Product catalog creation w/InDesign: Who does/done it and advice you may have?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Has anyone on here created a product catalog with InDesign? Can you reccomend any books that deal with this topic well that you found helpful?



Any advice for catalog creation?



I need to get the basics done, templates what not (I assume I can create some kind of InDesign template for this) but I am not sure how to set this up correctly.



In May I have a college intern hired to come in and actually edit the pics, write the descriptions, and do the grunt work. I need to have a handle on this before then.



My next quandry is to decide on what computer to purchase for this endeavor. I have deicded on a 15" notebook (mac) but can't decided between a MacBookPro or PB G4. We will need the mobility on this project so it has to be a notebook and 17" is too big and 12" will be annoying while doing layout. Not sure what I am going to do there but that is really besides the point.



I need to get started on the basics and was hoping there were a few seasoned veterns that can give some advice on this topic.



TIA!!



I will add I am familiar with InDesign for poster and brochure design. I do all those myself now.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    objra10objra10 Posts: 679member
    uh, why not just use iPhoto? or Aperture. There are some pretty good "catalogue" templates for photo books in iPhoto. And it doesn't get much easier. Unless you're going to mass produce them... but you can output your book from Aperture in a pdf for printing elsewhere. I know people have reservations about Aperture, but I would think it would work pretty well for this purpose.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by OBJRA10

    uh, why not just use iPhoto? or Aperture. There are some pretty good "catalogue" templates for photo books in iPhoto. And it doesn't get much easier. Unless you're going to mass produce them... but you can output your book from Aperture in a pdf for printing elsewhere. I know people have reservations about Aperture, but I would think it would work pretty well for this purpose.



    Yes, this is going to be a mass production. We may have 16 products on one page and then a full layout on another.



    I hadn't thought of iPhoto or Aperture, but I don't know if I can create a header and footer like I want/need.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    my experience with aperture (and iPhoto) is that you can pretty much do whatever you want. There's a lot of flexibility. and with aperture (not sure about iPhoto) you can export your book to a pdf for your own printing needs...
  • Reply 4 of 21
    In InDesign, a simple page layout would be fine, but you then have to import all of the photos... why not use Apple's Pages?



    You can create your own templates and the photos you have appear in the program's media well. You can also do some fine-tuning on the photos once they are on the page without having to switch back to your photo editor. Headers, footers, contents page, no problem. Lots less expensive than InDesign, with a much lower learning curve to boot.



    I create photo-intensive textbooks for my clients and have used InDesign until now, but am quickly migrating to Pages because of the ease in importing/adjusting/masking photos.



    Most Apple apps allow export to PDF through OSX.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bergermeister

    In InDesign, a simple page layout would be fine, but you then have to import all of the photos... why not use Apple's Pages?



    You can create your own templates and the photos you have appear in the program's media well. You can also do some fine-tuning on the photos once they are on the page without having to switch back to your photo editor. Headers, footers, contents page, no problem. Lots less expensive than InDesign, with a much lower learning curve to boot.



    I create photo-intensive textbooks for my clients and have used InDesign until now, but am quickly migrating to Pages because of the ease in importing/adjusting/masking photos.



    Most Apple apps allow export to PDF through OSX.




    While cost is not a concern since I already have CS, and my learning curve should be small since I do a lot of layout for posters and brochures now, you do raise some good points. Pages may not be a bad idea. I'll check into that. Thanks!
  • Reply 6 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bergermeister

    In InDesign, a simple page layout would be fine, but you then have to import all of the photos... why not use Apple's Pages?



    You can create your own templates and the photos you have appear in the program's media well. You can also do some fine-tuning on the photos once they are on the page without having to switch back to your photo editor. Headers, footers, contents page, no problem. Lots less expensive than InDesign, with a much lower learning curve to boot.



    I create photo-intensive textbooks for my clients and have used InDesign until now, but am quickly migrating to Pages because of the ease in importing/adjusting/masking photos.



    Most Apple apps allow export to PDF through OSX.




    I wanted to follow up and say thanks. Pages 06 is working like a dream in the test layout I created.



    Thanks!!
  • Reply 7 of 21
    yoseyose Posts: 62member
    How many pages will the catalogue be?
  • Reply 8 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Yose

    How many pages will the catalogue be?



    Hard to tell right now, but I would guess ~ 200 (single sided).



    The good news is that I can insert PDF files in Pages and it works great. This is a plus since a majority of our products are in PDf format now (even though file size may get out of control) but I am going to depend on a new Core Duo 15" MBP to handle it.



    I decided to forget a PB G4 for this and just go Intel.



  • Reply 9 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aplnub

    I wanted to follow up and say thanks. Pages 06 is working like a dream in the test layout I created.



    Thanks!!






    Glad to hear it! Good luck with the project.



    I envy the new MBP... have to wait till next year.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    The main reason I am going to pick up a MBP for this is because of using Pages. Being intel native will help out a lot. My G5 has to be set to "highest" to run like I want when doing this catalog so let's hope the intel chip does better (which I am sure it will).



    I am not going to pick up a MBP until April. The intern won't be until May to officially kick off the catalog. Until then, I will be dabbling.



    I will post back later this year when we make some serious progress.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Will this catalog be printed by a commercial printer? If so, have you contacted them about the file types they accept? Does Pages produce a file that is accetable to their workflow?
  • Reply 12 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by fahlman

    Will this catalog be printed by a commercial printer? If so, have you contacted them about the file types they accept? Does Pages produce a file that is accetable to their workflow?



    Yeah, I am using my Local Print Shop. They want the files in PDF when possible and of course Pages does that with no problem.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aplnub

    Yeah, I am using my Local Print Shop. They want the files in PDF when possible and of course Pages does that with no problem.



    While it may make PDFs does it make print ready? Heck, I don't know I've never used Pages. I'd hate for you to have the intern spend time producing the catalog in Pages and not have it make acceptable PDFs. I'd suggest sending the printer a PDF for review.



    I work for a company who produces six monthly publications using QuarkXPress (switching to InDesign) and you can't imaging the files we get from customers who think they are sending acceptable files. Save yourself from possible future pain by doing a little work now.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    celcocelco Posts: 211member
    Indesign the way to go or Quark. Most of the shortcuts are the same. I used indesign daily. Get to know how master page items work this will save you lots of time. Also check with your printer if they can give you a PDF export profile...

    This is a file that you use with indesign to export your PDF to their standards. Dont listen to those who tell you to use iphoto as iphoto is not intended for layout... indesign is easy to use after the learning curve. Persist. As far as hardware I work off a G5 with 2 20inch displays. or my 15 al powerbook with one of the 10 also plugged in as layout you need to zoom in to work to guidelines.



    Best of luck Celco
  • Reply 15 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Celco

    Indesign the way to go or Quark. Most of the shortcuts are the same. I used indesign daily. Get to know how master page items work this will save you lots of time. Also check with your printer if they can give you a PDF export profile...

    This is a file that you use with indesign to export your PDF to their standards. Dont listen to those who tell you to use iphoto as iphoto is not intended for layout... indesign is easy to use after the learning curve. Persist. As far as hardware I work off a G5 with 2 20inch displays. or my 15 al powerbook with one of the 10 also plugged in as layout you need to zoom in to work to guidelines.



    Best of luck Celco




    Can you reccomend a book to get me started on the master page layouts?
  • Reply 16 of 21
    i have to also chime in and say going with pages would more than likely be a bad idea. it was never intended to handle anything like what your suggesting. what happens when you get 100+ pages into it and find out that it files become unmanageable due to file size or some other unforeseen issue? pages may be fine for smaller projects, and it may in fact produce print quality files, but do you really want to trust it for something that it was not designed for? don't set yourself up to get burned. use the tools that you know will get the job done.



    as far as books go, you might see if they have a visual quick start book for indesign. they are usually a good place to get up to speed on an app.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
  • Reply 18 of 21
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quark is much better for producing long, repetitive documents, such as catalogs. This is largely because of "synchronized text." I wouldn't even attempt to do anything longer than 100 pages in InDesign, and that's stretching it.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 696member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    Quark is much better for producing long, repetitive documents, such as catalogs. This is largely because of "synchronized text." I wouldn't even attempt to do anything longer than 100 pages in InDesign, and that's stretching it.



    Yeah! I heard that InDesign shuts down and refuses to open back up again if you try to make a document with more than 100 pages.



    What are you talking about? That's ridiculous!
  • Reply 20 of 21
    Though things seem to be swinging away from Pages, even when I used InDesign the largest file I ever created was 50 pages. Then another file and change the page numbers. This way also the file is navigateable and not all your chickens ar in the same pen in case something goes terribly wrong.
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