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

Graphic Design Exercises
Newspaper Ad: Ameritech


To learn advanced Photoshop and InDesign production techniques by recreating the newspaper ad below:


InDesign and Photoshop are now so well integrated that any transparency in Photoshop can be used in InDesign. Photoshop transparency is anti-aliased which means even vector objects in Illustrator will blend nicely behind a cut-out pixel object.


Masking pixel elements in Photoshop

  1. downloaded starter files
  2. open JPEGs in Photoshop
  3. adjust resolution
  4. rename "background" layer as "layer 0"
  5. select white background (magic wand tool)
  6. select > modify > expand: 1px
  8. image > adjust > b&w
  9. image > mode > grayscale
  10. save as PSD

Creating a rough layout in InDesign

  1. launch InDesign
  2. file > new (more options): page size=6-7/16in x 8in, facing pages=no, margins=0, slug=3p (bottom)
  3. rename "layer1" as "type"
  4. new layers: "pix", "logo", "box", "border"
  5. draw border for ad (stroke=1pt)
  6. draw black box for boxed text (stroke=1pt)
  7. file > place appropriate art on each layer (unlock only current layer)
  8. scale/crop/rotate art as needed (cmd+shift drag corner handle)
  9. file > place "ameritech.doc"
  10. show hidden characters (cmd+opt+I)
  11. replace 2 spaces with 1 space
  12. replace -- with em dashes
  13. cut and paste text into logical text frames (delete last ¶)

Styling the text

  1. all fonts are Futura (either Medium or Extra Bold Condensed)
  2. change normal style to 10/14 (window > paragraph styles)
  3. style tagline 10/14 (object > text frame options: vertical align center)
  4. style subhead 14/14
  5. style head visually
  6. center boxed text
  7. kern large type
  8. check for bad line breaks
  9. add your name to slug area
  10. file > adobe PDF presets > press quality (include slug area)
  11. print centered on 8.5x11 page (include slug area)


  1. submit b&w laser proofs with your name on it for grading
  2. file graded proofs in your 3-ring binder for individual review
  3. file > export (150PPI, quality=high)
  4. open JPEG in Photoshop
  5. crop, file > save for web (preset=jpeg high, image size=800px wide)
  6. publish final JPEG as a link from your projects page

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