ELLE Time & Jewelry 2014 Master Catalog

Corporate Work

The objective of this project was to quickly compile a large catalog with ever-shifting prices and items using stock functions in InDesign.   It had to be as inexpensive as possible of course and that meant no data manipulation plugins.  The data for input was stored in messy MS Excel spreadsheets to boot. Images were another matter entirely.

UNIX administrators know that plenty of tasks can often be replaced by a simple shell script. This was the perfect time for one.

So I turned to BASH in order to convert the .csv info, strip out unnecessary elements, reformat it into XML and add image data that would load from an external source.

InDesign would automagically churn out the entire catalog on each load into an XML template I created.

The result was an easily updated binder format catalog that included over 400 jewelry items. Jewelry dealers could simply flip to the pages and categories they needed while removing pages they didn’t. Price and collection changes could be mailed out individually without reprinting the entire catalog.

Fun times!