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

Graphic Design Exercises
Newspaper Ad: Miko


To apply design principles to ad layout. To be introduced to Adobe Photoshop and InDesign's production and typesetting tools by recreating this ad:


The art of advertising is a creative endeavor. Creative concepts sell because they grab attention and are more memorable. A typical way to sell sushi is to show the product. A more creative way is to suggest that sushi at Miko is so good that it's addictive. Which approach will be more memorable?

A good concept can be destroyed by bad execution. A good execution involves the application of design principles. This ad is unified by proximity and repetition (only one font is used). There is emphasis by size or shape (depending on your interpretation). It is asymmetrically balanced by shape. There's not much rhythm, but there is depth by shadow.

Because most newspaper ads are b&w, the imagery must be very carefully chosen. Simple images work best. Some subjects (like food) does not show up well in b&w. Partial page ads are usually placed next to other ads, so adding white space will help your ad stand out.

Most newspaper ads are sold by the column inch. Some newspapers sell full inches while others may allow half-inch depth. For The News-Gazette's specifications, download their technical spec sheet .


Overview: Convert color photo to b&w, import art into InDesign, add type.

Prepping the Photoshop file

  1. download starter files, examine files
  2. open stock image in Photoshop (note ID number was retained)
  3. rename "background" layer "chopstix"
  4. image > image size: resolution=150 PPI (resample=no)
  5. image > canvas size (double width/height)
  6. rotate image (cmd+T)
  7. image > adjust > black & white (start with presets, fine-tune)
  8. image > mode > grayscale
  9. add adjustment layer: levels
  10. crop; save as "chopstix.psd"

Typesetting and layout in InDesign

  1. launch InDesign
  2. file > new > document: letter portrait, margins=0
  3. rename "layer 1" "box"
  4. draw box for 3 col x 4.5 in ad (5.792 x 4.5 in)
  5. apply 1pt black stroke (align stroke to inside)
  6. add new layer "art"
  7. file > place logo, image, text
  8. adjust layout
  9. spec fonts: 10/13 Futura Book for text
  10. cut head, paste in new text frame (Futura Light)
  11. adjust font size (cmd+< or >)
  12. adjust tracking and leading (opt+cursor keys)
  13. fine tune layout (cmd+shift resize frames will also resize the contents)
  14. small type text frame: fill=black, type fill=white
  15. object > text frame options: vertical align=center
  16. add bullets: type > glyphs (Zapf Dingbats, 50% black)
  17. add your name and the exercise number to the file
  18. print a b&w proof for grading
  19. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

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