In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an InDesign catalog template for showcasing products. This simple and stylish design could also be adapted as a lookbook for fashion retailers or a brochure template.
Consisting of a front cover and three inside spreads, this versatile catalog template can be easily extended and adapted to suit electronics, furniture, or other products.
Ready to create your catalog template? Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need to Create Your InDesign Template
To create the design as pictured here, you’ll need to download and install the Karoll font family.
The images used in the design are:
1. How to Set Up the Masters for Your Catalog Template
Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document.
Choose Print from the options along the top of the New Document window, and click on Letter for the page size.
Set the number of Pages to 8 and make sure Facing Pages is checked.
Set the Top Margin to 22 m, Bottom to 23 mm, Inside to 25 mm, and Outside to 20 mm.
Add a 5 mm Bleed to all edges of the page except the Inside edge, which should be kept to 0 mm, and then click Create.
Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1, renaming it Background.
Create two more new layers—Images and Type.
Then lock both the Background and Images layers, keeping Type active.
Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches). You can either manually create the CMYK swatches pictured below or download the provided ASE file.
To install the ASE file, go to the Swatches panel’s main menu, and choose Load Swatches. Navigate to the downloaded ASE file and Open it. The swatches will load directly into the panel.
Expand the Pages panel (Window > Pages) and double-click on the A-Master icon at the top of the panel to bring up the master spread on screen.
Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame at the top-left corner of the left-hand page, typing in the name of the brand.
From either the top Controls panel or the Character and Paragraph panels (Window > Type & Tables > Character / Paragraph) set the Font to Karoll Bold Round, Size 12 pt, and increase the Tracking (letter-spacing) to 170.
Create a second text frame at the same horizontal alignment on the right-hand page, typing in the season or year of the catalog. Set the Font to Karoll Round, Size 12 pt, Tracking 30, and set the text to Align Right.
Select both text frames, and switch the Font Color to [Paper].
Create a text frame at the bottom-left corner of the left-hand page. Set your type cursor inside the frame, before heading up to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number.
Set the Font of this to Karoll Round, Size 12 pt, and the Font Color to C=100 M=84 Y=49 K=64.
Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste the page number frame, moving it over to the bottom-right corner of the right-hand page.
Switch the text to Align Right.
2. How to Create a Front Cover for Your Catalog
Click on Page 1 in the Pages panel to return to the first page of your document.
Lock the Type layer and unlock the bottom layer, Background.
Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a shape across the whole page, setting the Fill to C=2 M=10 Y=13 K=0.
Use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to create an image frame on the Images layer, allowing for a small margin around the edges of the page.
File > Place, choose one of your images for the cover, and Open it.
On the Type layer, create a large text frame for the title of the catalog, setting the Font of this to Karoll, 60 pt, All Caps, 170 Tracking, and a [Paper] Font Color.
Add a smaller subtitle below, with a C=2 M=10 Y=13 K=0 Font Color.
3. How to Create a Stylish Spread for Your Catalog
Scroll down to Page 2 of your document. On the Background layer, use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a shape across Page 2, setting the Fill to C=18 M=13 Y=13 K=0.
Create a second shape across the facing page, setting the Fill to C=78 M=56 Y=32 K=17.
Working on the Images layer, use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to create a tall, narrow frame across the right side of Page 2.
File > Place a portrait-oriented image into the frame.
Create two smaller frames and scatter these around Page 2, placing different images into each.
Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L) and, while holding Shift, create a circle frame at the top-left of Page 3, placing a product image inside.
Copy the circle and Paste it, positioning it to the right side of the first circle and swapping in a different product image.
Select both circles and Copy and Paste them, moving them directly below.
Swap new product images into each.
Working on the Type layer, create a large text frame in the white space on Page 2, typing in the section number and setting the Font to Karoll Round, Size 180 pt.
Match the Font Color to the blue background of the facing page.
Add a title below, set in Karoll Round, Size 57 pt, and a [Paper] Font Color.
You can add product details and pricing below or next to each image, setting the Font to Karoll Round, Size 10 pt, and matching the Font Color to the background color of the facing page.
4. How to Populate the Rest of Your Catalog Template
Now you’ve put together the first spread of your catalog, you can use this as a foundation for creating further spreads in your design.
Make sure all the layers are unlocked, and then drag your mouse over the whole of the first spread, before copying it.
Scroll down to the next spread (Page 4) and Edit > Paste in Place.
You can now start tweaking the different elements of the pasted design.
Begin by editing the Fill Color of the shapes sitting on the Background layer, using the color swatches available in the Swatches panel.
Swap in different images for the frames sitting on the Images layer.
Finally, adjust the text content and Font Color of the text frames sitting on the Type layer.
Repeat the Copy and Paste in Place process for further spreads, editing the background color, images, and text of each.
You can easily add more pages to your template by clicking on the Create New Page icon at the bottom of the Pages panel.
5. How to Export Your Template for Printing
When you’ve finished working on your catalog template and are ready to send it off for printing, first File > Save your work.
Then go to File > Export.
In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose Press Quality from the Adobe PDF Preset menu at the top.
Make sure Pages, not Spreads, is selected.
Click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu.
Check both All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before clicking Export.
Awesome work! You can send this PDF straight off to be printed professionally at a print shop or online print-on-demand service.
Conclusion: Your Finished Catalog Template
Your catalog template is finished—great job!
You can easily add more pages to your design from the Pages panel, or switch up the color swatches and images for a different look.
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