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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Choosing Text Type


To learn how to choose the right font for the right situation. To study the personality of typeface designs and its relationship to content. To learn InDesign's professional typesetting tools by example.


Before choosing a text font for a project, read the text. The content, writing style and target audience will all guide you in choosing the right font. Test your font choices by specifying several styles for comparison. Print out proofs to study as the font will look different on paper than on screen. The personality of the font can only be discovered by studying the "color" of the text on the printed page.

Important: Different fonts may require different size and leading adjustments for optimum readability. Readability is also greatly affected by line length. Making adjustments in one attribute will affect the others.


prepping for the exercise

  1. download Core Fonts Specimen Sheets 
  2. download starter file, open in InDesign
  3. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  4. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)
  5. on the master page, add your name and exercise number at the bottom

comparing typefaces

  1. go to page 1, select all and spec Adobe Garamond Regular
    (note current size and leading)
  2. turn on hyphenation
  3. add space after paragraph=7pt
  4. replace two ¶ with one ¶ (cmd+F)
  5. make byline italic (cmd+shift+I)
  6. make headline bold (how bold?)
  7. increase headline size to 24pt (cmd+shift+< or >)
  8. adjust column width for optimum readability (watch for widows)
  9. duplicate page 6x for a total of 7 pages
    (layout > pages > duplicate spread)
  10. spec the following fonts for each page:
    • Century
    • Bodoni
    • Helvetica Neue Roman
    • Univers 55
    • Futura Book
    • a font of your choice from the Core Font set
  11. add name of typeface on the bottpm of each page (cmd+shift+CLICK)
  12. refine line breaks


  1. print all 7 pages
  2. submit b&w proofs with your name and exercise number on it for grading
  3. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

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