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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Editorial Layout


To learn the rules, traditions and conventions of typesetting editorial text. To be introduced issues involving layout and publication design. To be introduced to InDesign's professional typesetting tools by laying out the following editorial spread:


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. inspect downloaded files
  3. launch InDesign
  4. file > new: w=8.25in, h=10.75in, portrait, facing pages; margins=0; bleed=1p; bottom slug=2p
  5. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  6. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)
  7. help: keyboard shortcuts: keys for working with type
  8. window > pages: numbering & section options (flyout menu): start page number at: 2
  9. add new page
  10. rename "layer 1" "text"

laying out the right-hand page

  1. file > place "goudy.doc" (cmd+D)
  2. find all occurances of two RETURNS and replace with one RETURN (replace "^p^p" with "^p"); replace two spaces with one space
  3. window > character: 10/12 Goudy Old Style; hyphenation=yes
  4. split text into logical frames
  5. rough out right page
  6. main text frame: justified, indent first line 1p6 (except line 1)
  7. object > text frame options: columns: 2, even out columns
  8. first paragraph frame: 14/22, justified full
  9. lead-in: 11/24, all caps, tracking=??
  10. folio: 7pt Gill Sans, all caps, align right
  11. adjust layout until it matches the reference file
  12. add decorative bullets (window > glyphs)

laying out the left-hand page

  1. add 2 new layers: "bg", "art"; restack (tip: lock layers you are not working on)
  2. copy "Goudy" into new text frame on "art" layer
  3. split each letter of "Goudy" into individual text frames
  4. select tool: type > create outlines
  5. scale, position, add color, restack (object > arrange...)
  6. window > effects: adjust transparency, play with modes
  7. add background color, adjust color of type objects
  8. mask art for the left hand page: select all art, group; cut and paste into new graphic picture frame (edit > paste into)
  9. add your name and exercise number in slug area
  10. print as a spread with bleeds and crops on 12x18 paper


  1. submit color laser proof with your name on it for grading
  2. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

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