Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a quick logo, part of Up and Running with InDesign.
In this exercise, we're going to create a quick logo, and this is the ultimate form of combining text and graphics inside of InDesign, because when you're making a logo you need to convert the letters to graphics and then modify those letters as graphics as well. This is just one approach to making a logo, by the way. There are others. But it will give you a sense of how it works. Now let's say our client Grunbyte Inc. wants to take their current logo, this italic G inside of a leaf, and they want to replace it with something meatier, this Roman G inside of this rectangle.
But the G is still going to end up being white. It will be cut by the rectangle, and then the space inside the G will be filled with an alternate color. Now, all these objects are on the master page. So if you're working along with me inside the file called Green logo.indd found inside the exercise_files folder, then drop down to the bottom-left corner of the document window, click on this down-pointing arrowhead, and choose A-Master from the list to switch to the master page. Then I'll go ahead and zoom in on this artwork so that we can see it large inside the document window.
Now the first step is to click on this G with the Selection tool in order to select it, and this is currently a letter of type, so if I were to grab my Type tool, and then I were to select the letter and replace it with the capital R, or something like that, I could. But obviously, I don't want to. I want to stick with the G. So I'll press the Escape key in order to return to the Selection tool and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, in order to undo that change. I just want you to see that this is a letter of type, but it's not going to be a letter of type for long. Go ahead and click on it with the Selection tool and then go up to the Type menu and choose Create Outlines, which converts the text to graphic outlines.
And the letter won't look any different, but it's no longer modifiable with the Type tool, and it is modifiable as a graphic. So I could go ahead and grab my Direct Selection tool, which you can get by pressing the A key, A for arrow, and you'll notice that you now have access to all these points. So if I were to click off the letter for a moment and then click back on the letter at some location, I'll go ahead and zoom in a little more actually and I'll click and Shift+Click on these points at the top of this serif, and then I'll go ahead and drag them around, and you can see that I can modify the outline of this G to my heart's content.
I could even turn it into a completely different character if I wanted to. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z once again, Command+Z on the Mac, in order to undo that modification. Switch back to the Selection tool, which you can get by pressing the V key, and incidentally, the reason that its keyboard shortcut is the V key is because it's an upside-down arrow. So we've got A for arrow and V for upside down arrow. Now I'll go up to the Control panel, click on this right-pointing arrowhead next to the fill swatch, and then change that fill color to paper. All right, these next steps are going to seem like a little bit of busy work, but every one of the steps is absolutely essential, and I'll try to walk you through what's going on here.
Shift+Click on the green rectangle in order to select it, along with the big white letter G, and then go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. And the reason we have to do that is we're going to be finding the intersection of the G and the rectangle, and when we do, we are going to mess up the original shapes, which we'll need later. So by copying them now, that ensures that we can retrieve them later. Now I'll go up to the Object menu, choose the Pathfinder command, and then choose this command, Intersect, and that's going to keep the portion of the G that intersects the rectangle, and it will be filled with white, as you see it here.
All right, now I want you to go back up to the Edit menu because we've lost all those original shapes. We need to retrieve them by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Paste in Place, and that'll go ahead and paste those objects into their previous location. Now I'll go back to the Object menu, choose Pathfinder again, and this time choose the Subtract command, which is going to subtract the G. It's going to use the G to cut a hole in the green rectangle, and we'll end up getting this effect here. So we now have a green rectangle with a G cut out of it and then a white G that fits inside that green rectangle in the background.
All right, I'll go ahead and undo that movement by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Now, I need to be able to color the inside of this G independently of the areas outside the G, and that means I need to break up these green shapes, and you do that by going up to the Object menu, choosing Paths, and then choosing Release Compound Path, and that's going to break up this path so we can modify each element independently. Now then, click off of the paths like so, click back on the interior path-- that's just this inside area right there.
I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that movement. Now I am going to zoom out, and I am going to go ahead and lift this shade of yellow there. I want that exact same shade, and I am going to get to it using my Eyedropper tool. And you can get to the Eyedropper either by clicking on it here in the toolbox or pressing the I key, and then just go ahead and click in that area of yellow and you will fill the interior of the G with that exact same shade of yellow. All right, now go and grab your Selection tool, and I am going to marquee around these shapes, just draw a rectangle around those shapes like so, so that you select all of them, and then go up to the Object menu and choose the Group command, or you can press Ctrl+G or Command+G for group.
That will group all those objects together. Now, I am going to drag them up here over the original logo like so, and I'm even going to go ahead and scale this new logo so that it more or less matches letters, and I'll do that by Shift+Alt+Dragging a corner handle-- that would be Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac--in order to not only scale this object proportionally--that's the reason I have the Shift key down--but to also scale it with respect to its center. That's why I have the Alt or Option key down. Keep those keys down until after you release the mouse button and then release the keys.
Then go ahead and click on that background leaf right there and press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, in order to get rid of it, and there we have our new Grunbyte Inc. logo, thanks to your ability to modify type as a graphic inside InDesign.
- Getting around a document
- Making text frames
- Creating paragraph styles
- Adding bullets and numbers
- Repeating elements with master pages
- Cropping and scaling artwork
- Wrapping text around a graphic
- Preparing a document for print
- Exporting a PDF file