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By Mike Rankin | Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Brief Introduction to Font Management

font-management-hero

In this article, I’ll review some of the basic information about fonts and how to manage them for best results, with information from my course Font Management Essential Training.

Many of us think of fonts as simply the text-styling tools in our font menu—things like Helvetica Light, Cooper Black, Arial Narrow, and Zapf Dingbats. But fonts are much more than choices in a menu.

Ellen Lupton said, “Typography is what language looks like.” If this is true, then fonts are the tools we use to make language visible and enhance its meaning in type. And what amazing tools they are!

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, August 01, 2013

Create a bobblehead effect: InDesign FX

This week marks the release of the final two videos in the InDesign FX series. And to say au revoir, I have an especially fun free video to share on creating a bobblehead effect. In the video, I show how to use Adobe InDesign animation tools to make the heads of an adorable pair of furry animals gently rock back and forth, just like a real bobblehead doll.

I know it’s very unlikely that you ever wished you knew how to create this effect in InDesign. But I hope you’ll watch the video and try it out—for two reasons. First, it’s pure fun and I’m sure you can get a laugh from your friends or coworkers by turning them into bobbleheads (or try some celebrity photos as source material). Second, this silly little project serves as a reminder of the main ideas I hoped to get across in the InDesign FX series: namely, to let your imagination run free, to push your tools to make them do the unexpected, and to create memorable visuals that are easy and fun to make.

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, July 18, 2013

Creating metallic text: InDesign FX

This week’s free InDesign FX video demonstrates the kind of complex and subtle effects you can achieve by blending several instances of an object with different fills, opacity levels, and blending modes.

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, July 04, 2013

Add a double bevel to text: InDesign FX

If you can master only one of the Adobe InDesign transparency effects, it should be Bevel and Emboss. It is by far the most useful and versatile of the bunch. In fact, the only thing that might be better than a handsome bevel is, well, two handsome bevels. Creating a double bevel effect is the topic of this week’s free InDesign FX video.

InDesign FX: Figure 1

InDesign FX: Figure 2

This effect is achieved by stacking two copies of live text, each with an Inner Bevel and a Drop Shadow.

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, June 20, 2013

InDesign FX: Creating a rusted effect

Sometimes you want to make things look all new and shiny; other times you might want a design that looks weathered and beaten up. So in this week’s InDesign FX video, I show how to create the look of rusted metal in Adobe InDesign.

Figure 1

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, June 06, 2013

InDesign FX: Revolving an item around an object

When it comes to graphic effects, sometimes your most impressive creative work isn’t visible on the page—it’s in the technique that made what’s on the page possible. That’s the case with this week’s FX video on using the Adobe InDesign animation tools.

In the video, I show how to make it look like one object is revolving around another. It’s a simple example with a red circle that crosses in front of a black rectangle, then reverses direction and goes behind the rectangle.

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, May 23, 2013

InDesign FX: Creating custom frames

One of the challenges in designing any page layout is to make the various elements seem like they belong together. You can do this by making thoughtful choices with color, alignment, and type. You can also bring elements together by literally merging them. In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show how to create custom frames by merging simple rectangles with type outlines and other shapes in Adobe InDesign.

So for example, you can take a photo in a frame with a wide stroke and position it with overlapping text.

Figure 1

By Mike Rankin | Thursday, May 09, 2013

InDesign FX: Making a bottle cap

This week’s free InDesign FX video shows yet another fun and easy look you can create by combining several transparency effects. This time we’re making bottle caps that you can adorn with your own designs or logos in Adobe InDesign.IDFX_episode46_01 The effect starts with a polygon with 24 sides and a small Star Inset value.

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