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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: CD Package (Russo)


To learn InDesign layout and production techniques by recreating the a CD package design.


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. turn on Kaufmann and Birch
  3. download jewel box templates from Oasis: 4-panel folder, tray card, on-disc imprint (print to center)
  4. inspect downloaded files; delete unneeded files
  5. open "CD400_in.inx" and "CD400_out.inx" in InDesign
  6. save as "russo_in.indd" and "russo_out.indd"
  7. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  8. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)

laying out the outside folder

  1. open "russo_out.indd": new layer "pix"
  2. file > place all pictures (cmd+D); scale and crop
  3. new layer "art"
  4. file > place "" (cmd+D); scale & crop, rotate -4 degrees
  5. window swatches: change Pantone colors to process, add new swatches as needed
  6. draw boxes, modify with direct select tool, fill with appropriate colors (page 2 bg=40%, page 3 bg=20%)
  7. new layer "text"
  8. file > place "text.doc" (cmd+D); position on pasteboard
  9. replace two spaces with one space (cmd+F)
  10. replace ^p^p with ^p (cmd+F)
  11. select all text, spec 7/12 ITC Franklin Gothic Book Cond
  12. select title, cut and paste into position on page 1
  13. spec 12pt Birch, horiz scale=200%, tracking=25
  14. make "LATIN JAZZ" 18pt, baseline shift=-2pt

typesetting the inside spread

  1. open "russo_in.indd": new layer "text"
  2. cut and paste appropriate text, cut and paste into position on page 2
  3. select head, spec 10/12 Birch, tracking=50, horiz scale=200%
  4. make new paragraph style "head", apply
  5. select initial cap, spec 12/12 Kaufmann Bold, baseline shift=-1
  6. make new character style "caps", apply
  7. select songs, cut and paste into position on page 3
  8. object > text frame options: columns=3, gutter=0p3
  9. select all text, spec 6/7
  10. make new paragraph style "songs", apply
  11. new paragraph style "songsIndent": left indent=0p6, first line=-0p6, apply
  12. make song titles bold (cmd+shift+B)
  13. add blank paragraphs as needed
  14. select blank paragraphs: leading=0p4
  15. copy and paste blank paragraphs as needed
  16. window > interactive > hyperlinks: delete
  17. select text for tray, cut

laying out the tray card

  1. open "CDT100.indd" in InDesign
  2. new layer "text", paste text into position
  3. new layer "art", copy boxes from folder file, modify
  4. new layer "pix", place images, modify frames
  5. style head, small type, spine; adjust leading
  6. use cmd+\ to outdent select paragraphs
  7. make song titles bold (cmd+shift+B)

laying out the CD imprint

  1. open "UD109.indd" in InDesign
  2. copy appropriate text from tray document into new "text" layer
  3. file > place ""
  4. new layer "boxes": copy/paste objects from "russo_out.indd", modify, apply colors
  5. adjust type and layout as needed
  6. save

making a "comp" of the CD imprint

  1. save as "UD109-comp.indd"
  2. duplicate "template guide" layer, rename "mask", restack to top
  3. delete all art except pink guides
  4. add heavy stroke to large circle (align=outside)
  5. small circle: fill = white, stroke = none
  6. window > attributes: nonprinting = no
  7. save

pre-press checklist

  1. window > output > separation preview
  2. file > preflight
  3. file > package
  4. file > adobe PDF presets > press quality
  5. optional: print as separations to a b&w printer


  1. adjust all layouts until they match the reference file
  2. add your name and exercise number to the bottom of all files
  3. print a proof for grading
  4. file graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

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