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Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey

InDesign layout basics


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: InDesign layout basics

Before you start creating documents in InDesign, there are a few things you might want to change. For example, I like to change the Essentials workspace to the Advanced workspace. You get more panels that you use all the time. It gives little bit of a head start. Now let's take a look at Preferences. On the Mac, it's going to be under InDesign; on Windows, it's going to be under the Edit menu. When I go to Preferences, most of them I tend to leave alone and there a lot of them you can think about, but here are a few that I like to change. Under Interface, down here where it says Live Screen Drawing Delayed, now that's the default in CS6.
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

InDesign layout basics

Before you start creating documents in InDesign, there are a few things you might want to change. For example, I like to change the Essentials workspace to the Advanced workspace. You get more panels that you use all the time. It gives little bit of a head start. Now let's take a look at Preferences. On the Mac, it's going to be under InDesign; on Windows, it's going to be under the Edit menu. When I go to Preferences, most of them I tend to leave alone and there a lot of them you can think about, but here are a few that I like to change. Under Interface, down here where it says Live Screen Drawing Delayed, now that's the default in CS6.

In earlier versions, the default was Immediate. That means, immediately when you move something, you get that redraw. That sounds great. But you're going to find that with great big Illustrator files and great big images that Immediate Redraw can slow down your performance. I like the Delayed setting. If you like the Immediate setting, this is where you could change it. Under Units & Increments, if you think you in picas, leave it at picas. But most folks think in inches or other measurement systems, so I always like to change mine to inches. Now here's something to keep in mind.

I have no document open, so what this is going to affect is every new document I make, now every new document is going to think in inches. But if I open up a file that somebody has created while they were using the picas measurement system, for example, that document is still going to use picas. Reason we do this with no document is to affect all future documents. Under Display Performance, if you're zoomed way out, your text looks like little gray strips that seems to drive people crazy, so most folks like to change that 7 point to 0 point.

And there's one more thing that I like to change; this is optional for you, Appearance of Black, On Screen and Printing/ Exporting and notice that there's a big difference. Black ink by itself is a little bit anemic; that's why we create rich blacks, so this is what a rich black would look like. Well, you can kind of get misled on screen. Here's what I like to do. I say Display All Blacks Accurately, so my plain old 100K blacks will look a little bit anemic. That's going to help me determine whether I need to make a rich black and it'll let me compare whether I've made a rich black or not.

On Printing/Exporting, it's going to print nice solid black. It'll look a little anemic on screen, but it'll look just fine when you go to print. So now that I've set up my preferences, now I'm going to make a new document. When I choose File > New > Document, I have some choices to make. Do I want Facing Pages or not? If I know I'm going to create something like a publication that's going to print on both sides of the paper, I'm going to have a left page and a right page, then I choose Facing Pages. If I'm going to print something that's going to get punched and put in a binder, probably not going to print on the back, then I'll create nonfacing pages.

For this document, I'll create facing pages. And then of course, I have to choose my dimensions. Here's something I want to call your attention to and that's the Primary Text Frame. Now that's a new feature in InDesign CS6. We're really talking about printing here, we're not talking about design, so I'm going to kind of gloss over it. I will say that I love the Primary Text Frame and I like it better than the old master text frame. You have some presets for your page size and so forth, but I want to show you something else. Under Intent, you have some interesting options, Web or Digital Publishing.

InDesign is not a web design program, but if you're using some of the animation features in InDesign and you're going to export to SWF, S-W-F, when you choose Web, you'll see that your page aize choices now reflect web-appropriate sizes. And if you choose Digital Publishing, you'll see that your choices are iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Android. If you need to make another size because you're headed to a digital publishing, of course, you can use Custom. But we're heading to print, so I'm going to go back to choose Print. Letter size is going to work just fine for me.

If I want to set up some columns as a way to sort of serve as a guidance system for content I put in the page, I can do that here, and I'm going to set my margins: Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside. Notice Inside and Outside; if I uncheck Facing Pages, then it's Left and Right, which kind of makes sense. If you want the same value all around, you leave this little guy checked in the middle. If you want to change one of them, for instance, I want to make the bottom margin higher so that I can have room for a page number, then you unlink them. And finally, of course, I want bleed, so I'll just click in the Bleed field.

If I hit my up arrow once because that's way more fun than typing, that's a sixteenth of an inch. Click that arrow one more time, now I have an eighth of an inch. Now the slug is a nonprinting area outside the page. You can think of it sort of like bleed. It's a staked-out territory, not a container, but you can put content in. Some people like to put job information for advertisements like what the run date is and what the publication is that it's going to print in. It's just a way to store information and not have it infringe on the page. If you're going to make pages over and over again with these same parameters, it's a good idea to save a preset.

So when I click Save Preset, I could name this my Flyer preset. Click OK and now that's always going to be available to me in InDesign. The next user is going to have a little head start because you did a little work for them. So always remember to pay good attention to all these little fields because this is sort of like building a house for your document. You want the get the best start possible. Now when you're ready, you can click OK.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals.


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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
 
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