Catalog Automation and the history of catalogues

Did you know that the first catalogue in North America was produced by Tiffany & Co. back in 1845? Tiffany’s Blue Book revolutionised mass product communication in the mid 19th century and spawned a new business model fueled by direct marketing.

Fitting then, that this photo taken on a recent business trip to the East Coast of the USA shows the new Catalog Automation Pty Ltd Catalogue Prototype with Tiffany’s in the background.

Catalogues were used extensively from the mid 19th century to support an emerging business model of direct marketing which didn’t typically require a branch of retail stores. They were particularly important in making goods available across continental North America as the South and West of the country were settled.

As catalogues developed they were adopted widely as a means of cheaply and effectively highlighting products to a mass market.

A portion of the Sears catalogue shown highlights how similar these early catalogues are to what is produced today: products arranged in a grid in a consistent format with an image, product description, product code and price.

Just as Tiffany’s, Sears, Eddie Bauer and JC Penney used catalogues to transform their businesses, Catalog Automation is seeking to transform the production of engaging, information rich product catalogues for anyone who produces a printed catalogue.

Catalog Automation merges structured data with pre-designed layout templates to make catalogue pages within minutes, not days! Catalogue designs range from regularly produced 4-8 page display catalogues through to 500+ page trade catalogues featuring detailed product information.

Catalog Automation uses a proven methodology to analyse, design and implement a lasting solution, either working with your company so that key team members are trained to create future catalogues themselves or as a full service offering where print-ready PDFs are supplied.

If you’d like more information regarding the services Catalog Automation has to offer please call 1300 313 644 or email