Playcraft Systems 2023 Buyer’s Guide

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Since 2009, I have been at the helm of producing Playcraft Systems' annual 200+ page product catalog. Each issue, printed under my direction, showcases the company's offerings.

Design Objective:

This catalog serves as an all-encompassing introduction to Playcraft Systems and its product lines. It's a vital tool for distributors, aiding them in various customer interactions throughout their sales journey.

Target Audience:

The design caters to the needs of distributors' end clients, primarily targeting schools, parks and recreation departments, churches, and government contract purchasers.

Design Inspiration:

The design draws from Playcraft Systems' established visual identity. It features a minimalist, information-centric approach, marked by bold content display, and refined use of iconography and typographic lockups.

Color Palette and Typography:

A palette of desaturated primary colors, paired with the modern flair of Proxima Nova font, reflects the company's focus on playful yet sophisticated and quality-driven design.

Layout and Composition:

The layout employs a playful, geometric design language, linking content blocks for clear communication. It balances subtle, intuitive information architecture with a focus on product renderings, descriptions, and photography.

Imagery and Graphics:

The catalog utilizes high-contrast, vivid images and renders. For new products lacking photography, composites of renders with real photos and generated backgrounds are used.

Software and Tools:

I used Adobe Photoshop for image composition and editing, Illustrator for creating graphics, icons, and illustrations, InDesign for layout and pagination, and 3DS Max for 3D product rendering.

Challenges and Solutions:

The project's three-month timeline was stringent, encompassing rendering, graphics production, photo editing, proofing, and prepress. Redesigning most sections annually to accommodate an expanding product line was particularly challenging, especially reflowing 212 pages of product information.

Personal Contribution:

My role encompassed art direction, graphic design, and image production/editing for this project.