No Compromise: Accelerate the production of brochures and leaflets in InDesign – WITHOUT sacrificing good design.

Adobe InDesign is undoubtedly the luxury SUV among layout programmes. First released over twenty-three years ago, Adobe’s “Project K2” replaced PageMaker and eventually displaced the then reigning champion QuarkXPress. Today, Adobe InDesign can do practically everything a designer’s heart desires, and thus much more than just design print pages.

This is precisely where the challenge lies. InDesign now offers a very wide range of functions that can turn a simple design into a complex project. This is especially true for data-driven content. This content is a challenge for print designers whose job it is to create visually appealing and accurate material for a retailer’s most important channel – Print.

The Catalog Conundrum

Printed catalogs and circulars are far from being a dying medium. Even formerly digital-only retail marketers are turning to print, according to RetailDive, using paper catalogs “to break through the ‘noise’ of the online world.” Consumers also trust printed catalogs (76%) far more than digital media such as mobile phone ads (39%), according to a MarketingSherpa survey. There are good, scientific reasons for this. When test subjects were exposed to advertising in either digital or printed form, “their brain activity indicated greater subconscious value and desire for products or services advertised in a printed format,” according to a joint USPS/Temple University study.

Brochures contain very detailed product information. This product information ranges from sizes to colours to prices (which vary depending on the version) and a number of other attributes that are contained in a PIM (Product Information Management) database. On top of all this product information, there are large amounts of image data associated with the products, all stored in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

As a result, the designer needs to collate multiple pieces of information for each product in a brochure or leaflet, as specified by marketing, creating a consistent, visually compelling brand experience. Most retailers also need multiple regional versions of each printed copy – and the same content again to populate their shopping apps. Adobe InDesign, as the most widely used layout programme, includes features for a wide variety of layout design areas. Despite the many useful functions that Adobe InDesign offers, the manual effort to create a layout is extremely high; only the connection to a PIM and DAM system creates the greatest possible efficiency.

The Automation Advantage

The solution to this tedious process is to automate repetitive tasks so designers have more time to actually design. Such automation is possible through third-party plug-ins, thanks to InDesign’s architecture. Comosoft has used this environment to develop LAGO Layout, which combines the complex, specialised worlds of PIM and DAM data with the features and design power of InDesign.

LAGO Layout is the answer to inefficient design processes and enables fast, cost-effective, high-quality design and production. It also allows designers to integrate into any process, from campaign planning and data access to proofing, approval and final output, without compromising on good design.

On the surface, LAGO Layout is simply a plugin for InDesign that adds functionality without leaving the designer’s familiar interface. But once installed, LAGO Layout makes many different tasks easier.

  • Workflow automation between marketing and design production teams. LAGO users on the marketing side can select the products to promote based on margin, availability, and other factors, using a whiteboarding process. These decisions are automatically conveyed to the design team as InDesign templates. Marketers can even track the results of their original campaign plans.
  • Data integration with PIM and DAM systems and the designer allows them to drag-and-drop products and into an InDesign layout. The two-way link remains live and updateable until final output.
  • Proofing and approval cycles are easy, automatic, and fully auditable.
  • Multiple versions of each piece can be generated and managed efficiently, allowing regional marketing needs to be met while maintaining the retailer’s brand image and data accuracy.
  • Digital output for online e-commerce and mobile apps is automatic, ensuring that all retail media channels contain the same content.

Of course, there is a lot more to the plugin and to the LAGO system as a whole. But for the production designer, the main benefit is time. With so much of the busy work on autopilot, the designer now has time to take full advantage of InDesign’s exceptional capabilities – and create print channel content worthy of a retailer’s brand.

In a world of multichannel marketing, print remains at the forefront and the need for compelling visual content has never been greater. Adobe InDesign is the best tool for the job, but it can’t handle all the variables for complex brochures and leaflets on its own. Automating the process streamlines page creation, preserves data accuracy, and ensures consistent branding, while allowing creative flexibility.

Learn more about LAGO Layout, our plugin for Adobe InDesign that will accelerate and automate your entire design and production workflow for circular ads and brochures. Or book a demo to see for yourself.