Doing it yourself can be a money-saver IF you have the skills and the time. But that doesn't mean it's the best way to go. When you figure in your time, and what you were not getting done by working on it yourself (like being in your studio creating your art), it's often better to let someone help you get all your print promotional stuff designed and printed.
But if you want to give it a go, here are some tips that should help speed things along. I use this info every day, I hope they will help you as well:
You should do this first: Stop and think about what you're trying to accomplish.
Start with great images of your work and images you'll use for backgrounds and decorative effects.
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until artists stop sending me images of their work taken with a cell phone. That is NOT what I mean by "great images." I mean high resolution, professional-quality photographs. Skimping here is self-destructive.
Get a design guide and layout template from the printer you'll use for a truly custom piece. Or, use their online design software.
To design and print catalogues:
Of course there are many, many more great resources out there. If you know of one, add a comment to this article on the Blog, or just email me and I'll add it for you.
Web Marketing Mentor