Use Cases and Industry Solutions

InDesign Server has been available for many years. Partners and developers have built many different use cases and industry solutions for automating print and creating digital components for web. Some of the most common use cases are described below. There are many examples of how customers are using the product on the Customer Reference site.

Common solutions for everyone

While the potential online and offline applications of the InDesign individually designed.Server engine are virtually limitless, companies most often use the software in one of five ways: personalized marketing, catalog publishing, brochure and collateral creation, self-service ad creation, and editorial workflow automation.

Personalized marketing

Also known as VDP or one-to-one marketing, personalized marketing allows publishers to create compelling content that speaks directly to an individual rather than a broad group. Personalized marketers typically use solutions powered by InDesign Server to produce different iterations of a publication for each customer. Such differences range from changing text and images on a page to building entirely unique documents. These solutions include everything from postcards with unique messages to entire catalogs that could be based on a particular consumer's buying history.


Traditional personalized marketing has often lacked the design and production values of a publication crafted by hand. InDesign Server lets marketers automate professional design and layout, resulting in engaging communications that create more effective promotions and a more intimate relationship with customers.


Catalog publishing

Today, retailers and catalog companies are under pressure to produce catalogs that are more up to date and better targeted to specific customers or opportunities. Catalog creation solutions allow them to automate the production of beautiful, professionally designed catalogs. In a typical workflow, publishers build sophisticated and flexible catalog templates using Adobe InDesign software and then automate production using a data source and business logic. These solutions can either be inexpensive, standalone applications driven by spreadsheets or part of a broad and robust CMS, PIM, or catalog management system.


InDesign Server enables such solutions to dramatically decrease the time needed to produce professionally designed catalogs, without requiring additional creative resources.


Brochure and collateral creation

The production of marketing collateral can be a time-consuming process that detracts from more business-critical tasks. Brochure and collateral solutions, often called web to print, provide a much more flexible workflow for producing and updating marketing materials. Creative professionals can retain control over the look and feel of marketing materials, while enabling nondesigners to edit and change specific page elements.


In a typical workflow, designers create professional-quality templates using InDesign and other Adobe Creative Cloud™ components and make those documents available for editing in a web browser. Writers, editors, and marketing professionals then have the ability to add, edit, and change content such as logos, addresses, or product information. These solutions significantly improve the efficiency of collaborative workflows, while allowing brand managers to protect the integrity of the final product.

Self-service ad creation

Newspapers and magazines can greatly streamline and enhance the production of display and classified ads. Self-service ad creation solutions enable readers to quickly create their own advertisements online using a wide variety of styles and templates and then see an accurate preview of them before they are placed. At the same time, newspapers and magazines can accept ads much later in the production process and also upsell customers by showing them higher value options. As a result, they can offer new advertising opportunities and a better customer experience, without sacrificing quality or requiring additional resources.


Marketing material creation (web to print)

Book, newspaper, and magazine publishers are using solutions powered by InDesign Server to automate parts of their existing editorial workflows. Some are employing InDesign Server to handle processor-intensive tasks that would otherwise be taking place on the desktop, such as PDF file and thumbnail creation. Others are enabling writers and editors to work on stories from a remote location via a web browser. InDesign Server can provide them with an accurate copyfitting experience that would otherwise require a desktop version of Adobe InCopy® or InDesign software.


Your own unique solution

Automated publishing is a fast-developing field. Every day, customers are looking for ways to push beyond automating the tasks they already perform and to create new services. InDesign Server offers a flexible platform that can accommodate any number of possibilities for driving new revenue streams. Its ultimate use is up to your imagination and the unique facets of your business.

InDesign Server for creative agencies

The pressure to deliver content quickly never ends for creative agencies. With rapidly shifting markets and new digital challenges, you need to find ways to centralize your resources and capitalize on new business opportunities without compromising the quality of your work. Automated publishing services provided by InDesign Server can offer the critical advantage you need for your next client pitch.

Personalized and one-to-one marketing

Direct marketing customers are always looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of their mailings. With InDesign Server, you can deliver personalized and one-to-one marketing campaigns that look as though a skilled designer built each piece by hand. Design a stunning template and then use any data source to populate it with text, images, and graphs that are relevant, compelling, and unique to each individual customer.


Marketing material creation (web to print)

As an advertising or marketing agency, you are frequently required to create datasheets, white papers, point-of-sale materials, and other marketing pieces. In the past, this has often meant assigning and managing valuable design resources to handle late-stage changes from clients. With automated solutions powered by InDesign Server, you can design professional-looking templates that your client can access through a web browser. You maintain the quality of the final output. That way, you can concentrate more on your core business and less on project management.


Self-service and automated ad creation

Self-service and automated ad creation solutions help reduce the resources required to build a large number of simple yet repetitive ads for your clients. Instead of designing a number of ads and cutting and pasting content into them every time your clients want to place a new ad, you can set up templates that enable them to use a web browser to quickly and easily populate them with new content.

Newspaper insert and ad creation (web to print and self-service ad creation)

A significant portion of some creative agencies' business involves the production of inserts, circulars, and similar content within full-page display ads in newspapers. Traditionally, this has been a resource-intensive process. Automated insert and ad creation solutions can greatly decrease the time needed to produce these advertisements. Creative agencies can now set up templates and then automatically generate the ads. Even if customers have last-minute additions or price changes, they can be easily accommodated.


Catalog creation (web to print)

Your catalog clients are constantly looking for ways to speed up production, respond more quickly to changes, and even expand their reach to new locations or markets. You can use solutions powered by InDesign Server to reduce the time and resources needed to produce and update catalogs. That way, your clients may be able to increase the number of catalogs they produce each year, publish to multiple languages, or even target offerings to specific areas or customers.


Your own unique solution

As a creative agency, you are always dreaming up the next great thing. Do you have a client who wants something that could be automated but still must look professionally designed? Call an Adobe partner and introduce a solution powered by InDesign Server.


Learn how Magicomm, LLC, a versatile marketing agency, creates innovative, multichannel VDP campaigns with InDesign Server ›

InDesign Server for retail

Retailers increasingly rely on technology to target customers efficiently. Solutions powered by InDesign Server can help you create personalized and targeted marketing for brochures, catalogs, direct mail, and advertising — both inside and outside stores. They also allow greater creative control in the automated production of point-of-sale documents and other materials. Best of all, these solutions enable you to manage your brand efficiently, control the growth of your creative services department, and concentrate on your core business.

Newspaper insert, catalog, and ad creation (web to print and self-service ad creation)

A significant portion of many retailers' marketing efforts involves the production of inserts, circulars, coupons, catalogs, and other similar content in full-page display ads. Traditionally, this has been a resource-intensive process. Insert and ad creation solutions can greatly decrease the time needed to produce these advertisements and make them look more compelling than those of the competition. Your creative professionals set up templates and then automatically generate the ads, easily accommodating last-minute additions or price changes.


Brochure, flyer, and point-of-sale materials (web to print)

Many retailers operate across multiple stores and franchises, which involves the production of similar but not always identical marketing and point-of-sale materials. Managing your brand in this environment can be challenging, especially if you want to give individual stores the flexibility to respond to local conditions. With InDesign Server, your creative professionals set up templates for brochures, flyers, and point-of-sale materials. Local managers can then adapt them using a web browser, while you retain control of the overall look and feel.

Data-driven marketing campaigns (personalized marketing)

Retailers today know more about their customers than ever before. The challenge is to apply that business intelligence in ways that increase sales and benefit their bottom line. Personalized marketing campaigns that respond to an individual customer's buying habits can greatly improve customer response rates. But traditional VDP efforts often fall short in their creative execution. With InDesign Server, you can deliver data-driven marketing campaigns that look as though a skilled designer built each piece by hand.

InDesign Server for pharmaceutical companies

Pharmaceutical companies create a large volume of complex documents, reports, and sales materials. Costs can rise dramatically when trying to market in multiple languages and achieve compliance with different regulatory environments. Solutions powered by InDesign Server automate the production of such documents while preserving the integrity of your product's brand and promoting regulatory compliance.

Packaging (web to print)

Due to the complexity of international workflows, the production of packaging can be an error-prone process. Automated publishing solutions can help companies save time and reduce costs whenever they create packaging and other sales materials for different languages and regulatory environments. At the same time, the production quality of your packages will always be highly professional.

Brochure and flyer creation (web to print)

Medical device manufacturers and drug makers continually produce large numbers of documents for doctors, patients, insurers, and more. Your challenge is to maintain control over your brand while serving the needs of a variety of customer groups. With InDesign Server, your designers can now set up templates for brochures, flyers, and point-of-sale materials. Writers, editors, and marketers can then customize the content using a web browser without having to learn how to use a professional publishing tool. As a result, you can better manage your content without compromising on quality.

InDesign Server for financial services providers

As a financial services provider, you need to keep your customers informed with up-to-date statements and other data-driven documents. And these documents must reflect the trust and value of your brand. Solutions powered by InDesign Server can make it easy and cost-effective to produce comprehensive, current, data-driven documents that look as if they were individually designed.

Brochure and prospectus creation (web to print)

Companies that create financial products publish a wide range of reports, prospectuses, and other documents. While many of them are data driven and automated, their design and production values do not always reflect the quality of the brands behind them. With solutions powered by InDesign Server, you can automatically generate a wide variety of brochures that combine eye-catching professional design with up-to-the-minute information.

Personalized reporting (personalized publishing)

Wealth management clients can never get enough information about their portfolios and the individuals who are looking after them. Satisfy that need by producing consolidated documents that contain not only quotes and financial statements but also in-depth information about funds, managers, and the people who are working directly for your clients. With InDesign Server, you can create intelligent reports on a faster timeline than ever before, without the involvement of numerous creative professionals.

InDesign Server for government

Governments today must quickly communicate a wide range of information in a way people can easily understand. With automated solutions powered by InDesign Server, you can speed up the creation and delivery of highly readable documents in multiple languages. Keep your constituents updated more often with documents that reflect the professionalism and integrity of your organization.

Letter, newsletter, and brochure creation (web to print)

Managing publication standards across large regions is easy with document creation solutions powered by InDesign Server. You can set up standard templates that others can use to create properly formatted documents using a web interface, even if they are not designers and are unfamiliar with professional publishing.

Regulatory Documents

InDesign Server can be used to format longer regulatory documents that are structured with well formed markup whether in XML, SGML or consistent use of styles. Authoring can be done in any number of tools and through scripting formatted with InDesign Server


Small-publication workflow (editorial workflow automation)

Government agencies create many small but sophisticated publications that often require input from experts located across a wide geographical area. Traditionally, creating and updating such documents has required extensive project management and hands-on creative resources. Solutions powered by InDesign Server can streamline these workflows, allowing anyone to make quick changes or create entirely new documents without compromising the quality of final output.

InDesign Server for printers

As a printer, you are always looking for ways to lower costs, speed up turnaround time, maximize your ROI, and add value to the services you provide to your customers. Solutions powered by InDesign Server offer an additional way to increase your service offerings and meet the rising demand for Variable Data Publishing (VDP) — without costly hardware investments.

Personalized marketing

Personalized marketing solutions are driving more impressions than ever for printers. Now with the arrival of digital offset printing, you can offer compelling personalized marketing services at a lower cost than ever before. By enhancing your capabilities with solutions powered by InDesign Server, you can more efficiently create direct mail and catalogs tailored to the needs of defined groups or even individuals.


Expanded creative services (web to print)

In today's competitive environment, many printers are expanding their businesses by offering template design and production services that drive web-to-print solutions.

Report writing (web to print)

If it's the end of the year, that means businesses are creating annual reports — publications that require a great deal of data integration, blacklining, and redlining. You can save time and improve service by offering your customers the ability to update and edit their reports through a web browser, rather than requiring a complex exchange of marked-up PDF files or other documents. Even though your clients are editing the documents, you set up templates and PDF settings that help ensure that the files will print correctly the first time.

InDesign Server for newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines today must deliver their content in more engaging, immersive experiences to maintain a competitive edge. This means more color, more personalized content, and innovative uses of media. At the same time, they are under pressure to reduce costs, gain efficiencies, and take advantage of new publishing vehicles such as the web, video, and mobile devices. With a solution powered by Adobe® InDesign® Server software, you can reduce costs by streamlining your print workflows and publish content to a wider range of media.

Self-service ad creation

Self-service solutions enable your customers or internal staff to easily produce professional-quality display and classified ads using a web interface. You can control the quality of these ads — and accept them later in the production cycle — while still giving your customers a wide range of creative options. The process also provides an opportunity to upsell customers to higher value placements during the ad creation process. You can even add new categories of advertisements without using more resources.

Editorial workflow

Editorial workflow solutions provide writers and editors with a more flexible and efficient work environment. InDesign Server, in conjunction with a number of established editorial solutions, lets them file and edit stories from anywhere over the web and copyfit them to an InDesign page. With InDesign Server, your editorial solution can also automate several common labor-intensive tasks, such as PDF file and thumbnail creation.