Course Code: in6
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! You'll spend this first lesson looking at all the different types of content you can produce with InDesign. You'll explore the InDesign workspace and tools and then get right to work on your first project—a logo for the fictional business that you'll create materials for throughout this course!
In this lesson, 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. You'll then discover how to use the specific colors, styles, and logo for your 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, you'll learn 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, you'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 you'll focus on in this lesson. You'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. The lesson will also go over using graphic and text frame placeholders so that you don't have to add content to the page to see its layout. For a final touch of realism, you'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, you'll begin a two-page brochure project that will take 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. The lesson will 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). You'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 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. The last lesson went over text, and in this lesson you'll finish up the 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. You'll begin by adding images to the brochure project pages you worked on in Lesson 5 and then 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 you'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, this lesson 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 round out the lesson by using some more special effects in a 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 as you practice building tables for an invoice. You'll also find out how to use color tints in your table, as well as how to create and use styles to quickly and consistently reuse any of your layout features. Finally, you'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 3Rs 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, 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. You'll review a few of those options as you design a postcard using special fonts, colors, and image layout features. Have you ever seen text that shows an image of some sort through the letters and wondered how it's done? By the time you finish this lesson, you'll know how to export a publication as an image and then place it into a new web page, print directly from your desktop, or create a compact version of your finished publication ready to email.
In this final lesson, you'll really test InDesign's versatility. First, you'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. You'll try out special layout tools for producing alternate page layouts of different sizes in the same document. Finally, you'll wind up the course by creating an e-book.
Donna Baker is an educator, learning designer, and technical editor with more than 15 years of experience creating instructional materials. Donna started her career instructing and designing content for health and medical classes. She has since branched out to teaching courses on professional design and publishing tools. She is Adobe Certified Expert and Adobe Community Expert.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.
Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access.
Instructor-Led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.
Donna, I just had to say thank you. You did a wonderful job with this course, and your showing us some tips and tricks along the way about ID made me realize that my switch to this Adobe product from Serif was worth my time and money. As a result, I have completed my new magazine template and realized that your class has helped me immensely. In fact, I will be creating the premiere issue using the template with great confidence this coming week, and I am going to really have a blast doing it because of what you have taught us. Your hands-on approach to trying things out was helpful, and I learned enough that ID is not so overwhelming and complicated as I thought it would be. I am actually enjoying ID a lot and having fun with it. Plus, it all looks so very good and professional without doing a lot of work!"
As a beginner to InDesign, this was a great lesson! I enjoyed every bit of it. The instructions were clear, and the video was helpful in Chapter 3. I believe the instructor has done a great job in coaching the beginners (like me) along. The detailed instructions truly help, along with the visuals embedded within the lesson."
I will celebrate my 76th birthday, but still enjoy learning new things. I create birthday cards for my church family each month...using my own paintings and drawings and my own verses. For these projects, I've been using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This program will be added to the fun of the creativity."
This class has been way more fun than I expected. I hope to follow up with the intermediate class as well. I don't want to lose what I have learned and I look toward being able to create the documents I want. Thank you so much for offering this class!"