By Mike Rankin | Thursday, February 12, 2015
Imagine you’re a designer laying out a 500-page book in InDesign, with all kinds of page types—various front matter, end matter, body text, chapter openers, etc.
Would you try to build each of those pages manually, starting with a blank page every time? Or would you reach for a tool that would allow you to easily create all those pages with the speed and consistency of professional-quality work?
Fortunately, just such a tool exists in InDesign: master pages.
In this article, I’m going to show you how InDesign master pages work.
You can also watch my lynda.com course Creating Long Documents with InDesign CC for a complete long-document workflow—including how to use master pages.
By Mike Rankin | Sunday, April 20, 2014
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 1, 2013
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
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 4, 2013
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.
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
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.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, June 6, 2013
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
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.
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