Suggestions on how to make a product catalogue?

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by Jumbo, May 18, 2004.

  1. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    Hi guys can anyone teach me how to make a product catalogue which looks cool?
    What software woudl be the easiest to use for this kind of project?

    any suggestions would be highly appreciated! thanks!:)
     
  2. peter_ob

    peter_ob Active Member

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    My first suggestion is to get a professional to do it. Althogh it can make life easier computers and software do not make good catalogues, skilled people do. If that is out of the question you can choose from Adobe's Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and the old reliable Pagemaker. There's also Macromedia Freehand or you may opt for QuarkXpress.
    Do a google search for these products for a more detailed info.
    Sabi nga nila " wala sa pana yan, nasa Indian".
    Good Luck
     
  3. beirutman

    beirutman Member

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    Hi. It depends on how many pages, amount of graphics and pictures you plan to include in the catalog. If its more than 30 pages, I suggest you use applications thats best for multiple page publication, like QuarkXpress, InDesign or Pagemaker. If your doing less number of pages with a high amount of graphic art work, Freehand or Illustrator can get the job done. Its very easy to learn all these softwares, all you need is practice.
     
  4. weremermaid

    weremermaid Member

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    You also failed to mention if the product catalogue was print only, web only or web with a downloadable PDF version. Print and web have their own requirements.

    Wanna become a designer? Take these easy steps:
    • Take graphic design classes (Photography, drawing, imaging, Typography, Color, Form, Layout and the psychology of design)
    • Buy lots of graphic design books, collect and look at design publications
    • Start subscriptions to design publications like CA, How, also other publications related to your product.
    • Join Liga Filipina, one of the Graphic Design communities in Manila (or other groups)
    • Attend the Graphic Expo (June 16-19 and sign up for the daily pay-for seminars)
    • Attend software classes on design, layout, imaging, etc
    • Learn to draw, understand image creation by taking a visual solutions class
    • Take classes and acquire books in Marketing and Advertising, Strategic Planning, Managing Teams, Psychology and Project Management.
    • Get into photography and join a photo club to learn how to evaluate image-making, learn to deal with criticism.
    • Learn copywriting
    • Learn how to create brand identity and translating these across various media.
    • Learn to communicate visually.


    or hire a professional graphic designer/design house who/which has all these attributes and knowledge, a killer portfolio and access to proven photographers, printers, paper suppliers, etc.

    To become a designer is never an overnight thing, design requires a talent and liking for creativity and hard work, a keen understanding of the visual while balancing corporate and business requirements with art. Good luck!

    Cherrie
     
  5. Kenneth

    Kenneth Moderator

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    ...Or to make life easier and cheaper, just download even a trial copy of Macromedia Freehand, then find a cool product catalog, I'm sure you can find tons via Google, then just copy the layout. Tapos ang problema mo!

    [Edited on 5-18-2004 by Yagballs]
     
  6. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    I was thinking that the catalogue could be electronic and has a print version as well. Mukhang it's a long list of things to do, kind of intimidating to be frank but i'll try my best! Could you recommend any computer graphics school which is cheap but has excellent teachers? Thanks guys!
     
  7. super_ed

    super_ed Active Member

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    base on what you've said, a PDF exporting apps is what you need. Pagemaker or inDesign, Freehand. Get the trial versions, you don'nt need a computer graphic school to do it, i'm sure fellow muggers out there are much willing to help you do it.

    toss it! :2cents:
     
  8. weremermaid

    weremermaid Member

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    Ah, Kenneth, you opened a can-o-worms on that. Naughty boy. :roll:

    Don't tease Jumbo with the cop-out solution of infringing on copyrights. Originality of design is still best, although there will always be someone to argue nothing is ever new under the sun.

    Designers work very hard on making their artwork stand out from the crowd. If the design gets ripped off, designers don't make money, lose businesses, will go away into some non-design job that they probably aren't as good at.

    Then untrained designer-wanna-be's take over and produce crap, whereby the whole design business suffers and you as the end user will suffer from poor design. I don't think anyone likes shoddy goods or would want to be in a badly-built car running at high speed when something in the car breaks. You get the (very simplified) picture.

    So the excuse to rip-off is technically "pardonable" (depending on the teacher/school code) if produced by a student for a non-commercial school project, but ripping-off any design for a commercial project is absolutely a case of copyright infringement. Yes, you can be sued.

    Infringement is not a morally right thing to do, anyway. If you wanna make money off design, have some pride by knowing the design is yours all through out. How'd you like it if someone ripped-off your artwork/song/design/story/product design someday?

    So, it isn't a funny joke in the long run. Just a FYI, ok guys?

    Cherrie


     
  9. weremermaid

    weremermaid Member

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    Ey Jumbo,
    I think the approach of "grab some software (trialware or not), copy some design and bingo! You're a full fledged artist! YAY" isn't at all a guarantee you will be that.

    Ever heard of this: "you can give a regular person the best computer in the world but the computer will never draw for you?" The same way you can give an artist the most basic materials - a stick and some sand or a piece of charcoal and a surface, and the artist person will have the skills to draw something astoundingly gorgeous.

    The computer is only a tool, but talent comes from within and from training by teachers and mentors who know what is going on in the design world - past, present and future trends.

    I do admire your willingness to ask, and, take it from me, some words of experience, a dyed-in-the-wool artist who has spent years learning what it means and requires to be a good designer. That it takes art and design classes, willingness to learn, lots of practice and the discipline to hone your craft thru time.

    As a cheaper shortcut to design (hopefully, you like reading a lot), buy yourself a copy of, "The Non-Designer's Design Book 2" by Robin Williams (a woman, not the actor), PeachPit press - try Datablitz. This excellently written book talks about design principles and organizing information into a visually cohesive look. For that matter, look out for Williams typography series, "How to Boss your Fonts Around/Beyond the Mac is not a Typewriter" also Peachpit press. The bullet point list in my previous post is pretty much a recommended to-do.

    Try Digimac, they also have a graphic design course. DLSU-College of Benilde teaches Multimedia subjects but that's only for full time students, not open to the public, ditto with Ateneo Comm Dept where I teach Graphic Design and Visual Thinking to the Comm/Com Tech majors. A few other big and small places teach software also but it is better if you try to find the design training first.

    You could try to get photography lessons since image-making is a key requirement in this field.

    Ok, to the bookstore with you.

    Cherrie



    I was thinking that the catalogue could be electronic and has a print version as well. Mukhang it's a long list of things to do, kind of intimidating to be frank but i'll try my best! Could you recommend any computer graphics school which is cheap but has excellent teachers? Thanks guys! [/quote]
     
  10. dominiquejames

    dominiquejames Active Member

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    Cherrie, I think you're one fabulous girl!
     
  11. Kenneth

    Kenneth Moderator

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    My apologies, I should have been more specific. I was too hasty in pressing the reply button ;)

    What I really meant by "copy the layout" is, look at the works of others, study it, take note what works and what does not. Even combine several designs to produce something original. The net is full of design resources to draw from.

    If you're really planning in making a career out if this, and looking for a school, I recommend PCCI.
     
  12. weremermaid

    weremermaid Member

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    Thank you Dominique! It's always a pleasure to watch the "aha!" lights show up in students minds when they connect the design process together into something marvelously satisfying.

    Can we have a little show and tell of your work and creative process, on the next PhilMUG meet? That would be so yes, absolutely fab!

    I also enjoyed you thoughts in yourblog, particularly the articles:

    The Magic Of A Still Image
    Where Does It Come From?
    In Search Of The Perfect Moment

    Beautifully expressed. Ok, Jumbo, more reading assignments listed above, read the whole blog while you're at it. Go ask (nicely) to apprentice with Dominique if he'll let you. I tell you, assistants learn well from good mentors.

    Cherrie
    P.S. Dominique, can I apprentice too? :D


     
  13. weremermaid

    weremermaid Member

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    This one acceptable work method - lah! Thank you Ken! :)

    Cherrie


    [Edited on 5-18-2004 by weremermaid]
     
  14. Dinkydoo

    Dinkydoo Member

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    Here's my take on your post Jumbo:

    If you would like to make your own product catalogue, there is really a way of doing it even if you are not a graphic designer, but you may need to spend more time and learning on design and software applications.

    1. product shots: you would of course need to have photographs of your products.
    any digital camera that can give you a 300dpi resolution will be useful. it will save you a lot of scanning and film processing (Photoshop required to crop and clean your images)

    2. product description: you also need to have this typed and written (MS word) and can be as simple as name of product, size, colours available and price.

    3. Size of Catalogue: decide how big or small you would like the catalogue to be (A5, A4, letter size, odd size)

    4. products in a page: you may want to determine how many products you would like to include in a page. you can play around with different sizes of your products in a page (Quark, InDesign, Freehand or Illustrator or even Pagemaker can do this)

    5. Design your layout: after playing around and finding out comfortable (not too crowded not too loose-very subjective) number of products in a page, design your grids, so you know where to place your products and descriptions in a more systematic manner. THIS IS WHERE DESIGN IS IMPORTANT!

    You should determine where will be the best location to place your page numbers, do you need a line to separate your products and descriptions, do you use bold text for section titles, what font is best for your catalogue etc (Yagballs suggestion on layout ideas come in here)

    Do not forget to design you cover as well.

    6. printing: if you would like to have your catalogue printed by a professional printer, then you will need to prepare your catalogue's artwork. Do not hesitate to ask your printer if you do not know how to do this process. they will be willing to help, or you may want them to do the artwork stage for you.

    or you may want to burn a cd, give it to an output centre for laser printing and have it wire-bound with front and back hard covering. and tell them how many copies you need.

    Tadah! you have just finished your product catalogue. (it is not as easy as i have put it!) :p

    [Edited on 18-5-04 by Dingkydoo]
     
  15. dominiquejames

    dominiquejames Active Member

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    Geeky Stormchaser, :D Would love to share with you and the others who may be interested @ the next PhilMUG meet. As for apprenticeship, I'll take you anytime--but be warned--I might be the one who'll learn from you! :D -Fabulous!
     
  16. ncarandang

    ncarandang Active Member

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    I suggest PCCI. If you want to learn from Macromedia and Adobe accredited instructors, then PCCI is the only option for you.
     
  17. Tantantiniiin

    Tantantiniiin Active Member

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    Or you could join IDN (International Design Network) Phils. Im not yet a member of this (very closed group), but I do like the short talks they give (its also at the PCCI center). I get a point or two from their publications, as well as their monthly design contest.

    With me naman, I make it a point to drop by the art/design section of Powerbooks and make a quick browse thru the books and try to get new ideas from them. If I like a lot of designs from a single book, I buy them kahit pa magalit yung wallet ko :).

    Designing cannot be taught much like engineering or accounting that you have to follow steps all the way. There will still be steps, but these are dependent on the tools that you will use (like PS, AI, FH).

    Creativity is dependent on how you train your mind into creating something. Maybe from nothing, or from some existing item. But in making the design, make sure you are doing this because you want to and can do it -- (a) technically - with the tools you have at hand, and (b) creatively - with the ideas in your mind and inspiration/guides from all around, and from the ideas from the mind of your client or target market. Make both fit each other.

    Know your limitations on both ends, and you will be happy with what you can give out, and you will also know after each project where you will need to improve on.

    If you feel you're working too slow na on the technical end (with mac and design softwares) that can be fixed with technical training for proficiency.

    If you feel you're churning out work that looks and feels like the last one you did, you need to go out and joind creative workshops. In the corporate world, churning out the same look and feel is acceptable to impress on the customer the total brand image. You only need to change after year or two, not after every project. That's why when you see an ad for HP, even Mastercard, you'll know that it is HP or MC.

    What product catalogue ba? you have to consider din your client's customers. Its not just designing for "artistic" sake.

    I hope this helps
    Tantin
     
  18. brianlim

    brianlim Member

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    Good points from Cherrie. If all else fails, you can always run to a graphic design firm for help... (allow me to plug: EchoGrafika) write to [email protected] :D
     
  19. peter_ob

    peter_ob Active Member

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    Just like I said "wala sa pana, nasa Indaian" :D
     
  20. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I am seriously thinking of getting short courses at PCCI but my sched won't permit me. As of now, I'm just reading How to Books for flash mx. I might delay this product catalogue since I don't know jack about design, software etc. but hopefully im going to learn something within a week. I have school in june so doesn't give me a lot of free time. :(
     

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