Design Skill Builder Journal Susan Woodward

Ok, so our first assignment in this Skill Builder course is to create a recipe page in InDesign. We could use an instructor's template page, but I decided to try it from scratch.

I spent a long time checking out photos of food from As a photographer myself, I found I was pretty picky. Some images just weren't set up for this purpose, and I realized how some compositional 'devices', such as the diagonal shot, turned out to be problematic for the 'designer' in me. Good to know for future image-making! 'Art' images and those used for design purposes may overlap as a species but it seems they are very different when it comes to setting up a page.

Once I chose my image, the page just appeared in my mind. The page that appeared in my mind is a relative of the page I ended up with! Luckily a not too-distant relative, but not what my first idea was. I am happy with my design, but I still wish a few things were different and they may be one day when I have more experience with the program. For example, the yellow text in my mind was rounder and bigger - more of a background idea than a forward piece. Down the left would be 'Summer' and down the right was going to be 'Time'.

Everything changed when I placed the image in my image frame. I guess thought the image would just fit in whatever size box I made. Oops. So as I enlarged the box to see the whole image it just got bigger and bigger on the page. I found I was liking that. So my idea morphed and continued to morph until I ended up with this image.

I took the text edge color from the tea itself with the color eye dropper tool. I also used that color as the recipe text. I used 4 layers to make the image and really appreciated the locks for each layer. I did have some extra text in the left side text box - I played with putting 'Summer time' all in that box. I'm not sure how to delete that extra text. But it doesn't show up so I'm ok with it so far!

This assignment is a nice way to get to know InDesign for students, especially when they(we) have access to free images.

Second Design Challenge

Make a Music concert poster

I started this project enthusiastically - ready to make the poster. Soon, however, I ran into decision-making issues. What kind of music do I want to promote? What kind of look do I want to show? As I looked at the many pexels images in all categories related to music, I tried to see the story in them. Which ones could I use together? Which ones went together for theme, or color, or music style? It turned out that my choices changed as I went along in kind of a 'do it and evaluate' sort of way.

Using InDesign seemed more challenging this time. I had difficulties with the frame filling icons. They were not on my control panel as they were in Lukas' tutorial. So with research I found that I had to remove certain capabilities from the control bar in order for the ones I wanted to show up to be there. I customized the control bar.

I also found that I must be ready for summer as both of my assignments feature 'summer' in their titles :).

So I gathered my pics from pexels, and I added text directly onto the document as I put it together. I used 6 layers - each with multiple entries. I like the background image - it's very inviting. I like the 2017, and the Summer Fest sections. I would have liked the text to be rounder and fuller, so I will need to keep looking for what I have in mind. I like the images of the musicians that I chose and I had fun with their names. I'm not sure the placement of their images is terrific, and I would like to have cut them out of their frames. The scissors and I did not see eye to eye yet on that front! So in their frames they stayed. I adjusted the edges of the frames somewhat so they weren't so harsh-edged. I kept the center 'sun-salutation' part of the image clear to emphasize the outdoors summer feel to the event.

So here it is - Summer Fest 2017

I'm enjoying InDesign. There are so many applications for it. I can see students using this method to make posters for their events - photo shows, concerts, art openings, easily and quickly. 

Final Reflection

I have enjoyed this course. I definitely feel like my InDesign skills have been greatly improved. I feel confident enough with the program to add it to my everyday workflow.

As with the other courses I have taken (or am currently participating in), the course flow is the same. The instructors give just enough information to get started on the project. Then, once inside a project, there is much self-directed research to complete in order to really finish the project. In this course I needed to understand the control bar in order to have it show the icons I needed to access for the project. Also mastering the frames was also challenging and prompted additional research.

I can see using InDesign in several ways. For myself, I see it as a great way to develop more interesting handouts and announcement posters for school. For my students, I see InDesign as a wonderful way for students to make invitations, announcement cards, and even business cards. Students could use InDesign also as a good way to enliven reports and presentations. An example project may be designing a CD case and insert material using both their photography skills and InDesign to design the cover and pages over, or next to, images that they have also created. InDesign skill is very handy!

I enjoyed this course and am looking forward to continuing learning with additional courses. Thank you to the instructors for their expertise, time and efforts on our behalf. We all appreciate you :)

Credits: image

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