Have you ever seen a terrific-looking brochure or newsletter and wondered how it was made? Chances are the designer used Adobe InDesign CC, the industry-standard desktop publishing software now available through the Creative Cloud.
In each lesson, you will learn an important aspect of InDesign CC and prepare a range of print and online products for a fictional company. You will get dozens of files to work with, including a partially completed InDesign document used to start each lesson. Then you will use the downloaded graphics, images, fonts, and other content to complete the project. To check your work or troubleshoot any problems you encounter, you will always get a copy of the finished InDesign project file.
Lesson by lesson, you will discover how the program features relate to producing actual usable documents. You will explore the best ways to create different types of material, how to reuse items such as colors and artwork, and how to produce publications for different page sizes and devices. You will come away knowing how to use this popular page layout software to design and create professional-quality letterhead, business cards, brochures, forms, interactive PDF files, an eBook, and more.
Doug Sahlin is a professional photographer, author, graphic designer, and instructor living in Venice, Florida. He was President of Superb Images, a wedding and event photography company for three years. He creates fine art images of the flora, fauna, and iconic landscapes and seascapes found on the west coast of Florida. Sahlin has written over twenty how-to books, many of them bestsellers on Amazon.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Wouldn't it be terrific if you could use one program to create all the different types of print materials you need for your small business, organization, or family—such as letterhead, forms, and even brochures and business cards? Well, you can! We'll spend this first lesson going over all the different types of content you can produce with InDesign. We'll explore the InDesign workspace and tools, and then we'll get right to work on our first project—a logo for the fictional business we'll create materials for throughout this course!
Today, you'll learn all about starting and saving a new document. What's one of the most common types of print documents? If you said, "letterhead," you'd be right and well on your way into this lesson's project. By the end of the session, you'll know how to choose settings for a new file, add background images, and organize your content to create a custom letterhead. You'll also add a second page to create a matching envelope, and you'll learn how to add a custom Master page for the envelope. And as in all of our lessons, we'll go over how to use the specific colors, styles, and logo for our fictional business, but you'll be able to use the same techniques for your personal business or projects.
Organization is a key ingredient in successful work of any kind, and it's critical to successfully using InDesign. In this lesson, you'll learn about organizing in two ways. First, you'll see how to use a workflow, or an order of operations for creating an InDesign publication. Then we'll go over how to organize materials on a page and how to use many of InDesign's tools for aligning, organizing, and laying out your content. In the process, we'll complete three projects: a sheet of address stickers, a sheet of business cards, and a reusable business card template.
Many of your projects will use multiple pages with different layouts. Designing a catalog layout is the perfect way to learn these skills, and that's what we'll focus on today. We'll work with two different column layouts while exploring other InDesign features (like grids and document coordinates) that can help you lay out a page evenly. We'll also go over using graphic and text frame placeholders so you don't have to add content to the page to see its layout. For a final touch of realism, we'll use placeholder text during the design process to give you a good idea of how a page will look when you're finished. You'll see how to add a graphic into an existing frame and make it fit, as well as how to add content instantly using a file called a snippet.
Managing text in precise and interesting ways is one of the big advantages of working with InDesign rather than a word-processing program. In this lesson, we'll begin a two-page brochure project that will take us two lessons to complete. In this first part, you'll learn different methods for adding text to your publication. Once the text is in place, you'll see how to check your text for typos and errors. We'll go over how to work with text in simple text frames and how to design threaded text (where the text slides through linked text frames on the page yet stays within the defined structure). We'll also use the Story Editor as an alternative to adding content in a layout view. You'll finish the lesson working with two columns in a single frame, and you'll see how to balance the content and auto-size the frame.
The two key elements in any print project are, of course, text and images. We went over text in our last lesson, so today, we'll finish up our two-page brochure project by going over just about everything you need to know about working with images—adding them to the page in different ways, adjusting their positions, and using various commands for coordinating their sizes, proportions, and frames. We'll begin by adding images to the brochure project pages we worked on in Lesson 5, and then we'll check out some special ways to add batches of images at once to make an image collage and to place images in interesting frames. Speaking of interesting—you'll also see how you can use InDesign transparency effects to add pizzazz to any project. You'll wind up the lesson making a printable photo cube from a template.
You might be surprised to learn that InDesign provides you with some of the same sophisticated drawing tools that you'll find in Adobe Illustrator. For example, InDesign offers the Pathfinder tool, which is the perfect tool to use if you need to combine simply drawn shapes and convert them into more complex and interesting objects. In this lesson, you'll learn how to work with some of the drawing tools to design a poster for a fashion show. You'll see how to draw several simple shapes and stack them using blend modes for interesting effects. One of the topics we'll go over is a text wrap, which is a special way to work with a drawing to tell InDesign where you want your text to display on your page. If you've ever wondered how to make text follow the shape of an object, curving around it on the page, our practice today will solve the mystery!
Did you know that your eyes can see over 16 million different colors? It's true! Fortunately, you don't have to work with that many colors in InDesign. But if you ever find yourself trying to choose between thousands and thousands of color possibilities, you'll understand why InDesign offers you so many different ways to work with your choices. In this lesson, you'll learn the best methods for choosing, naming, and organizing colors. You'll practice working with solid colors as well as gradients (which let you display a range of color within an object), and we'll round out the lesson by using some more special effects in today's fun project—a greeting card.
When you need to display bits of information in your publication and want to ensure it's easy to read, it's time to use a table. InDesign offers you lots of tools for designing and formatting tables while helping you make sure your content will coordinate with other documents. You'll see how this works today as we practice building tables for an invoice. You'll also find out how to use color tints in your table, as well as how to use styles to quickly and consistently reuse any of your layout features. Finally, we'll experiment with an interactive PDF form. You'll add some fields to a blank form, see how to configure a text field or button, and produce the PDF form.
Recycling doesn't just apply to items in your home or business. In this lesson, you'll see how to use the 3R's of recycling in InDesign to complete a newsletter project. As you recycle and modify colors and styles from previous lessons to create new styles in your newsletter, you'll also reuse a lot of the tools and skills you've used in previous lessons. Learning to effectively use all of InDesign's tools and features in a variety of different ways on many different projects is what it's all about!
Whether you're designing publications for business, hobbies, or social or community activities, odds are you'll need to share them at some point. InDesign provides many options for exporting and reusing a document, as well as printing. We'll review a few of them today as we design a postcard using special fonts, colors, and image layout features. We'll also check out Kuler, the Adobe InDesign extension and online application used for color design. Have you ever seen text that shows an image of some sort through the letters and wondered how it's done? You'll know after today's lesson! By the time you finish this lesson, you'll know how to export a publication as an image, print directly from your desktop, or create a compact PDF version of your finished publication ready to email.
In this final lesson, we'll really test InDesign's versatility. First, we'll use a two-color version of the business cards you worked with early in the course and dig into color separations—a common method of preparing a file for a professional print shop. We'll try out special layout tools for producing alternate page layouts of different sizes in the same document. Finally, we'll wind up the course by creating an e-book.