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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Form


To learn InDesign layout and production techniques by recreating the form above.



prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. examine downloaded files
  3. open "form.indd" in InDesign
  4. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  5. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)
  6. window > pages: note page numbers
  7. window > layers: note layer names
  8. view document at 150%
  9. horizontal guides at 3p, 30p; vertical guides at 2p, 4p6, 10p6, 16p6, 21p6, 26p6

creating the form

  1. file > place "form.doc" (cmd+D); draw text frame
  2. window > paragraph styles: edit "normal" style: 7/8.5 Helvetica Cond
  3. type > tabs (position above text frame): add left tabs 6pts to right of guides
  4. window > paragraph styles: redefine style (flyout menu)
  5. cut and paste "our guarantee..." text onto a new layer
  6. make bold heads: Helvetica Black, all caps, horizontal scale=120% (make new style sheet "head"); apply style
  7. return to "type" layer; lock others
  8. apply "head" style to "call toll free..."; make 8 pt, white, centered
  9. type > paragraph > paragraph rules (flyout): rule above=11pt,
    offset=-0p3 (preview=on)
  10. select form text
  11. type > character: 6/16, all caps (flyout)
  12. type > paragraph > paragraph rules (flyout): rule under=.5 pt,
    offset=0p3 (preview=on)
  13. make new style sheet "form + rule under "; apply
  14. adjust line breaks (replace ¶ with tabs)
  15. select "QTY" line; make type bold, white
  16. type > paragraph > paragraph rules (flyout): rule above=9pt,
    offset=-0p2 (preview=on)
  17. add blank lines as needed, add tabs as needed
  18. make ballot boxes with Zapf Dingbats, white, stroke=.5pt
  19. select text for tax & totals
  20. type > paragraph > paragraph rules (flyout): left indent=14p6
  21. make tax amount 10pt, use "en" space to align (cmd+shift+N)
  22. new layer "vertical rules": draw rules (.5pt)
  23. adjust layout until it matches the reference file
  24. add slug at bottom with your name (color=registration)
  25. print as a spread with all printers' marks & bleeds


  1. submit a proof for grading (with your name and exercise number)
  2. file graded proof in your 3-ring binder for individual review

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