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Case Study: OyezStraker Office Supplies Catalogue​

Design firm Nude Design chose CatBase to produce stationery catalogues for their client, OyezStraker, because of the savings in time and effort it offers.

The Challenge

Once a year, London-based OyezStraker publishes a series of catalogues offering office supplies. The main catalogue – the Multipack – contains all products the company offers, and runs to almost 600 pages; other catalogues offer a subset of products and are approximately 150 pages.

As always, deadlines are tight, budgets need to be stuck to, and last-minute changes are inevitable. The project needed to:

  • Import data that originated in QuarkXPress documents and had been put into an Excel file

  • Publish all the data to InDesign for the Multipack Catalogue

  • Update the data both manually and via import from Excel files and OyezStraker's MS Sql Server database

  • Update changes in the InDesign documents, such as last-minute price updates

  • Publish a selection of the data in a different style for the Essential Brands Catalogue

  • Update OyezStraker's Sql Server database with the final data

  • Accomplish everything within a very tight schedule


The CatBase solution

The solution consists of:

  • CatBase Data Chameleon Edition, multi-user

  • Xtags plugin for InDesign: this plugin enables advanced tagging features for files imported into an InDesign layout, such as automatic image placement and special InCatalog tags for automatic updating

  • InCatalog plugin for InDesign: this plugin enables automatic updating of data in the InDesign document, such as pricing updates


The Workflow

  • The Excel files were imported into CatBase via Import Styles

  • Publishing Style Sheets were set up to tell CatBase what data to publish and how to sort and format everything

  • The data was published in sections and placed into the InDesign documents. At this point no prices were included; placeholders were set for prices and these were tagged for automatic updating via the InCatalog plugin.

  • The pages were checked, adjustments made where necessary (spacing, picture placement, etc.), then sent to the client for approval.

  • Some changes were made manually in the database - for example, spelling mistakes fixed, products moved into different or additional categories

  • Towards the end of the project, item prices were updated in CatBase via an Excel file update

  • The price details were published to files in a special format (one for each catalogue section)

  • The price update files were applied to the catalogue sections and the prices were all updated

  • The live data was then uploaded from CatBase to the client's Sql Server database via an ODBC data link


They then needed to produce the smaller Essential Brands catalogue. A new Publishing Style Sheet was set up, which set the data in a different style. The data was then published, using a subset of the database.


The Result

OyezStraker Multipack catalogue

What the client said ...

"This was quite a big project and there were various delays and complications due to the fact that this was the first time the project was database-based; it was quite a challenge transferring all the product information from the old Quark files into the database format! The support we received from CatBase was superb, and when problems were encountered they were fixed promptly."

"Despite those challenges, thanks to CatBase we were able to complete both catalogues on schedule and in a fraction of the time it would have taken to do them manually."    – Gary Reid, Director, Nude Design

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