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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.
We are going to take a little time out from our InDesign document to go into Illustrator and design the nameplate, this item right here, for our newsletter. Now the reason I'm doing this in Illustrator as a scalable graphic is because this nameplate is used in various different places throughout the newsletter. Let me just point out where. So obviously here on the first page, but also it's used in the masthead, it's used in the footer and finally, it's used in the mailing area. And so that we can scale it and have it to be exactly consistent from one instance to the next, it's going to be useful to have this created in Illustrator.
We could do it in InDesign, but then it would just be perhaps a little bit problematic scaling it, making sure that everything is consistent. So I'm going to come over now to Illustrator and here we have the black and white version of the nameplate and I'm creating a black and white version because presumably, the color of the word news is going to change from month to month. So an approach we might take is to place the black and white version and until we know what color we are using, we can use the black and white version and then when we decide upon the color that we want, we can come to the Illustrator file, make the change to the color in the Illustrator file and then we can relink the black and white version in the InDesign document to the color version.
And I'll show you exactly how we can do that. Well, anyway this is how it was created. You can see I have created some guides just to make sure that the rule goes exactly to the left edge of the C and exactly there to the right edge of the s and the rule is broken by the descender on the y and I have made this in a percentage of black, using the same percentage on the rule. So just very quickly to recreate that, it would look something like this.
Using the Type tool, click, select all and then come up here. Adobe Garamond Pro, Italic and then we'll select this bit and we are going to make this Myriad Pro. So just in the space of these two words, intentionally omitting the space between them, we have the interplay between our two font families, the Adobe Garamond and the Myriad, and that needs to change color.
I will use my Swatches panel and we'll use a 40% gray but making sure that we don't apply it to the stroke because that's not what we want to, but rather we apply it to the Fill. Okay, having done that, I'm going to scale the whole thing up like so and I would probably then want to adjust the tracking between the letters, so I have selected all of that word. I'm using the keyboard shortcut Option+Left Arrow or Alt+Left Arrow just to tighten the space.
Now, if when you do that, you find as I'm finding that it's going in too big an increment, then you might want to come and change your Preferences. In the Type Preferences, we want to make that increment 1. So now when I do it, we move in much smaller, more subtle increments. I would like a little bit of space between the two words, so here I'm going to do Alt+Right Arrow. Now here is the trick, the only tricky bit really with this is to make sure that the two fonts have the same X-height and they don't.
If you set both fonts at the same size, then when I pull down a guide to the X-height of the italicized type, you can see-- now I'll need to turn my Guides back on by pressing Command+Semicolon or Ctrl+Semicolon-- that the X-height of the Myriad font is much higher and that's going to look slightly unbalanced. So I'm going to select that and then just to scale that down till we make the X-height the same. Okay and then I'll dock that into position with that Guide right there, scale it up some more, hold down the Shift key so that I keep everything proportional and then use my Line tool to draw one- half of the line there and move over to the right-hand side holding down the Shift key drew the other half of the line there, then my first line disappeared. That's because it has no Fill applied to it.
So I need to select it making sure I do not select the type, but I only have the lines selected. Apply to the Stroke the same gray color and we'll make it a little bit heavy on that 4 pt I think. Okay, so I have done it there. Now to place it into my document, having created this I'm now going to delete that second version because obviously we only need one. But I'm going to come back to InDesign and to our work in progress, which is newsletter15. And just to keep you updated on where we are with this, we have the Styles applied, we have the pictures placed and scaled. We have got the Text Wraps applied to the pictures.
There are still many, many problems that need to be addressed, but as you can see, the newsletter is starting to take shape. What we want to do now is place our nameplate and we want that to go on the page furniture layout. I'll turn my Guides back on. We have right there a frame for it, so I'll select that frame. I could, as we have done in the past for the pictures and for the text, use the Bridge drag-and-drop technique but I could also, since it is just a single file, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to choose File and Place and what we are after is in the Links folder and I'll place nameplate and then click Open and there it's going to go into that rectangle.
Now it may need some scaling once we get it in there and indeed, it does, so I'll zoom in on it and it is totally scalable without any loss of quality, its resolution independent. So I'm just going to trim the sides of the frame so that it surrounds the nameplate, but it's not bigger than it needs to be. And now I can position that over there, making sure that the edge of the C touches or maybe even goes a fraction beyond the left-hand edge of our type area here, and then I'll notch it down a bit and then grabbing my top-right hand's anchor point, hold down Command+Shift and scale that up to there. Or not quite that far because we need to leave some space there for our little tag line, which is all the news that fits.
So I'm going to position it right there and now that's the nameplate in position on the first page. We now want to place other instances of it. I might as well just copy and paste this one. So I'll Command+C to copy it. Now move to Page 2 and to the masthead. Now in the masthead, which needs a lot of work in other respects as well, but we'll approach that later on, I have a blank line right there and I'm going to use that blank line because I want to paste that picture into the text flow.
So I'm going to double-click to insert my type cursor into that frame and then Command+V or Ctrl+V and things get a little bit weird for a moment because it is so big, so I'll zoom out and then making sure that I have that image selected because it is an image, it's not text or it's not editable text or not editable in InDesign at least, I'm going to scale that down and keep scaling it down until we get to the size that we want.
So the other thing we want to do is we want to make it Centered, so I'm going to make sure I have my type cursor inserted at the end of that line and then use my keyboard shortcut, Command+Shift+C, or come and click up here on the Align Center icon. We will zoom out, we have one more instance and that is on the back page for the mailing area, but I'm going to do that in a whole separate section with the mailing area by itself. Now I mentioned that there's going to come a time when we actually want to swap out this black and white version of the nameplate with the colored version.
I am going to address how you can choose your colors in a separate movie, but let's say for now that I have chosen as my or one of my secondary colors, this aqua color right here and I want to apply this to this portion of the nameplate. Remember this is an Illustrator file, or we can actually do it a bit here in InDesign, scale it. Here is what I'm going to do, I'm going to use my Rectangle tool, draw myself a little rectangle and then make sure there's no Stroke applied to that. So that's None for the Stroke and then for the Fill property, I'm going to fill it with that color and then I'll cut it from there, Command+X or Ctrl+X.
Switch over to Illustrator where I'll paste it, Command+V or Ctrl+V and you will notice that when I do that, the Fill color becomes my Fill color in Illustrator, maybe I'll want to use that one again, so I'm going to actually add it to my Swatches by dragging it from there to my Swatches. I can now delete this. Highlight this piece of my text and apply the color to it right there. Then I can Save As. It's probably a good idea to retain the black and white version because the secondary color may change from month to month.
I can do a Save As and call it nameplate color. Now I have already done that so I'm not going to do a Save As on this one. In fact, I'm going to back this one up to its previous state but I have already saved a file called CN_nameplate_color and we are now going to see how we can relink this with that color version. So I'm going to come to my Links panel, which is just a list all of the images that have been placed into your InDesign document and the pages on which they occur and we see there it says (2), so there are two instances of this right here.
I am going to right-click on the twirly to expand this and select both of the instances, holding down the Shift key and then right-click on either one and choose Relink. Then I need to navigate to the folder containing the file that I want to link them to. It's in the Links folder, CN_nameplate_color, and then when I click Open and I'll have to do that twice since there are two instances. They should now both update. Remember it's that one there obviously and that one down there.
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