We’re going to set aside any creativity at the moment and just focus on software and technical ability. It’s difficult to learn skills and software while trying to be creative, and I feel this is where a lot of graphic design classes miss the mark. So for this assignment you can copy and match what you see. Trust me, it should be challenging enough. You can flex your creativity muscles once you complete this assignment. This project simulates a real-world hierarchy anyway; similar to an entry level or production based job, where an art director or creative director might hand off a mockup for you to produce.
I understand that you’ve taken a few classes, and have covered a lot of ground. But this intro project is your benchmark. I don’t expect you remember or understand everything from one assignment. But whether it takes you a few weeks or a few years, you should be working to get close to this benchmark, because there are other designers who can and they will be the first pick for jobs. Recently I met with a firm who was interested in bringing me in to mentor their young design staff because they didn’t know InDesign well enough.
It’s a lot like cooking (and you might hear me make make references to Gordon Ramsay from time to time). If I ask you to make an omelet, there are a lot of cool and interesting combinations you can do. But nobody likes burnt, overcooked, and/or rubbery eggs – so you need to know how to make some awesome scrambled eggs before you make an omelet. Mastering InDesign, Layout, and Typography are the scrambled eggs; the base ingredient.
If you feel you already know this stuff, prove it. And if you do in fact know it, can you do this assignment in about 2-4 hours? And if you don’t know it, you should. So for now, I don’t think anyone deserves an exception.
This is not a step-by-step manual. I unfortunately don’t have time to write a book like that. However, it is a guide designed to point you in the right direction, supplement what I demonstrate in class, and give you clues so that you can do your own research and exploration.
If you can’t figure something out in 30-60 minutes, you need to talk to me. If you’re working outside of class, you can email me, or just make a note of it, skip it for now, and we’ll deal with it in class. No heroes, please. I’ve seen a trend with students lately where they don’t ask for help. Whatever the reason, you’re only cheating yourself. I only help those who ask for it, and I will let you dig your own grave if you decide to not ask for help and not come to class. Also, if you do find information out there in the wild, I want to see it to make sure it will not mislead you.
- Use Dropbox – in your dropbox account, make a folder for this class and share it with me – [email protected]
- Here is the text in word document format, since most clients will deliver it that way.
- Here are the images, or you can get high-res images of New York from unsplash.com
- For fonts, use Minion Pro, Big Caslon, Univers, Open Sans, and Zapf Dingbats. Download if you have issues.
- Here is the chart and you can get the actual text from the wikipedia article
- And finally, here is what your finished project should look like
- To study the layout and typography of a professionally designed magazine spread
- To gain knowledge of the following topics in InDesign:
- Drop Caps
- All Caps, Small Caps, Title case, and sentence case
- Baseline Grid with margins
- Custom baseline grids
- Automatic Page Numbers
- Cross References
- Paragraph Styles
- Character Styles
- Object Styles
- Nested Styles
- Pull quote with text wrap
- Image text wrap
- Utilize optical kerning and smart quotes
- Hanging bullets and optical margin alignment
- Using find & replace to remove double spaces and double paragraph returns, insert thin spaces with parenthesis, etc.
- Be able to set up facing pages with a starting number other than “1″
- Work in points instead of inches
- Be able to import a MS Word doc and preserve italics, superscript, and other specific formatting
- Use find and replace to create character styles for italics and superscript
- Create threaded textframes and columns
- Know the two methods for creating columns (multiple text boxes and text frame options)
- Know about text variables
- Auto fitting images
- Span columns
A Word on InDesign Defaults
Right now, before you open anything, whatever you do will be come a global default. This includes things like adding swatches and all settings like font size and width. A global default will take effect for every new document you open. Once you make a new document, if you have nothing selected, you will create local defaults. If you set your fill color to red, then every time you make a shape, the fill will be red, but only for the document you are working with. Use global and local defaults to your advantage, they can be a huge time saver. But also watch out, it’s easy to set your local defaults by accident, and apply a character style to something without realizing it.
You are going to use the bullet list below to create a finished magazine layout that matches the .PDF I supplied above exactly as you see it. For anything that you don’t know how to do, each subhead below links to a point in the video below to demonstrate. In addition to this, you should be doing internet research to answer your questions.
In the past, students have messed this up by trying to follow along with the video. Let me be clear: I do not have a finished project at the end of the video, the video is only for demonstration and NOT a step-by-step-follow-along.
I’ve given you the content and images, the creative direction, and a video demonstration on top of what you can find on the internet. There is no excuse for not getting this done.
- Create a new file, 8 x 10 inches, 6 pages long, and start at page 2 (because there is no cover)
- Go to View > Show Baseline Grid
- Go to Type > Show Hidden Characters
- Under preferences > units and increments, set units to points. Working in points allows for much greater precision when it comes to setting your typography.
- Under preferences > grids, setup your baseline grid. Normally, you need make a decision about your typeface, size, leading, and margins. For now, use the following setup:
- Start 0:
- Relative To: Top Margin
- Increment Every: 14pt
- Make sure you are using a two-page master
- With both master pages selected, set the margins. I recommend .5 inch for a good margin, when in doubt, go bigger. The bottom margin will be different for two reasons – we need room for the page numbers, and we want the bottom margin to land on a baseline:
- top, right, left: 36pt
- bottom: 54pt
- Also under margins, create 4 columns. Even though the text is only two columns, I like to have extra to help me layout things like images and sidebars. I like to use the same gutter width, or slightly larger, as my leading
- Drag a guide .375 in from the bottom to help position the folio
- Create your page folios with automatic page numbers, use glyphs like en-space and centered dot. For the year, use a text variable. Use text frame options to align text to the bottom.
- Go to File > Place, make sure “import options” is checked and select the MS Word document. Make sure “Preserve Styles and Formatting from Text and Tables” is checked.
- If there is a swatch for RGB black, delete it and replace with CMYK black
- Use Find & Replace to remove double spaces
- Use Find & Replace to find any superscript text and assign a character style “superscript”
- Use Find & Replace to find italics and assign a character style “italics” (you would do the same for bold, but there is no bold for this assignment)
- Use a separate text frame for each column. Sometimes a single text frame with multiple columns works fine, but for layouts like this, separate text frames work well and give you greater control.
- You might have imported paragraph styles from your word doc. DO NOT use these, create new paragraph styles THEN delete these.
- In this document, I have aligned all text to the baseline grid. Sometimes, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but aligning text to the baseline grid will make your type and layout look SO MUCH more professional.
- For body text, I’m using Minion Pro at 10pt size and 14 pt leading (but in reality, the baseline grid determines leading). Align your body text to the baseline grid. Use space after to create space in-between paragraphs (note that since you’re using a baseline grid, the text will “jump” when you hit certain numbers). I try to avoid hyphenation, but it’s fine to leave on for this assignment.
- Subheads are Open Sans Light 26pt size and 28pt leading. The leading is 28pt because it’s divisible by 14pt – the size of the original baseline grid. Subheads are tricky when they span two or more lines, so note that you have the option to “align only first line to baseline grid”.
- Edit the character styles you created for italics and superscript and format them accordingly.
- The intro paragraph has its own text frame and uses a custom baseline grid of 7pt. I use 7pt because it’s a multiple of 14pt – the original baseline. This will allow me to have increased leading, and every other line of text in this box will line up with the rest of the document, so the layout maintains a neat presentation.
- The number of lines and number of characters for the drop cap is styled within the paragraph palette.
- Make an image frame and set up Frame Fitting Options. Remember what I said about InDesign defaults, this is an instance where you want to make “Auto Fit” the default. It really speeds things up.
- For any non-rectangle shapes, alter the image frame with the pen tool – don’t clutter up your layout with a bunch of white boxes if you can help it.
- The body text is Minion Pro, 13pt size, 28pt leading (still aligned to the 14pt baseline grid), and set to All Caps.
- Use Paragraph Rules above and below (DO NOT DRAW LINES OR BOXES!), with a weight of 5px. The top one is offset 28pt (and lands nicely on a baseline), and the bottom one is offset 23pt (because two baselines = 28pt, minus the width of the rule (5pt), so this also lands nicely on a baseline while giving me my desired spacing.
- Enable “Balance Ragged Lines” via the paragraph palette
- Make a paragraph style for the pull quote at this time.
- The intro quotation mark is Big Caslon, 36pt, 50 tracking, with -12pt baseline shift. Make a character style for this called “Quotation Mark”.
- Select and copy the quotation mark.
- Edit the paragraph style for the pull quote and go to “Drop Caps and Nested Styles”. Set up a new nested style, with the character style you created “Quotation Mark”, through, 1, and in the drop down, select and paste the quotation mark.
- Apply a text wrap to the pull quote with top offset 28pt and bottom offset 42pt.
- Now select your pull quote and create an object style called Pull Quote and make sure that this object style has the pull quote paragraph style applied.
- Why did we do all this? Because now you can take any text frame with a quote and click on the object style and your done. Not only is it faster, it helps to keep things consistent and prevent errors.
- With the data provided, create a table.
- For all stroke lines, I used .25 width.
- For all left and right cell insets, I used 7pt.
- The title cell has a top cell inset of 19pt, bottom 18pt, and all other cells have 7pt top and bottom.
- Mind your paragraph styles, when you need to style text across multiple cells, paragraph style will make this much easier.
- Know how to merge table cells
- It’s an old technique to grab colors from the photos. Use the eyedropper.
- Be sure after you eyedrop a color, you convert it to CMYK
- The background color in this case is a separate box, but do know that you can add color fills to text frames.
- The title is 24pt size, aligned to baseline grid, and -20 tracking, Open Sans Bold
- The intro paragraph is 12pt size, aligned to baseline grid, Open Sans Light
- The body text is 9pt size, aligned to baseline grid, Open Sans Light
- Everything is contained in a single text frame, that has left and right inset of 28pt, and has 2 columns
- The title and intro paragraph are set to span 2 columns via the paragraph palette
- Highlight the body text and create bullets via the paragraph palette. For text after, I recommend using an en space. Then increase the left indent 9pt, and use -9pt for the first line indent. This is called “hanging your bullets” and hanging punctuation is a key thing professionals look for when determining your typographic skills. Also from this window, you can conveniently apply a character style to the bullets to easily control color, weight, etc.
- Everything you did to style the bullets can be recorded in a paragraph style to reuse later in the document.
- Note that cross references are great for building a Table of Contents – they keep the page numbers and text up-to-date as you move pages around or edit titles, etc.
- Make a paragraph style for the sidebar title – styles are what cross references “hook” onto
- Under the main title of the article, create a textbox
- From the cross reference palette, create a new cross reference by hitting the “new” button
- Find the paragraph style for your sidebar title on the left
- Select the text on the right
- Click OK, it should insert something like “New York City Parks on page 9”
- So wherever you move the sidebar, this text will now automatically update. One less headache for you to worry about, and less chance of error.
- After everything looks good and I approve it, fix your widows and orphans by using font width, tracking, and font size.
- Add thin-spaces around parentheses and long dashes (This is my own technique but I share it with you to give you an idea of the level of detail you should be using to look at your own typography)
- add non breaking spaces to km2 (a.m. and p.m. are also a good opportunity to add non breaking spaces)
- add the square glyph at the end of the article using dingbats