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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: DVD Package (Russo)


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


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. download DVD case templates from Oasis: Amaray wrap around insert, on-disc imprint (print to center)
  3. inspect downloaded files
  4. using Font Agent Pro, turn on Kaufmann and Birch
  5. open "DVDB101_out.indd" in InDesign; save as "cover.indd"
  6. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  7. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)

laying out the cover (process colors)

  1. file > place all pictures (cmd+D); scale and crop
  2. window swatches: change Pantone colors to process, add new swatches as needed
  3. draw boxes, modify with direct select tool, apply process colors
  4. new layer "type"
  5. file > place "" and text (cmd+D)
  6. spec font 8/10 ITC Franklin Gothic Book Condensed, centered
  7. replace ^p^p with ^p (cmd+F)
  8. cut and paste text into logical frames; make rough layout
  9. cover/back heads: 12pt Birch, tracking=25, horiz scale=200%
  10. make "LATIN JAZZ" 19pt, baseline shift=-2pt

laying out the DVD imprint (spot colors)

  1. open "UD100.indd" in InDesign; save as "disc.indd"
  2. copy appropriate elements from "cover.indd" into document
  3. new layer "boxes": draw boxes, modify, apply spot colors
  4. adjust type and layout as needed
  5. save

making a "comp" of the DVD imprint

  1. save as "disc-comp.indd"
  2. new layer "mask"; draw white box
  3. duplicate "templates guides" layer, restack to top
  4. edit "template guides" layer: non-printing = no (double-click)
  5. delete objects with dashed lines
  6. select outer circle + white box
  7. window > object & layout > pathfinder: subtract
  8. select inner circle: fill=white, stroke=none
  9. window > output > attributes: nonprinting=no
  10. save

making an inkjet proof of the DVD imprint

  1. save as "disc-inkjet.indd"
  2. file > document setup: width/height=4.7in
  3. hide all non-printing layers
  4. file > export as JPEG: quality=maximum, resolution=150PPI, CMYK (this file can be printed directly onto a CD using Parkland's special inkjet printer)
  5. submit JPEG to instructor using this naming format: "jsmith.jpg"

pre-press checklist

  1. window > output > separations preview: view=separations
  2. file > package
  3. file > adobe PDF presets > press quality
  4. 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