Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Small Space Ad (Carlyle)


To review design principles as it relates to advertising. To learn InDesign production techniques by revising the newspaper ad below for Carlyle.


In order for advertising to work, the message must be clear. The designer's job is to arrange the visual elements in such a way so that the concept in the ad is conveyed with integrity. The above ad actually ran in The New York Times. There are probably at least a dozen problems with this ad. By discovering what the problems are, we can learn from someone else's mistakes.


preparing for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. launch InDesign
  3. file > new: letter, portrait, margins=0
  4. save as "carlyle.indd"
  5. file > place "template.jpg", rename layer "template"
  6. window > transparency: 50% opacity, lock layer
  7. new layer "box", draw box to match template, stroke=1pt
  8. new layer "text", file > place "sofa.txt"
  9. compare text
  10. select all, choose a font
  11. split text into logical units, delete unwanted text
  12. new layer "pix", file > place "sofa.tif" and logo
  13. rough out layout

considerations for layout

  1. how do you retain unity?
  2. what is the hierarchy of information?
  3. how many fonts do you need?
  4. how many sizes do you need?
  5. how many weights do you need?
  6. create an alternate version with greater emphasis
  7. print both ads and compare


  1. submit b&w laser proof with your name on it for grading
  2. file graded proof in your 3-ring binder for individual review
  3. export JPEGs of both ads (150PPI, quality=high)
  4. open JPEGs in Photoshop
  5. crop, file > save for web (preset=jpeg high, image size=800px wide)
  6. publish JPEGs as a link from your projects page

Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young