Line Sheets: What They Are & Why You Need Them

A disorganized or confusing line sheet could cost you a sale! Line Sheets are an integral tool for any designer or brand looking to wholesale their collection. A line sheet is a sales tool created to communicate necessary information about your product to a potential stockist. Unlike your lookbook, your line sheet should provide an easy, to-the-point reference for a buyer looking to place an order.

Whether you are targeting small boutiques or large retailers, the essentials on your line sheet stay the same. There is no one right way to create a line sheet, but there are some key elements that every designer or brand should include.

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1. Product Images

Determining what type of images you should incorporate into your line sheet can be tricky. There is a lot of information out there, and you may have received conflicting advice. There is no real, true right or wrong method. You need to consider your brand and your audience, which, in this, case is the buyers.

When I was working for a large apparel manufacturer, the images on our line sheets were simply black and white Illustrator sketches. However, as an independent designer you may need to incorporate more robust images. If you want the buyers to remember your styles, the easiest way to do this is through photography. Save the photos of models slouching against graffiti walls for your lookbook, and use straightforward product shots for your line sheet.

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2. Style Numbers + Descriptions

Style numbers and product descriptions are an essential piece of the puzzle for buyers to identify which styles they want to purchase. Assigning a style number to each design is essential for everyone involved in your supply chain. You will need a unique identifying number to ID each piece. Keep style numbers simple and use a maximum of 5 digits a style. To organize your numbering system, try coding by categories (gender, target customer, or apparel ranges).

You will also want to include a style description. The description should be brief and reference the key elements of your design. Avoid using extremely creative names for particular styles. Use something short and to-the-point like, the ‘Multi Colored Mini Short w/ Welt Pockets.’


3. Purchasing Options

Convey clearly what options the buyers have available for purchasing a particular style. In terms of apparel, this will include the size range. Something like XS-XL or 0-12 works just fine.

You will also want to let the potential buyers know if this particular item is available in different colors. On your line sheet, you can either use product photography to showcase color or employ color blocks to call out the different options. Again, this is up to you and what works best for your brand. However as an independent designer I recommend using photography. The clearer your visuals are, the less guesswork is involved.


4. Price

This may be a no-brainer, but you have to list how much you are selling your items for! You can list both the wholesale price as well as the MSRP or suggested retail price. There are several ways to list selling prices. A simple $50/$100 may work for you. You can also spell it out and say: Wholesale: $50 and Suggested Retail: $100. Again determine what works best for your audience.

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Before listing pricing on your line sheets finalize your costing! Make sure your fabric and trim prices, yields, cut and sew and shipping estimates are confirmed and updated in your cost sheets. Once you list the price, you need to be confident that you’re going to make a profit selling at that price point!

5. General Information

Information such as your contact details, your name, brand name or logo and delivery date are not to be forgotten. When creating line sheets for our clients, it’s helpful to create a template for each brand that can be updated with the correct delivery date and products season after season. This way all of the pertinent information remains on every page and won’t be overlooked.


6. Additional Considerations

Since there are many ways to design and create a successful line sheet we wanted to touch on additional items to consider:

  1. Are you going to create a separate order form or are you going to incorporate an order form into each page of your line sheet? If you are going to incorporate this into your line sheet, you may also want to consider adding in your order minimum and terms for payment and shipping.
  2. Depending on how much information you plan to include, your line sheet layout may need to be tweaked to keep everything clear and simple.

We create a separate order form for clients to include when leaving line sheets with buyers. This helps keep the line sheets from getting overcrowded. However, if you feel that incorporating the order form and your line sheet into one document would help you sell more, then go for it!

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Are there any other tips you use when creating line sheets? Tweet us your tips and line sheets @Makersrow!

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