Phil Handley, Design and Production Manager, and Michèle Woodger, Content Editor, share with us how they built a complex directory for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The RIBA Product Selector directory is a hard-copy publication featuring construction product information and advertising material, distributed to 20,000 architects each year. The publication contains 8 different indexes with cross references, 800 pages of advertising material and a further 500 pages of educational/continuing professional development information. Until 2013 it was published as a 2500 page, two-volume hardback set, with four corresponding websites making use of the same data.
The directory has been in print since 1982, and due to this formidable 32 year history, the business workflows were complex (advertisements and indexes are handled by two distinct teams), the pre-existing, un-user-friendly DTP software was no longer suitable, and the directory contents were in need of a design refresh.
Estates Gazette (EG) is the weekly magazine for the UK commercial property trade, and each year it produces a directory of warehousing and distribution parks across the country with space available for rent or purchase.
The data is held in an Excel spreadsheet, which is updated from information provided by property agents. This comes into the EG offices at different times and is handled by different staff members. Also, each distribution park can be represented by multiple agents, so it is not uncommon for one park to be entered into the spreadsheet several times.
As publication date approaches the agents are reminded to check and amend the data they have provided, and the updated spreadsheet becomes the source for the printed directory.
The magazine’s production team had been using cut-and-paste techniques to get the text on to the page but they approached the task with dread as each year rolled around. I persuaded them to give InData a try.
We create our rare book catalogues utilizing InData to get the data from our database into our layout program. We use FileMaker Pro v.10 and InDesign CS4 (previously we used QuarkXpress). Since our data is very strictly formatted and our catalogues consist of unique items, averaging 500-800 at a time, it would be dreadful having to do all this formatting by hand. The plug-in saves us enormous time.
(Click on the graphic above for the full pdf version.)
I have attached a pdf of the finished product of one of our catalogues created this way. All of the information for the books are taken from approximately 25 different fields for each record/book. I first began using InData for a catalogue that consisted of more than 1,000 books.
As a wholesale distributor of building products, Wimsatt Building Materials delivers roofing, siding, insulation, windows, doors, and composite lumber to builders and contractors across the state of Michigan. With 20,000+ SKUs in over 1500 categories, our Marketing Department had a formidable challenge in communicating building product information to several audiences across multiple media. Our annual printed contractor catalog, our regularly-updated internal price pages, and our online catalog were all isolated production processes that required a great deal of manual effort on the part of the design team and proofreading on the part of our Inventory Department.