Features and subfeatures help create an interesting and energetic catalog — which also makes it easier for customers to shop. Here are a few techniques for creating features and subfeatures:
Allocate more space to important products. Yes, this means some items will get less space. But it’s rarely necessary to cut product; good creative can make it happen.
Including more space for a product can mean a lot of things. The shot can get bigger, you can use bullets to call attention to features, callouts to point out construction. Or you could use copy to call out important information in the photograph, or add more text in the copy block to justify an expensive purchase.
Include rule lines around features. Often, you don’t even have to change any product space allocation; the rule does enough to differentiate the product. I prefer thin rule lines, as they provide almost a subliminal callout of a feature. But thick lines and color rule lines work in some environments.
Put a tinted background behind a feature. Again, you don’t have to change any product size allocation. The trick here is to keep the tints very light so surprinted black type reads easily. You should also plan a color palette that complements and emphasizes the product, rather than one that competes with it.
Join complementary products. Grouping two or more products and joining them together visually is another way to gain impact without taking up more space. You can do this with a grouping of separate photographs and all the body copy within a tint or rule line.
In many cases, products do well when photographed together — for example, a skirt and a blouse; plates and tablecloth; or a comforter, sheets and decorative pillows.