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.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, May 9, 2013
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.
The effect starts with a polygon with 24 sides and a small Star Inset value.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, April 25, 2013
If you’ve watched a few of the videos in the InDesign FX series, you know how useful the Bevel and Emboss effect can be for creating all kinds of interesting looks. The versatile Bevel and Emboss tool allows you to apply both a shadow and a highlight to objects, unlike all the other transparency effects, which offer only a shadow or a highlight.
But one limitation you might encounter with Bevel and Emboss is the fact that you can add only one shadow and one highlight. So if you want to simulate multiple lights shining on an object, you have to come up with a workaround. One way is to use different colors and blending modes to create, in effect, two highlights or two shadows in a single effect.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, April 11, 2013
If this week’s InDesign FX video leaves you with an “empty” feeling, don’t worry—that’s exactly what we’re aiming for, as we explore “no fill” effects in Adobe InDesign.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, March 28, 2013
In this week’s InDesign FX video, we’re headed to the movies as I show how to create lettering that resembles a theater marquee.
This effect highlights one of the ideas I keep coming back to in the InDesign FX series: in order to make a realistic-looking effect, you have to start with a real-life reference. So before I did anything in Adobe InDesign, I searched the web for photos of theater signs. I found many examples with thick translucent red plastic letters, hung from two rails stretching across the signs horizontally.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, March 14, 2013
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to use Adobe InDesign to divide an image into several pieces that fit together like a puzzle. This would be a pretty tedious chore to manually create all these separate frames and then position the images correctly inside them.
Fortunately, there is an easier way to create this effect.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, February 28, 2013
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to create a variety of interesting text effects using paragraph rules within Adobe InDesign.
By Mike Rankin | Thursday, February 14, 2013
In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show you how to add fancy ornamental frames to placed images in Adobe InDesign.
More than any clever technique, this effect highlights the idea of using the resources you already have handy to create unique and interesting graphics, so you don’t have to draw them. Specifically, the fancy frames are made from a simple solid stroke embellished with a series of characters from the Adobe Wood Type Ornaments font.
In the video, I start by making a copy of the frame containing the photo. This way I can place the ornaments in the duplicate frame and know they will be positioned precisely where I want them over the photo.
Then it’s time to find a suitable ornament. Here, you can think of the Glyphs panel like a library of clip art. You probably already have several dingbat, symbol, or ornamental fonts at your fingertips, each containing hundreds of interesting shapes.
After selecting a single interesting glyph, you can scale and duplicate it to make a series of ornaments, and then use a frame as a vector mask to crop the glyphs and show just the parts you want for the picture frame.
Use a frame that contains your favorite glyph as a vector mask.
With that basic set of steps you open up a million other possibilities by incorporating different fonts, glyphs, scaling, and so on.
Use the InDesign Character panel to adjust the settings for each glyph you use.
Another example of using a frame as a vector mask for your selected font.
The final effect, created entirely in InDesign.
I also have a member-exclusive video in the lynda.com library this week called Framing photos in letters. It shows you how to use merged letter shapes as photo frames.
Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign FX biweekly series
• Courses by Mike Rankin on lynda.com
• All InDesign courses on lynda.com
Suggested courses to watch next:
• InDesign Secrets
• InDesign CS6 Essential Training
• InDesign CS6 New Features
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