How to Create an Online Lookbook
Do you work in the fashion world, or are you considering a career in design? No matter the role you want to play in it - as a photographer, model or stylist - you will need a lookbook. Lookbooks also act as catalogues and portfolios for brands, so if you have a fashion line or boutique you will need one as well.
A lookbook is useful to showcase your brand and your specific products, helping potential customers imagine how the clothes and accessories will look like in real life. Therefore, they are a central part of fashion marketing. Stay with us at oneHOWTO and learn how to create an online lookbook!
How to create a lookbook for a company or brand
If you have a fashion, design or lifestyle company, you will need a lookbook to build up your brand. A lookbook can act as a portfolio for the collection of the season. You can make a lookbook, print it and distribute it to shops in person, so that it can be used as a catalogue.
However, an online or digital lookbook is perfect if you want to engage with potential costumers. By making the lookbook accessible and shareable, you'll get free marketing as the audience comments on it and pins it to their Pinterest account, for instance.
In order to create a lookbook for your company, first of all you need to have a logo and a creative line. Everyone working for the brand should be on the same page: you all must know who is your target audience and develop strategies to reach it.
In a lookbook, the clothes or accessories are seen in context, which helps the audience relate to them and imagine themselves using the products. Therefore, your lookbook must have "shoppable" looks. Below the picture, or when hovering over it, the customer should find a list of the products and how to get them.
When creating a company lookbook, it is especially important to establish who holds the rights to the pictures and who can use them.
How to create a lookbook for a fashion blog
If you're a fashion blogger, the purpose of your lookbook is slightly different. Your goal is not to sell the products, but to build up your image and projection as your own brand: your lookbook will become your online portfolio.
Your audience will look at your lookbook to discover your tips on how to wear a trendy item and find out new ways to combine items. To connect with this potential audience, it's good to be personal and explain who are your fashion icons and your goals and ideas.
Since creating an individual lookbook is less risky than spending lots of money on a catalogue for a company, you can benefit from a crafted, DIY approach, as if you were making your own zine.
How to design a lookbook
No matter if you're making your own lookbook or one for an established company, the basics on how to design it are the same.
- Write a short introduction to your brand. What is your philosophy? What do you care about in fashion? What is the collection of looks about? If you can build a story or a narrative, all the better.
- Play around with templates. Sketching them by hand first is very useful to get to work with a clear mind. Pictures that take up a whole page are perfect to illustrate context and transmit a story, while grids and pop-ups are good for clarity. We recommend mixing long-distance pictures that show the whole look with detailed photos that help the audience get a sense of the texture of the fabrics. You can also consider a multimedia approach: what about videos or gifs?
- A lookbook must be informative above all. The contact information, names and prices of the products should always be easy to find. We recommend adding a personal, fun touch to the product descriptions so that the viewers spend more time on your lookbook.
- Choose a format. Do not go for the easy option and use pdf for your online lookbook, because nobody is going to download it. Instead, use software like Publizr, ISSUU, MagCloud, LookCast, FlippingBook or LucidPress. Research the different options.What you want in a lookbook platform is that's easy to scroll and navigate, that it's shareable, and that each page is indexed and searchable through engines like Google.If you don't have the time or the skills to use specific software, just upload your lookbook pictures into a Pinterest board. Don't forget to use descriptions, categories and tags. It's useful to pin other people's outfits to your boards.
When in doubt, an online lookbook should be designed with cohesiveness and simplicity in mind. This is about the clothes, not about your graphic design skills.
How to shoot pictures for a lookbook
Now that you have everything, it's time to get the actual pictures for your lookbook!
- Decide on a budget. Do you need to travel? Do you have access to a studio? Will you need to hire people to take the pictures? You need to think this over before starting to work.
- Plan the shoot. Take your time coming up with ideas and looking for inspiration. It's always easy if you choose a theme and build moodboards around it: take into account what your audience likes and aspires to, and play to those aspirations in the pictures.
- Look for help and start booking or hiring people. Maybe you only need a friend to lend a hand, but some lookbook shoorts require models, producers, stylists, etc. If you're not an experienced photographer, get in touch with a professional. They will know how to build a narrative and what details and elements to showcase.
- Specify the pictures beforehand. A shot list is very useful so that everyone knows what you're looking for and so that you don't stray from the theme or budget.
- Start shooting! Bring safety pins for any last-minute touches, and don't forget to play music in the background and keep everyone comfortable.
This is how to create an online lookbook to kick off your career in the fashion world. Do you have any tips or experience on the matter? Tell us in the comments section!
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