
  • Interesting: to grab and hold attention.

Lookbook content is primarily used to provide more information to the imagery. However, it’s also essential to establishing a good customer-to-business relationship. Use professional language to convey your reliability, but try and adopt a chatty tone to come across as approachable. Avoid using very long words and sentences — these sound stuffy and clumsy — and keep your product descriptions between 30 and 60 words in length to avoid taking focus from your images.

Layout and navigation

How you order your lookbook also plays a part in how well it is received by the reader. You want to create a good experience for your potential customer, which means that making sure it flows without interruption.

The first thing you must consider is which products and services complement each other. Putting similar items together means that someone looking for a particular product or needing a particular service won’t have to go back and forth through the lookbook to browse what they need. If you offer both goods and services, keep these separate, and try to section off connected articles into clear categories to deliver consistency and avoid making your lookbook appear disjointed.


While all features of a lookbook are critical to the success of the finished product, the quality and power of the imagery is central. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality (i.e. consider: props, lighting, colour, setting, and image resolution). If this is one of your first print marketing campaigns, you don’t want any mistakes.

It’s not all about angles, lighting and backgrounds, though. There are a few photography methods you can use to add professionalism to your lookbook. Whitespace is a modern photography technique used to create a focus point and highlight a particular part of the page — excellent for emphasising a product, but use it sparingly.

It’s also recommended that you employ a professional photographer to take your snaps and make sure they’re of the best quality. You can do these yourself if you prefer, but just remember to check that you have exclusive rights for everything you include if they aren’t all original images.


At the back of your lookbook should be the important information to help prospective clients get in touch with you. If you’re a new company on the scene, you’re going to have to shout about where new customers can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:

  • Email address.
  • Shop address.
  • Social media addresses.
  • Phone number.

Lookbook printing options and final preparations

It’s a great feeling to finally finish your lookbook’s overall design — but now, it’s time for printing and distribution! Chat with your printing specialist about the type of paper stock and finishes that might look good and ask to see a few samples to get a better idea.

Just before sending your finished design to the printers, proofread every inch of it to make sure it’s perfect. Check your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. After it’s printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!

Creating a lookbook is a shrewd marketing move for a start-up looking to introduce itself, attract clientele and leave a lasting impression.


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