How to Create a Contact Sheet for Your Small Business

As an entrepreneur, organizing product photos for your ecommerce store can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Photoshop‘s contact sheet tool makes it easy to preview and arrange large batches of product images all on one page. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk through how small business owners can create custom contact sheets to wrangle their inventory photos.

Why Contact Sheets Matter for Small E-Commerce

Contact sheets allow entrepreneurs to efficiently organize inventories of 100+ product images for web stores or catalogs. In my 5 years running a small apparel e-commerce site, I‘ve created countless contact sheets to preview collections of clothing photos before posting online.

As recommended by Photoshop experts, arranging images in grids saves business owners major time over toggling through individual pictures. Plus, key captions on contact sheet thumbnails help identify products correctly.

Select the Product Images You Want to Feature

In your latest summer catalog, are you spotlighting 50 new sundresses that need excellent organization? Before creating contact sheets, entrepreneurs like us must pull together the exact photos to include of dresses, shirts, accessories or other products.

You can select images individually or in entire batches. According to Adobe‘s Photoshop guide, hold down Ctrl/Command while clicking to choose multiple files in your folders to feature on your contact sheet.

Access the Built-In Contact Sheet Tool

The key to rapidly generating a contact sheet lies in Photoshop‘s handy automation tool Contact Sheet II. Let‘s open it up:

  1. Go to File > Automate > Contact Sheet II
  2. This opens the Contact Sheet II menu containing all the key customization options we‘ll use to build our small business contact sheet

Arrange Your Photos in Grids

In the Contact Sheet II menu, paly around in the Thumbnails area. The rows and columns numbers allow entrepreneurs to neatly format product images in grids on our sheets.

Common small e-commerce arrangements are often 5 rows x 10 columns or 3 rows x 15 columns. This fits 50+ listings nicely. Test arrangements that accomodate YOUR unique product photo quantities.

Customize Image Size and Layout

Next determine the two key layout settings for your needs in Contact Sheet II:

  1. Size: Height and width to scale your thumbnails
  2. Space: Gaps desired between your thumbnail images

I normally use 0.5 inch sized thumbnails spaced 0.1 inches apart to tightly pack my 50-item fashion contact sheets. But your own preferences may differ!

Tag Your Products with Captions

As a small business owner, key details on my images guides me in managing inventory correctly across my contact sheets.

  • Check Captions under the Thumbnails tab
  • Select File Name to simply label products with their existing image names
  • You can also choose Date or other metadata

This allows you to identify items when previewing the finisted grids of images. For my shop, I love adding product names + SKUs when possible!

Adjust Sheet Style: Colors & Font

Apply your brand style by altering background, text colors and font:

  1. Set Background: White, black or a custom color
  2. Text Color: Easy to see against background
  3. Add Brand Font: Use dropdown to access fonts

I use a light gray classic Google font for my brand‘s contact sheet text since 2008!

Import Your Small Business Images

We‘re now ready to place our handpicked product photos onto our contact sheets!

  1. Click Choose button at top
  2. Navigate and select your image folder
  3. Hit OK

Give Photoshop a minute to import goods and formulate grids. For best practices, keep images consistently sized.

Save Your Contact Sheet Masterpiece

When your inventory thumbnail grids appear beautifully formatted before you, let‘s save a master file:

  1. Go to File > Save As
  2. Name your inventive contact sheet!
  3. Export as a printable PDF, sharable JPEG etc

Use for any business purposes required – share sheets with staff, send to manufacturers and print for records. You‘re now better equipped to manage mass product photos!