Boost Design Workflows: Import InDesign Files to CHILI GraFx

For professional creatives, Adobe® applications like InDesign® and Illustrator® have become second nature—true work tools and extensions of their artistic minds. Yet, in a world that demands personalized and scalable creative content, designers increasingly recognize the vital need to embrace Creative Automation platforms in order to output content at scale. This begs a question: how can creatives reconcile their love for their favorite desktop tools with the necessity of using a platform like CHILI GraFx, suited to high-volume, personalized output? If you’re one of those creatives, you’ll be pleased to hear the answer is incredibly simple—and it opens up whole new worlds of creative freedom to you.

Output or Identitiy?

Let’s imagine you’re preparing some printed brand collateral for an international retail chain. You and other folks in your creative team have already come up with some killer designs in your favorite Adobe applications that fully adhere to the established brand guidelines. Everyone is happy! For now…

Next step is to unleash these designs on the stores across the globe so that they can localize and personalize the media for their locations and audiences.

If you don’t currently use a Creative Automation platform like CHILI GraFx, in couple of days you’ll likely be clutching your head as you try to clean up the mess of off-brand content the regional departments have created. It’s a horrible chore, but what’s the option?

Andrea Lipenta, Client Success Manager for Enterprise at CHILI publish, is intimately familiar with this problem. Before joining CHILI, Andrea worked in the print industry.

The challenge we frequently faced was delivering production at scale while retaining brand compliance. Our clients had very strict branding guidelines. Their design team put in the effort and the time to build out these designs in Adobe InDesign and, because of the complexity of automating design variants, they did all the work in InDesign files, spending days adding personalized, localized content. This was a real time drain, but it was considered a better option than letting the regional offices loose on the carefully created artwork. So, there were two problems off the bat that were seriously slowing production for our customers.

Andrea Lipenta

Client Success Manager

@ CHILI publish

In other words, the design teams were taken away from their real work of being creative and were spending huge amounts of time on the tedious tasks of producing content variants. There had to be a better way of working… and there was.

Scale your design, respect any brand guidelines

The challenge is actually simple: design impactful and tightly brand-compliant designs then hand them off to end-users (or data integration) for variant production… without affecting brand compliance or output quality.

And this can be done right now with CHILI GraFx.


As a designer, you really want to design in your favorite tools, right? So, do it! Just keep designing in InDesign and Illustrator exactly the way you prefer to work. Add layers for localization. Use vectors, rasters, fonts. Include the SPOT colors your brands use. Have fun! Go wild! Be creative!

Then, when you’re ready to create at scale, simply import your artwork into CHILI GraFx with our dedicated plugins or through the file system, if you prefer.

Either way, your artwork will be rendered flawlessly—promise!—as a CHILI GraFx Smart Template.

And from there? Well then you’re ready to use CHILI GraFx’s magic to save you time on manually creating graphical variants while maintaining brand compliance and enabling instant high volume output at scale.

Too good to be true?

You mean I can create in InDesign and Illustrator exactly as I want, upload my artwork with a single click, then make it available as a template with tight brand constraints to end-users across the globe to create graphical variants with their own content?

That is exactly what CHILI GraFx makes possible. Though you should add that it enables high-quality print (with SPOT colors, of course) that is so good, it will have your print prepress team jumping for joy.

While working at a print shop, Andrea discovered CHILI GraFx and realized it was exactly what many of her clients' design teams were yearning for:

This is a fast-moving market and we both have mutual benefit at heart. The CHILI publish team is always readily available on short notice to tackle issues, discuss ideas and join us on a quest for the next big thing.

Andy Russel

@ HH Global

Today Andrea works at CHILI publish fulfilling that realization for large numbers of brands, creatives, and—of course—printers across the globe. And given the compelling Creative Automation story Andrea has to tell, we asked her to join us for Episode 8 of CHILIpulse to discuss just how easy it is to create at scale from design to print with CHILI GraFx.

Watch CHILIpulse Episode 8

Ready to learn more from Andrea on how to go from desktop-driven design to Smart Templates for brand-compliant creative output? Check out CHILIpulse Episode 8 where we dive deeper into the hows and whys of importing InDesign and Illustrator artwork into CHILI GraFx to create at scale.

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Smart Templates

Bram Verniest

Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist

Andrea Lipenta

Client Success Manager

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