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Catalogue vs. Brochure: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 8, 2023
A "Catalogue" lists products or items for sale, while a "Brochure" provides promotional or informational content about a company, service, or event.

Key Differences

"Catalogue" and "Brochure" are both printed materials, but they serve different primary purposes. A "Catalogue" is a comprehensive list of items, often products for sale, complete with descriptions, images, and sometimes prices. Its main objective is to present available items or services to potential buyers or users.
A "Brochure," in contrast, is a promotional or informational pamphlet. Instead of listing products or services exhaustively, it provides an overview or insight into a company, service, event, or topic. Its design and content aim to inform, persuade, or introduce a specific subject to its readers.
While a "Catalogue" is typically more extensive and detailed, focusing on breadth, a "Brochure" often emphasizes design and persuasion. The latter might use compelling visuals, testimonials, or narratives to engage its audience, whereas the former prioritizes clear, often systematic presentation of its items.
In terms of format, "Catalogues" might be thicker, resembling books or magazines, especially if they cover a broad product range. "Brochures" are usually more concise, often folded and made up of a few panels, making them easy to distribute or display.
In essence, while both "Catalogue" and "Brochure" aim to inform and persuade to some degree, the former is more about listing, and the latter is more about presenting or promoting.

Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Lists products or items
Promotes or informs about a topic or company

Content Focus

Detailed descriptions and images
Overview with compelling visuals or narratives

Length & Format

Often thicker, like magazines
Usually concise, often folded


Inform about available items/services
Persuade or introduce a topic


Mailed, given at stores, or online
Handed out, in display racks, or at events

Catalogue and Brochure Definitions


An official list of materials in a collection
The art Catalogue detailed every piece in the exhibition.


A small booklet promoting or informing about a subject
The tourist office provided a Brochure about local attractions.


An extensive list or record
The Catalogue of stars helps astronomers in their research.


A printed piece of marketing material
The Brochure highlighted the company's sustainability efforts.


A list or itemized display, as of titles, course offerings, or articles for exhibition or sale, usually including descriptive information or illustrations.


A folded pamphlet giving details about an event or service
The travel Brochure showcased exotic destinations.


A publication, such as a book or pamphlet, containing such a list or display
A catalog of fall fashions.
A seed catalog.


A concise printed document with information on a specific topic
The health Brochure explained the benefits of a balanced diet.


A list or enumeration
A catalog of complaints.


An informative paper document often used for advertising
I picked up a Brochure to learn more about the new product line.


A card catalog.


A small booklet or pamphlet, often containing promotional material or product information.


To make an itemized list of
Catalog a record collection.


A booklet of printed informational matter, like a pamphlet, often for promotional purposes.
Have a look in the Vans brochure for a new vacuum cleaner


To list or include in a catalog.


A printed and stitched book containing only a few leaves; a pamphlet; a single sheet folded to make four pages.


To classify (a book or publication, for example) according to a categorical system.


A small book usually having a paper cover


To make a catalog.


To be listed in a catalog
An item that catalogs for 200 dollars.


A systematic list of books, names, pictures, etc.


A complete (usually alphabetical) list of items.


A list of all the publications in a library.


A retailer's magazine detailing the products they sell, allowing the reader to order them for delivery.


(US) A book printed periodically by a college, university, or other institution that gives a definitive description of the institution, its history, courses and degrees offered, etc.


A directory listing.


(music) A complete list of a recording artist's or a composer's songs.


A series of unwelcome or unpleasant things, often similar.


To put into a catalogue.


To make a catalogue of.


To add items (e.g. books) to an existing catalogue.


(philately) to value or sort stamps using a catalogue


A list or enumeration of names, or articles arranged methodically, often in alphabetical order; as, a catalogue of the students of a college, or of books, or of the stars.


To make a list or catalogue; to insert in a catalogue.


A complete list of things; usually arranged systematically;
It does not pretend to be a catalogue of his achievements


A book or pamphlet containing an enumeration of things;
He found it in the Sears catalog


Make a catalog of


Make a catalogue, compile a catalogue of something


A comprehensive list of items, often for sale
The store released a new Catalogue for the fall season.


A systematic collection of information
The library's Catalogue helps locate books efficiently.


A printed booklet showcasing a range of products
I flipped through the Catalogue to find the latest furniture designs.


Can a "Brochure" be digital?

Yes, many companies offer digital brochures, especially for online marketing.

Is a "Catalogue" always for selling products?

No, it can list items or information, but often it showcases products for sale.

What's the main goal of a "Brochure"?

To promote, inform, or introduce a topic or company to its readers.

Do "Catalogues" always have prices listed?

Not always, some might list products without prices, directing readers to inquire or visit a website.

Are "Catalogues" only for businesses?

No, they can be used by libraries, museums, or any entity wanting to list items or information systematically.

Do "Brochures" always advertise something?

Not always; some may purely inform, educate, or introduce a topic without direct advertising.

What's the typical size of a "Brochure"?

It varies, but common sizes include 8.5" x 11" (tri-fold) or smaller sizes like 4" x 9".

Can "Catalogues" be interactive?

In digital form, yes, they can have interactive elements like links or videos.

How are "Brochures" typically distributed?

They can be handed out, mailed, placed in display racks, or given at events.

Do online stores use "Catalogues"?

Yes, many have digital catalogues or "e-catalogues" on their websites.

What's a "tri-fold Brochure"?

It's a brochure folded twice, creating three panels on each side.

Can a "Catalogue" be just a single page?

While typically more extensive, some smaller catalogues might be single-paged, especially for niche products.

Are "Brochures" always colorful?

While many are colorful to attract attention, some might be monochrome based on design preferences.

Is a product "Catalogue" the same as a product "Brochure"?

Not exactly. Catalogues list multiple products, while brochures might focus on promoting a single product or a theme.

What's the difference between a "Brochure" and a flyer?

A "Brochure" is typically more detailed, folded, and can have multiple panels, while a flyer is single-paged and more concise.

Can a "Catalogue" be for services and not just products?

Yes, some catalogues list services offered by a company or organization.

Are "Brochures" costly to produce?

Costs vary based on design, printing quality, volume, and distribution methods.

What's the difference between a "Catalogue" and a magazine?

A "Catalogue" lists products or services, while a magazine contains articles, stories, and ads.

Can a "Brochure" be multiple pages?

Yes, some brochures are booklet-style with multiple pages, especially if they cover a broader topic in detail.

How often are "Catalogues" updated?

It depends on the business; some might update seasonally, annually, or when they have new products.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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