Contact Adam

[email protected]

Lectures & Projects

Redesign Alice in Wonderland (Part II)


With your typesetting mostly planned out, we can now move on to layout. If this were a real job, showing your sample pages with your chosen fonts to the client would be a good milestone, meaning you should get the client to sign off before proceeding with the rest of the project and invoice them for that phase of the project. In other words, in case it’s not obvious, don’t layout the whole book just to have it rejected. Get them to sign off on part 1, that way if they change their mind after you have begun part 2, they can be held accountable.

Part 2 is mostly production work, meaning just dropping in the text and applying styles, and creating your illustrations if applicable. But there are some important takeaways:

Clean The Text and Master the art of “Find/Change”

It’s very common for a design job that you’ll receive poorly formatted Microsoft Word files or something similar. There will be weird indents and leading when you first import it, and none of this is out of the ordinary.

Use InDesign’s Find/Change feature to get rid of:


Be ready for poetry, and you’ll need to try and match the poetry formatting, especially the poem shaped like a mouse tail. This document should reflect this so you can look at it for reference, or look up the original and see what I mean.

A special note about the single and double quotes

The real challenge with this text is dealing with the quotations and apostrophes. I will share my personal strategy in class on how to solve this, but of course, I want to give you a chance to figure it out. The goal is this:

I won’t lie, it’s not straightforward to fix the quotes, so don’t hurt yourself trying to figure it out. The actual fix only takes about a minute, but figuring it out on your own might be a challenge.

Other Ideas

I personally like to add a “thin space” character around dashes and around words in parentheses. If you are really a typographic nerd, you might search for ampersands and numerals throughout your body text and apply a style to them for later use. Sometimes designers make ampersands and numbers .5 to 1pt smaller than the rest of the body text since it reads a bit more comfortably, but a font with old-style numerals (a feature that can be accessed with open-type fonts in the character palette menu) already compensates for this. I would only do this if you feel confident with InDesign and your employer supports this practice.

Set Up Master Pages, Page Size, Margins, and Baseline Grid

You might have already established margins and page size in part 1, but now is the time to commit to it. Page size should be influenced by the limitations of your printer and budget, and how much line length and white space you will need for your layout. Give yourself safe, generous margins – meaning don’t expect printers and cutting machines to be so precise. When in doubt, go for a larger margin. Create a master page for everything you need – and for this assignment, I would expect you’ll at least need two master pages, one for your chapter intros and another for the body text pages. Set your baseline grid to whatever the leading of your body text is from part 1. More advanced layouts such as magazines might set the baseline to something different, and also be aware that individual text boxes can have their own baseline grid separate from the master.

Auto Page Numbering

Know how to do automatic page numbering on your master pages, and set up different sections in the pages palette.

Dynamic Headers & Text Variables

We can also set up dynamic headers. Let’s say that you want to put the name of the chapter in the header of your story’s pages – InDesign can automatically detect the name of the current chapter and insert it into your header using text variables.

Place the text

Understand how to use auto flow and thread text boxes and utilize columns if your design requires them.

Go for it

Layout the entire story of Alice in Wonderland using the guidelines above and what you have completed in part 1 of this assignment. If you don’t know how to do any of the above, please talk to me!