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Creating a successful newsletter means spending less time on repetitive tasks and more time creating the design. In Designing a Newsletter, graphic designer and Adobe Certified Instructor Nigel French teaches effective design and production techniques. He uses Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Bridge to create an eight-page newsletter that's eye-catching and impactful. Nigel establishes an efficient workflow using multiple programs, examines the aesthetics of integrating text with images, and teaches best practices for outputting a final document. Exercise files accompany the course.
Our task in this movie is to make a wire frame of text frames and picture frames that will accommodate our content. Now, of course, you can't really just go ahead and start drawing frames when you don't know where they need to go. So as a way of determining your layout, I suggest that you do the following: look at other well-designed newsletters, evaluate your content carefully. So check out the images that you have, read the articles that you have and then make thumbnail sketches with pencil and paper. Just roughly sketch out some ideas for how all of these different elements are going to fit together.
So here are my early thumbnail sketches for the forerunner of this newsletter because before it was called community news, I was calling it travel news. And I've just sketched out very roughly where the text is going to go, where the pictures are going to go and I just have an x marking where the pictures are going to go. Thinking about how many columns I'm going to have, how the whole thing is going to fit together which is not to say that this cannot change as the job takes on a life of its own as it becomes a working progress because it's definitely going to change.
But we need to have some sense of where we're going before we start drawing the text frames and the picture frames. We can always modify them as we go but we need a direction before we start sitting down at the computer because unless we have a sense of direction, the likelihood is that it would start tinkering and before we know, it's two o'clock in the morning and we've wasted a lot of time and got nowhere With my thumbnail sketches by my side, I'm then going to wire frame this document and I want to make sure that I'm on the appropriate layer and I'm on the appropriate page. It tells me what number page I'm on right down there.
I'm on the Text layer. So I'm just going to start drawing some text frames. Another one I want there for the main article and I know that I want another one down here for my secondary article. Now how we distinguish between the text and the picture frames is by color because that's why layers are so useful to us. At this stage, our frames are just generic frames. They're just going to have an x in them. I'm using the Frame tool rather than the Rectangle tool. The only distinguishing feature about them is going to be their color. If I switch to the pictures layer, I know that I want a picture frame.
You can see how I'm using the baseline grid as well to determine how I draw that frame. I'm snapping the frame edges to a grid increment. Its okay that they overlap, we are going to put text wrap on that picture frame so that it repels the text so the text doesn't run over it. And I'm drawing these to the widths of the column grid that we have there. That's why that's so useful for us. Now if I move to the next spread, shortcut for doing that, Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down. So on my pictures layer, we know that we want one up here and we want big picture for our article here. Now I'll switch it to the Text layer and if I pop back to the finished version, you can see here we're using a wide space column. So it's just kind of combining the three and the four columns in one.
This is how I would do that. If I turn on my 4 column grid, I can use that as my guide for how wide I make that text frame. Now I just went ahead and drew that frame and I see it's red. Red is my picture's color. It's on the wrong layer. If you want to move something from one layer to another, just come and grab this square. You don't move the item itself, just come and grab the square on the Layers panel, drag that out to the layer that you want it to go to. And we want another text frame right there for our editor's letter and another one down here for letters to the newsletter and an article down here.
Rather than have you watch me draw all of these frames on all eight pages, I'm going to go ahead and do this off camera and you can rejoin this with Newsletter 4 and we'll all of the text or at least most of the text and the picture frames in place.
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