How to Create the Perfect Line Sheet
Do you know what the perfect line sheet has?
First of all, what exactly is a line sheet?
A line sheet (unlike your look book) is an essential selling tool that you’ll need when presenting your collection to buyers.
These important sheets have all of the information buyers need when deciding whether or not purchase for you.
Line sheets should be easy to read and thoughtfully designed.
This is still part of the selling process so you need to ensure that they are designed properly, have relevant information, and are similar to the rest of your branding and selling material.
Don’t skimp on effort or style for one of your most important selling tools!
The most important aspect on your line sheet is, of course, the actual information.
You want to include all of the categories below.
Photos are very important when putting together your line sheet because they act as another way to silently sell your collection.
You want your photos to be as visually pleasing as your Look Book, however, these photos are usually more basic and detailed so that the buyer can see exactly what they are buying.
*A lookbook is a different piece of selling material that is used to capture the overall brand aesthetic and to create a trend story or mood for your brand. Do not get this confused with your line sheet.
Having the model stand straight forward, sideways, and from behind, these photos are meant to capture any design features from all angles.
*You can use your actual tech pack images (meaning your Illustrator black/white sketches), but we would highly recommend using actual photos instead. (i.e many larger companies with thousands of styles use black/white images).
Don’t forget to add style numbers, even if you’re just starting out. Not only will they help alleviate any confusion, but you will never have any crossover in the future if a style happens to have a similar name/description.
Having a detailed description of the type of garment or accessory along with the style number is absolutely essential.
In addition, many designers and brands will actually name the style itself with an actual human name. This approach can also create a secondary sense of branding based on the names of your styles.
For example, Reformation names their clothing with females (some celebrities they may like) such as the “Uma Top” or the “Winona Mid Rise Jean”.
COLORS AND SIZING
Depending on the size of your collection you may want to show all photos in all styles and colors to make your collection appear larger. That’s absolutely fine.
Larger brands will typically list out the additional colors and offer swatch cards or at least a color palate on their line sheet to show the different offerings.
In terms of sizing, this one is pretty straightforward as well. You’ll want to make sure that you list all sizes offered.
Here you’ll need to include both the wholesale price and the retail price or SRP.
Retailers will want to be able to easily see what their margin will be on each style.
Again, depending on the size of your collection, you may have different delivery dates based on the season. Many designers will have only two seasons a year and opt for two different deliveries within each collection.
For example, they may have two dates for their Spring/Summer Collection rather than having a Resort collection.
So it would look like Drop 1 - 1/25 and Drop 2 - 2/25. (“Drop” is just another word for delivery)
Having an on-time delivery is something SUPER important whether you are first starting out or have been in business for 100 years. It’s the one thing (besides bad quality) that buyers will absolutely get upset about and could ruin your relationship.
So make sure these dates are correct! Maybe even add in a little room to breathe just in case your factory has any issues with production.
I'M SOLD OUT!
What a great situation if a style actually sells out, right?
It’s actually sort of a pro and con at the same time because you could have either sold more, but on the other hand, you’re done with inventory with that style/color, so that’s a huge plus.
Remember that your line sheets are a living and breathing document; meaning you are most likely going to edit throughout the season.
If you sell out of a color style you will have to edit this before sending to a new buyer - especially if you continue to sell once you’ve placed your production orders.
An amazing and free resource is Brand Boom because you can actually create line sheets for absolutely free using their software.
You can also easily create line sheets all on your own by just using a blank word or excel document.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this.
As long as you have clear-cut design and all of the information listed above, you should be good to go.
Depending on how big or small your collection you’ll want to present your collection in the best way possible.
Whether that’s by grouping certain categories together or showing one style with multiple color offerings is up to you. The main idea is to consider the visual aspect and how a buyer would actually buy from you.
If your collection is on the smaller side:
If your collection is quite small, it’s probably best to show each style with all color offerings on one page. This not only gives the illusion of a larger offering, but it creates a simplistic yet impactful presentation.
If your collection is larger (>12 styles):
If you have multiple styles and color offerings, you may want to consider grouping your styles by category rather than randomly presenting.
This will help buyers to distinguish what they need and helps them better organize their buying process as well.
For example, by grouping all of your dresses, tops, or bottoms together, it’s much easier for the buyer to pick their top styles amongst each category.
Think of the process almost like you are shopping online. When you are searching for just dresses, you want to be able to filter out what you want to see versus what you don’t want to see or don’t necessarily need.
Another option would be to group smaller merchandising stories together. This is basically a smaller story within your collection.
Maybe you used the same fabric or print across various styles, or perhaps you designed three styles that tell a story and can be easily be worn together or mixed/matched.
This would count as a merchandising “story” and can be presented in this format as well.
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
Just remember that the main idea is to not over-complicate things.
Think of these sheets as selling tools and an overall map of your collection.
While your look book is to communicate brand aesthetic, your line sheets should communicate information and be the final tool in helping you to close the sale.
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