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How To Design A Product Catalog With InDesign Templates

Marigold Studios March 31, 2021 · 7 min read
Whether it’s for an online showcase or print, catalogs are a great marketing medium. These tried-and-tested tools are surefire ways to get customers excited about new releases and sales soaring. Product layouts can, however, be pretty time consuming to create. Luckily Creative Market shop owners have many templates for you to choose from, cutting down significantly on your design hours. Centre Furniture Catalog Brochure Catalog by Boxkayu

How To Get Started Editing Your Template

After you’ve selected your ideal template, you can get started making it your own. Below are a few tips for getting started with Creative Market templates.

1. Compile Your Info

The first thing you’d want to spend quite some time doing is compiling your information in groups. I prefer grouping information with similar subjects, and images that work well together visually. This will make it much easier to arrange your pages and plan which information should be placed on which spread.

2. Setup A Base Grid

Setting up a base grid is key for an effective layout. This will keep your layout consistent, which is the number one rule for effective catalog design. It will also assist you with element and text placement and eliminate guesstimating. Most templates should have this already set up on the master spread, but if needed, this YouTube tutorial will get you set up in a few clicks.

3. Typography

A general rule of thumb is to use three or fewer typefaces. As mentioned before, consistency is key and keeping type groups consistent throughout the layout will aid the viewer to find important information quickly and easily. Need some help with pairing fonts? You can download this super-nifty Font Pairing Cheatsheet.
Font Pairing Cheatsheet
15 Pre-designed Font Combinations
Free Font Pairing Cheatsheet

We’ve curated a list of font styles that work well together so you can design interesting type lockups in minutes.

Download the cheatsheet
Alternatively, you can apply a pre-designed font duo. Chin Up Buttercup font duo by Nicky Laatz (7)

4. Paragraph and Character Styles

Most templates have set typographic styles set up in the Character and Paragraph style panels. Using Paragraph and Character styles is a breeze and will cut down significantly on your editing time. Paragraph styles will allow you to adjust how your individual characters and entire paragraphs look. Character Styles only apply to character formatting features. Simply locate the panel in InDesign on the left-hand panel (Window > Style > Character Style/Paragraph Style), use the drop down to locate the selected typographic style and double click to open the format window. Styles also allow you to keep any new text consistent. As mentioned, consistency is rule number 1 for effective layouts. For example, if a new header is needed, add a new text box, fill with your selected text and, while selecting the text box, click the paragraph or character style and the selected format will be applied. For a more in-depth tutorial on Character and Paragraph styles, as well as a treasure trove of InDesign tips, check out How to Make Your Own Newspaper: Templates and Tips by Liam McKay.

5. Adding Images

InDesign is a Drag and Drop platform which makes for some super easy image editing. The image has its own “content holder” box that allows for easy clipping and resizing within the frame. Instead of using drag and drop from a finder window, you can also opt to select the image box, select File, from the top menu and Place to fill the box. Or select the frame and hit CMD/CTRL+D on your keyboard. Always use high-quality images for your catalog. These are the heroes of the layout after all. Opt for 300dpi images or higher for the best final product. Placing Images in Indesign Templates (2)

6. Editing Color Palettes

Some templates have a set color palette scheme and this makes it super easy to change all matching colors in a few clicks. Simply, select the color in the color palette you want to swap out, double click the checkered box next to the swatch code and change the color to whatever your heart desires. Once you hit okay, the matching colors in the design would have updated to match the new swatch. This saves a ton of time, as you don’t have to change all the colors individually. Editing Color Palettes in Indesign (13)

7. Alter the Master

Want to add a footer section that appears on all your pages or add more column guides? You can set this up on your master page. Select the Pages panel and you’ll find the A-Master page, second from the top. Double-click to edit and add additional text or guides that will appear throughout the layout template. Then, double-click any other page on the final layout preview to head back.

8. Get Creative

Don’t be afraid to add some more character to the design with textures, patterns, illustrations, and other elements. Have a look around Creative Market for some excellent additions to your layout to make it your own, like these beautiful illustrations by Laras Wonderland. Haut Floral Graphic Bundle by Laras Wonderland (5)

Example #1 – Editorial Design

For this example, we are using Lookbook by silukEight. It has a clean, minimalistic design and includes character and paragraph styles for easy editing. It is a great option for fashion or jewelry brands to showcase their unique pieces. By editing the text styles included, adding gold tape elements, and the additional text, the template feels completely unique to our fictional clients’ brand. silukEight Lookbook InDesign Template (12) Editing Product Catalog Templates in InDesign (4)

Example #2 – Contemporary Design

The Multipurpose Product Catalogue design, by Raseuki, is a little powerhouse for a catalog that is product heavy but doesn’t overwhelm the viewer. It uses an effective grid system to keep the layout looking clean and modern. Once again, we started off editing the existing elements and then added our own to make it feel true to our fictional shop brand. Multipurpose Product Catalogue Brochure Template by Raseuki (10) Product Catalog Design using Indesign templates (6)

Some Useful Catalog Design Tips and Tricks:

Brand Match

All materials should match your or your client’s overall brand messaging and look. Consult your brand guide for color and font usage to keep things consistent.

Picture Perfect

Your images are what sells your products. If the budget allows for it, hire that pro photographer for your product shots. Make your images consistent and ensure your photographer or editor has white balanced the image correctly to ensure the color is as close too possible to the original item. However, always have a disclaimer which states products can differ slightly from image to avoid confusion.

The Devil is in the Details

Ensure your products have accurate and detailed descriptions, price tag, material and size. The more information, the more likely a client or a retailer, will know whether the product is what they are searching for. Try enticing and fun descriptions for your catalog.

Get In Touch

Make it super easy for clients to contact you. Consider adding your contact details to footer sections as well as the back page. If the catalog is intended to be used online, consider adding your social page links as well.

Get It Online

Print can be expensive, so prolong your shelf life and reach by publishing catalogs online. Websites like and are great platforms for sharing your publication, and you can even track views and click-through rates to your site.

Some More Awesome Catalog Templates

If you’re searching for your ideal catalog template, we’ve compiled a list below of some of our favorites:

Ready to get started?

Catalog templates are a HUGE time saver, and really easy to edit and make it your own. With so many great options to get you started, the sky is the limit. What is your favorite catalog design? Have any pro tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below.
Font Pairing Cheatsheet
15 Pre-designed Font Combinations
Free Font Pairing Cheatsheet

We've curated a list of font styles that work well together so you can design interesting type lockups in minutes.

Download the cheatsheet
About the Author
Marigold Studios

CRAFTED BRANDS & TEMPLATES  for PASSIONATE BUSINESS OWNERS. Brand styling, business template design, & website design for small business owners.  Get the materials you need to DIY your brand, or hire us to design your materials for you.

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