Comm 362, Design For Print
Instructor: Ross Collins

Introduction to pagination software (Adobe InDesign CC 2017)

Exercise for large format document

What you'll learn:

Broadsheet sample.The challenge of creating a broadsheet newspaper is finding an attractive way to fill that large expanse of white paper. It probably will be the largest publication you'll ever create. Keep in mind some of the best practices concerning newspaper design:

Critique for practice

The sample above right was designed by students in a previous class. It's pretty good, but does suffer from a fairly static, centered design, even the headlines. Good use of an interesting, condensed headline typeface. Students did not make use of the spread, but treated it as two separate pages. The travel section head is all right, although not necessary, on the first page. But it should not be repeated on the second page at the same size. Jump head should be slightly larger. Text wrap around the telephone booths is too narrow--very narrow columns are hard to read. Try to avoid empty space at the end of articles, another problem with this example, and pull the headlines so they are closer to body text, with more space above. Cutlines should be a standard amount of space below photos, about 1 pica. A deck or pull quote would add interest, as would more variety in headline size.

Assigning tasks

We may do this exercise, individually, or as part of a design team. If individually you need to act as project director as well as graphic designer. Begin by brainstorming design possibilities based on professionally designed broadsheet newspapers. Buy a copy of USA Today, Minneapolis Star Tribune, or the Fargo-Moorhead Forum, to use as an idea source. Sketch at least two thumbnails of ideas based on the articles and photos you have available. These are worth 2 pts., and need to be turned in along with the final design, if not before.

A word about teamwork in design.

If you work as part of a design team, you set up a more formal group structure to divide graphic design jobs. Duties might include:

  1. Project director: Responsible for coordinating tasks, assisting other group members, evaluating job, final proofreading.
  2. Art director/Photoshop expert: Responsible for handling photos and other illustrations (if used), including sizing and resolution control, to prepare prints for InDesign.
  3. Graphic designer/InDesign expert: Responsible for accurately executing group design.

Group responsibilities: Members review content available, create thumbnails for group evaluation, brainstorm with the group on possible designs, decide on a final design as a group.

Okay, let's get started.

broadsheet grid1. First create a folder to save your work. Then choose a New document. Specifications: 4 pages, facing pages on, orientation vertical, 78 p by 133 p.; number of columns 6, 1 p between columns (gutter), margins 4 p all around. (See illustration at right, pages 2 and 3.) Save to folder.

Designer's note: You must save all elements of your design in the same folder. InDesign normally imports low-res copies of photos for placement in your working document. When you create a pdf or print your document, it goes back to your folder to substitute high-res photos. If you've saved them elsewhere, that link might be broken, and InDesign won't be able to find the high-res versions. You'll see only the low-res versions in your final document.

2. Set Paragraph styles. Choose styles as you wish, but recall you need two different typefaces, one for body, one for headline. Avoid choosing the default minion pro, arial, times or helvetica, overused fonts. Consider point size and amount of leading for attractive design; you will want to look at existing newspapers for ideas. I may deduct points for body type that looks horsey (too large), hard to read (too small) dense (too little leading) or clunky (too much leading). Note: 12 pt body text is generally a bit too large; 8 pt is generally too small. Ten-point is a good body text choice for most typefaces.

Keep in mind your theme: the travel section of a news publication that will be both published and available as a pdf for online subscribers..

3. Copy the content below, paste into Word, spell check, save into your folder. (Alternative: copy and paste into InDesign, and proofread/spell check there: With text cursor in text, choose Edit pulldown, Spelling, and Spell Check.) The material below is more than will fit on two newspaper pages. Because there's more here than you can use, you'll have to choose, and also write headlines. Okay, normally an editor's function, but chances are good you'll be doing some of this in real life. (Note: Always spell check headlines!) Note:

Chose from these articles:

Travel one (Washington)

Travel two (Darjeeling, saved as Word document)

Travel three (Cambridge, saved as Word document)

Travel four (Bellagio)

Travel five (Ren fest, Shakopee, Minn.; saved as Word document)

4. Set Preferences to typographer's quotes. Replace two hyphens with an em-dash, (Keystroke combination: Option-Shift-hyphen. See other keystroke combinations for quotes, en-dashes, etc.) and rabbit-ear quotes with typographer's quotes. You may cut the articles, if you wish, but the cuts need to make sense. Save plenty of room for pictures. Copy and paste the cutlines below, as needed. Don't forget to run spell check on cutlines. Note: Don't rewrite copy or cutlines. That's an editor's job.

Should you wish to jump a story to page four, you'll need to design that page with other copy and text to fill. Otherwise just work on pages two and three, the center spread.


Bellagio, Italy:

Photo one (Bellagio)

Cutline: Lake Como has been a boating paradise for the weathy and connected since Roman times.

Photo two (Bellagio)

Cutline: Bellagio's charming cobblestone padestrian walks are lined with intriguing shops and restaurants.

Cambridge, England:

Photo one (Cambridge)

Cutline: Bicycles and drizzle: two familiar Cambridge sights.

Photo two (Cambridge)

Cutline: You can rent small, flat-bottomed boats called punts and navigate the Cam river yourself, or hire a guide.

Photo three (Cambridge)

Cutline: Britain has retained some of its vintage telephone booths for historic appeal, as this set outside Great St. Mary's Church in central Cambridge.

Washington, D.C.:

Photo one (Washington, D.C.)

Cutline: Washington's National Museum of Art on the Mall offfers one of the country's great modern sculpture collections.

Photo two (Washington, D.C.)

Cutline: Interesting details on a walking tour of teh nation's capital include statues depicting mythical and historic themes.

Darjeeling, India:

Photo one (Darjeeling tea)

Cutline: Railroad sign on arrival to Darjeeling, world capital of tea.

Photo two (Darjeeling tea)

Cutline: An opportunity to taste varieties of Darjeeling produced during different seasons.

Photo three (Darjeeling tea)

Cutline: Tea bushes line the hills around the Glenburn Tea Estate near Ghum.

Photo four (Darjeeling tea)

Cutline: Leaves of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant.

Photo five (Darjeeling tea)

Cutline: A tea-lined road to Happy Valley Tea Estate.

Renaissance Festival:

Photo One

Cutline: Umbrellas may not be typical of the 1500s, but they come in handy at a rainy Renaissance Festival.

Photo Two

Cutline: Some of the picnic tables were sheltered. A lot more of them are not.

Photo Three

Cutline: A cover-up of some kind helps on a rainy day at the festival.

Photo Four

Cutline: Typical rainy-day Renaissance Festival footwear.

5. Open Photoshop, and from Photoshop, open Bridge. (Or open Bridge directly.) Review your resources. Notes that some of these photos are better than others, but some need work in Photoshop, particularly cropping.

More information on placing photos: Note that choosing the Place command to place a photo puts the photo in its own frame. Instead of choosing the Scale tool to scale, you can choose the photo itself with the Selection tool (not the frame--look for the brown box around photo). The "grabber" (donut shape) will come up indicating you've chosen the photo. Now drag a corner handle to scale. Hold down the shift key to constrain scale so that it will not distort.

Alternatively, you can scale the photo using the Scale percentage boxes at contextual menu at top. If the X and Y boxes do not have the same number the photo is distorted (stretched).

When you move the photo within the frame it will crop when it reaches the end of the frame. To move the photo itself, click on an move the frame.

What to do in Photoshop: Go through the standard photo handling procedure as covered in Photoshop Lesson Two (crop, adjust Levels, dodge or burn if necessary, dust spot if necessary, sharpen and save). Note that this newspaper uses a 88-line screen (halftone process), so you'll need to save at 150 ppi or higher. This may affect the maximum size you can use your photos. Photos for printed material should be saved as tiff files for best quality, although if already saved as jpeg, you can leave them in that format.

Note on photo choice: Try to include one medium shot and one detail shot, if possible, for variety. Don't publish all photos the same size.

6. After choosing photos and stories, begin to consider your layout, based on your thumbnail sketches. You'll be working on the spread, pages 2 and 3. You have those two full pages, plus page 4, if necessary. If you need to jump a story, be sure to include jump line and jump head.

Ross's Tips

Think of your layout space as a two-page horizontal spread instead of two separate vertical pages. Consider the designer's checklist for attracting readers: headline, subhead or deck, photo, and lead. How will you set up a compelling layout that is balanced, and includes:

Consider rules, screens, a spot color, gradient, drop shadow, drop cap, pull quotes, text wraps, dingbats (glyphs), graphics. Avoid formal balance (everything centered).

Can you use other photos or illustrations from the web? Yes, if you are sure they are royalty-free, and can be used at 150ppi or higher. (Just because it comes up in Google Images doesn't mean you can use it without paying a fee or without copyright restrictions.) I recommend you work with the art supplied to you in this tutorial.

Generally, quality publications rely on work done by their own staff or hired freelance artists and photographers, and not generic work copied (sometimes illegally) from the internet. Note generic clip art often looks amateurish.

Creating a table from existing text.

adding table dataAlso an alternative in this feature section is a table. You may have created tables using other software, but InDesign can do a super job, so let's give it a try.

A table consists of rows extending horizontally across the table, columns extending vertically down the table, and cells in which you place text.

Copy the data below, one row at a time, and paste into InDesign text frame. Tab between each entry. Use a carriage return for each new row. You should have three rows looking somewhat like the picture at right above. It doesn't matter if the tabbed information doesn't line up. We'll fix that.

First row: Average cost of flights to Europe

Second row: December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August

Third Row: $900, $850, $840, $750, $800, $1,000, $1,200, $1,250, $1,200


Now make a table out of this mish-mash:

1. Drag over to highlight all text. Choose Convert Text to Table from the Table pulldown. For Column Separator choose Comma.

2. To stretch the table or change cell sizes, choose the Scale tool, or choose the Text tool and drag. Center text as needed.

3. Merge the top cells to accommodate your headline: click with Text tool and drag across the entire top row to highlight, then Choose Merge Cells from the Table pulldown.

changing table appearance.4. You can now change the look of your table. Drag over text to change typeface and size, for starters. To change the fill and stroke, choose Table Options from the Table pulldown, and Table Setup. Be sure to toggle on the preview button at bottom left. (See screen shot at right.)

5. Consider changing the fill color. Drag over cells with Text tool. Choose Cell Options from the Table pulldown, and Strokes and Fills. Note you need first to add a color beyond the basic CMYK colors to your swatch panel before you can use it. See color wheel instructions below before making choices.

Recall that to add swatches:

choosing a color swatch.6. Your table is ready to go. Drag the handlebars so that the text frame stays close to the table edge.

Back to the broadsheet:

7. Consider layout of photos. Which will be the dominant photo? How will they balance the page?

8. You'll also need to consider adding elements for contrast such as pull quote, rules (strokes), bulleted text, possibly screened (fill) box for a sidebar. If you want to make a sidebar, try to pull some information from the text.

9. You must use two or three spot colors. Choose based on the Color Wheel. See notes below.

10. At top right or left, type your name for grading.

11. Run a Preflight. All links and fonts available?

12. For proofing, it's possible to print out a copy scaled to fit an 8 1/2 by 11 page. From the Print dialogue box, choose Setup, and toggle on Scale to Fit.

Note: Be sure to proofread text, to make sure errors haven't crept in during the Placing process.

13. Printers usually want a pdf. For that you need to choose Export... from the File pulldown, and Save as pdf (should be the default). Leave everything else as default. Save.

14. Attach the pdf to an email and sent to me, See checklist below.

Color wheel.Choosing colors based on the color wheel.

The color wheel can help you harmonize colors. Many designers create color harmony by choosing one spot color, and then screening it using the InDesign tint ramp in the Swatches panel. This is okay, but an alternative is to choose from the color wheel at right.

Possible choices:

After choosing your colors, find them and add to your InDesign Swatches panel. Write down the corresponding PMS numbers to hand in for grading.

Apply your colors as you think attractive. Here are general best practices:

The Kuler Panel and Color Theme tool.

InDesign CS5 and CS6 includes the Kuler panel to help harmonize colors. CC eliminated that and introduced the Color Theme tool. You may wish to use these tools to harmonize color. The tutorial is here.

Submit for grading: