DTI Catalog

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This project came unexpectedly.

I was asked by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (Region VI) to create a whole new look for their 2013 MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) catalog. I accepted the task because it would entail a collaboration with my father (a photographer). The whole concept excited me and so I took on the risk of designing something new for the DTI – something local and something that sounds so “serious.”

I have not done a majority of my works on print but this one spells out a bright beginning.

Work: Graphic Design, Page Layouting | Role: Graphic Designer, Layout Artist

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Graphic Design

I had the opportunity to work with Ms Mutya in this project and the planning phase was very productive in terms of deciding on the size of the catalog, the number of allotted pages, the colors, and the working categories that will be placed in the final output. It was extremely a very new environment for me as I am used to designing “away” from people. The experience broadened my view with “print design” as I learned a lot of things from constant meetings and constant revisions.

After creating a mood board to set the tone of the overall project design, I forced myself to ditch Photoshop and work with InDesign – yes, the software of all softwares in print.


Since they requested me to do something new, my design proposal contains a lot of pointed things and bold colors which show depth, focus on the photos, and intricacy through geometric shapes. I try to make it a point that one element will not overpower the other. That’s why a mood board is suitable in this project. This defines the whole look and experience on the final output.

Much of the graphic work focused on the cover and the inline background images which are used evenly in the catalog.


My rationale in doing something edgy is to accommodate 4-5 images per page. Doing a rectangular layout would take too much space which will make the text smaller and everything topsy-turvy. I love triangles for the reason they can be tiled differently: they can be equilateral, isosceles, and scalene – from there, the number of combinations are endless.

This gave me a lot of room to experiment and to showcase all of the images that my father took. Well, I have to give him credit for that.

Below are numbers that demonstrate the hierarchy of elements – the projected flow of the readers eye on the page: From the title, to the tiled images, to the featured product, to the description, and to the contact details.


The design below (rectangular tiles) looks boring and does not really emphasize the texture and the products. That defeats the purpose of a catalog. Everything laid out should be seen and should be as important as the other element.


After weeks of painfully composing the images and creating around 140 pages, I managed to get everything done despite some delay with the entries. Aside from little knowledge in InDesign, I have learned that it is a tool that is indispensable if you’re working with print. In the long run, it became easier each time.

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Above are some images of the finished catalog. You can check out the other images here.

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