This is the 4th part of the series named “ How to design a catalog using InDesign”, and it is focused on how to create the front cover, layouts and the back cover. This approach is focused more on design principles. For more technical information check Part 2 – Adding elements



The cover is very important for every publication. It has to be catchy to hook the attention of the reader. I recommend using attractive colors and a representative picture/illustration for what is between the covers. For example, if you’re designing a flower shop catalog, you can put a garden on the first cover, or a nice image of a flower pot. If you’re selling clothes, or jewellery choose the best item of the collection.

Also the catalog must contain the brand logo and the title of the catalogue.

To put the logo and the title on the image, you have to create two boxes, insert the desired elements and place the boxes on top of the photo. To bring to front or send to back the boxes, click on the one that you want to move. Click right on the box and select arrange. You’ll have options like: bring to front, bring forward, send to backward and send to back.



Creating the layout of the catalog is the most creative part! In the first part of this tutorial series we recommended you to collect images and ideas. Now is the moment to use them.

  • Add the best images: When you flip through a catalog, you definitely notice the product photos. The photoshooting usually has a concept behind and the photos are taken by experienced photographers. So if you want to make a catalog on your own don’t use stock images, use professional photos. If you are a designer or artist and you know how to use a DSLR camera, go ahead and experiment. Your photos might not look like those taken by professional photographers, but surely you’ll make something awesome, creative and unique.
  • Product details: Your catalog must contain a description and price for every product. This will give the client more information about the product and convince him to buy it. Make them visible, but don’t make them stand out on the page – that would be  disturbing.
  • White space is needed: Don’t use all the white space, let your layout breathe. If you add too many, unnecessary shapes, that could make the catalog cluttered and your products will not get all the attention they deserve.
  • Fonts: Every font tells a story. Choose the best pair of fonts that go well with your content. If your catalog has a target of women aged 20-50, the typefaces should have a fancy aspect. If your target is the young generation, choose extravagant and explosive typefaces.
  • Colors: Colors represents an important element in design so that’s why you should choose the right ones for your catalog. If you sell eco products, go for a color palette inspired by nature. Tones of grey, brown or green should be appropriate.

Back cover

The back cover should contain contact information, like address, phone number and email, so that people who are interested know how to contact you. As for the design, keep the same colors, fonts, layout as in the rest of the catalog.

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