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Explore the numerous type options, type-related features, and type-specific preferences of Adobe InDesign. Using practical, real-world examples, instructor and designer Nigel French dissects the anatomy of a typeface and defines the vocabulary of typography. The course moves from the micro to the macro level, addressing issues such as choosing page size, determining the size of margins, adjusting number columns, and achieving a clean look with baseline grids. This course takes you from laying out a page to delving into the hows and whys of typography.
In this chapter, we are going to look at some of the more macro issues involved in working with Type in InDesign, starting with the page sizes and the margins. Then we are going to go on to columns and to see how we can work with text in columns and have our baselines of type cross the line across those columns using a baseline grid. But let's begin with page sizes and margins. I have here a diagram of some common page sizes and their aspect ratios, the relative size of the shortest side to the longest side.
And the aspect ratio is important because it's going to very much influence how you can scale the images and integrate those images with your type. Of course, another consideration we have is that we're not just designing for print these days, but also designing for screen. And all five of these print scenarios assume that we are working with a facing pages document. And a facing pages document will usually imply that you have an outer margin bigger than an inner margin, simply because the outer margin is where you hold the book or the magazine, so you need room for your thumbs.
It's an obvious point, but one worth making. Of course, the inner margin is important. It needs to be big enough so that when the book or the magazine is bound we don't lose any important information in that inner margin in this file. With a screen document, however, we don't have the same considerations, and you're more likely to find with a screen document that the margins are even on all four sides. And the same would be true of a single-sided document, like a poster or a business card or a flyer.
So I am going to now run through some steps to creating a page and setting up the margins, and this is just one of many approaches, but I will explain my logic here. I'm going to use a Page Size that is 8.25 inches by 11 inches. Now the reason I'm using that Page Size is that that page is at an Aspect Ratio of 3:4. If I know ahead of time that the print document I create is going to be repurposed and made into a screen document, I am going to save myself a lot of work and make that transition easier if I use the same Aspect Ratio, that's why I have chosen this size.
Next, we come to choose our columns, and I am not going to choose the columns here, rather I will do that on the master pages of the document itself. And likewise with the margins, I am not going to choose the margins here, in fact I am going to zero out the margins for now. I think that too often people come to the New Document dialog box, they are keen to get on and do whatever is they are doing and they make a decision about the margins, and that decision then follows them. And it's a very important decision, so I really want to take a methodical approach to setting up the margins.
So I will click OK, and there is my blank page with absolutely nothing on it. I will now go to my Master pages, a pair of Master pages since I am working with a facing pages document. The size of my page, its height is 66 picas. I have mentioned several times before how everything is related to everything else. And this is no exception. I know in advance that I would like to use a Leading value for my type of 12 points, which means that with a page height of 66 picas, I can get exactly 66 lines from top to bottom. Of course, I am not going to go from top to bottom, but that's the maximum number of lines I can have.
I would actually like to use 55 lines, and the reason for that will become clear a bit later on, but I want to use 55 lines, so I'm going to subtract 11 picas from my total page height. And I am going to do that in my Margins and Columns. I need to make sure that this link is broken so that I can set the margins independently. Now I am going to have my page information on the bottom, my folio will be on the bottom. So I'm going to make that bigger than the top, and that extra space will accommodate the page information.
So now when I press my Tab key, we can see I have a top and a bottom margin and my type area is now 55 picas or 55 lines in height. In keeping with my 3:4 Aspect Ratio, I am going to have my Inside and Outside margins be in proportion to my top and bottom. So if my top and bottom is 11 total margin, I am going to divide that by 4, which gives me 2.75, and then multiply that by 3, which gives me 8.25, so eight and one-quarter picas, or eight picas and three points, is the total amount that I want a lot to my Inside and Outside margin.
I am going to make my Inside margin 3 picas, making sure that that is enough so that I don't lose information in the binding. And the remainder, I will give to the Outside margin 5 picas and 3 points. Now in doing that, I have established a type area, i.e., the area within the margins that isn't the same aspect ratio as my page itself. And I think that that's going to mean that my margins provide a much more harmonious frame to my type area than they would had they been just randomly chosen.
And just to prove my point, I'm going to draw a rectangle over my page, and I will just fill that, and we'll make sure that it's exactly at the right size, 49 picas and 6 points and 66 picas high, 0 value for the X and the Y. So I now should be able to scale this and have it fit exactly within my type area. I am going to hold down Command and Shift so that I scale it proportionally.
And there we can see that it fits exactly within my type area. So that is just one approach to creating your margins, it's not the definitive approach, but it is an approach that I have found useful.
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