Basic InDesign: Layouts, Type, and Images

Por: Skillshare . en: , ,


Learn InDesign while picking up basic principles of good design. 

In today’s competitive job market, knowing the basics of InDesign can help set you apart, regardless of what field you are in. Whether you want to develop or maintain marketing materials, make a postcard or e-card, design your own resume, layout a book, or just gain an understanding of the software, this class will give you a solid understanding of how InDesign works and different ways you can use the tools.

** Every week students can look forward to feedback from the instructor on their project boards in the online classroom! **

What You'll Learn

  • Working in InDesign. We’ll walk through setting up a basic document, designing from scratch, working with multiple page documents and layouts as well as master pages, all the way through to creating a PDF, preparing files for print or digital, and packaging files.
  • Editing visual components.You’ll learn how images work in InDesign (hint: they’re linked) and how you can easily make adjustments to your page layout.
  • Troubleshooting. There are multiple ways to do things, so you’ll become a savvy trouble shooter in the process.
  • Finesse. You’ll gain an understanding of working with text and fonts to give your work more polish.
  • Strong foundation.You’ll gain a solid base of InDesign to explore on your own, or for future follow-up courses. Practice makes perfect.

What You'll Make

Students are invited to design a multi-page InDesign document that will be exported as a PDF. A few ideas are a photo essay, portfolio, media/press kit or deck/presentation on a topic of your choice. 

This course is designed to be beginner level and will cover the basics of InDesign, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve never opened the software program.

Note: This class filmed on a laptop + using screenshare, and may not be as flashy as some others, but it's all about the ideas, concepts, and content.


Class Outline

  • Welcome + Understanding Creative Suite. No matter if you’re creating a magazine design or simply want to learn how to bring a sense of visual hierarchy to your printed media, Adobe InDesign is the industry standard. There are, of course, multiple versions of this software, and Anne helps you find your way no matter what CS you have, including Creative Cloud.
  • The Tools of InDesign. Anne starts out by taking you through all of the tools available in the InDesign toolbox. Some are more intuitive than others, and Anne makes sure that you know your way around the most frequently used tools, as well as where to look for help should you get stuck.
  • Setting Up Your Document. Vector design is NOT like working in Photoshop, and there are key differences you need to know when starting a new document. Anne shows you the settings she uses most often and also explains what many of the options actually mean.
  • Inserting Images. When working with images in InDesign, it’s important to understand that they are “linked,” and Anne walks you through the steps necessary to keeping your images clean, organized, and ready to go.
  • Working with Type. Text is an often overlooked element of design, but with Anne’s help and a few useful resources, you will be well on your way to creating works of art out of mere words. She’ll show you how to write along a path, use placeholder text to help visualize the final product, and how to “think with type.”
  • The Fun Stuff. The fun stuff is how you bring your document to life, and Anne has plenty of useful tips to make your printed materials jump off the page. You’ll learn how to add small, personal touches to a bullet list, and how to use the pathfinder tool to make cool text effects. Once you have the basics, you’re only limited by your imagination.
  • Layouts 101. In this lesson, Anne shows you how she sketches out a new project on paper before bringing it into InDesign. She shares her thoughts on how to simplify your layout to keep it clean and uncluttered. You’ll also learn to separate your project into layers to further organize your project as well as make changes more easily.
  • Working with Master Pages. Master Pages are the key to quickly making changes to your entire project no matter what stage you’re in. Once you’ve created your template, you can easily change all the heading fonts or text styles with just a few clicks, saving time and frustration.
  • Paragraph and Character Styles. There’s more to characters than just fonts, and Anne goes into detail regarding leading, kerning, and tracking. If you don’t know what those are, don’t worry. When you’re done with this lesson, you’ll not only be an expert, but you’ll also know how to change each of those elements in InDesign.
  • Polishing your project. This lesson is all about adding finesse to your project, and Anne shares her thought process on what makes a clean design. She’ll show you how to add drop caps and also how to include interactive elements, such as hyperlinks, in your final PDF.
  • Exercise: Practice Layouts. You can download Anne's practice layout sheets into your own project to help you gain a sense of pacing and rhythm as it relates to the printed page. This free resource comes with Anne’s numerous years of experience and can help get you started no matter your experience level.
  • Preparing files for export, print + packaging. Anne shares her output settings with you and makes sure you understand which options do what. Need to include hyperlinks? She’ll show you where that option is as well as tips for making sure your final PDF will work no matter if it’s being viewed on a computer, phone, or tablet.