Digital Publishing Megan Frauenhoffer's Learning Journal

Digital Publishing helped me cover the basics of Adobe InDesign. I had some familiarity with InDesign, but it's not a program I regularly use or use well. I wanted to get more proficient with the program and these projects helped me in a big way.

Week 1 Notes

  • Publishing used to be so much harder before the era of computers.
  • Fonts and Typefaces are often interchangeable but mean slightly different things
  • I learned to download/import fonts off of Typekit!
  • Design is really hard when you don't know the program

Week 1 Project

Working in Adobe InDesign.

Business Card Design

Outside of teaching, I work as a gallery artist. So I chose myself and my art business as the product for the card design. I have been working with a brand for awhile using a twisted skull as my logo for my print store and website. I will likely use this design as the backside of my card with all the front sides being my artwork.

Megan Frau logo. Skulls are a huge motif in my artwork.

If I had to critique this, I think I would simplify it more to reduce the amount of text. I would probably keep it to just the email and weblink then get rid of the rest.

It's so itty-bitty

Week 2 Notes

  • The Basics of Layout using the Principles of Design
  • Images are an important part of the design
  • Various text alignment, visual heirarchy, and different points of entry into the design

Week 2 Project

Social media graphic work in Adobe InDesign.

Social Media Promotional Image

I've never used InDesign before for social media graphics. This is where I usually find programs like Adobe Spark at the advantage because I like designs that are quick and easy to compose. However, I did like the exercise and I suppose if I got more efficient at the program, I could feasibly use InDesign more and more in this manner.

The full painting of "Omen" which was used on the graphic.

My biggest critique is that I didn't stray too far from the design in the lecture. It's hard to be creative without knowing much. However, I do like the design and the images help pull it together. If I reworked this, I would try to alter the typeface some and change the colors a little to compliment the painting's color scheme.

The final social media graphic!

Week 3 Notes

  • Grids, grids, grids!
  • Working off the grid can be challenging but once you learn the rules, you can break them.
  • Lorem Ipsem, or dummy text, seems to elude everybody on its origin during the US class session.
  • Most printers these days can handle RGB color. CMYK is best for offset printing.

Week 3 Project

I really didn't know what I was doing at the time...

Print Promotional Flyer

This is where I had a real challenge. Because I took the route of using my art career as the "product" I was promoting, I didn't know what to do for the promotional flyer. I got some great ideas from seeing what the class produced, but I didn't know how to apply that to myself. At the same time, I've been toying around for what to do with the upcoming art challenge, Inktober. I've seen other artists promote special giveaways and contests to boost their visibility and I decided that fit in line with my artist brand. While I'm not sure if this will become a real event I will promote, I feel like I have that option now because of the design. The only slight downside is that I'm not sure if this could ever logically be a print out. It feels more appropriate as another social media graphic, or perhaps a digital flyer.

Inktober sketch, unused for this project

I upgraded the type for the headers, which I liked more and I think adds more visual interest and heirarchy to the text. I also worked a little color in the text since color was lacking in the images. If I were to do this design for real, I would want to replace the inked images with more print ready, high quality inked images.

First draft of the flyer, some improvements needed.

Week 4 Notes

  • Learned about Imposition, though I really hated the video because the guy kept making mistakes and I wished he just started over or learned to edit (so frustrating!)
  • Boxes and grids still confuse me.
  • The visiting artist during the live class had a lot of fun designs and great tips for beginner's

Week 4 Project

The artist catalogue middle spread in Adobe InDesign

Promotional Brochere

This class got me thinking more and more about what to do with my branding and design. Looking at my first project, I felt like the design was playing it too safe and sterile. With each one I've been edging out of this to include bolder colors and different type. For week 4, my brochure was an artist catalogue and it fits real well with the other projects. Since I already had an artist statement, bio, and images, it was only a matter of figuring out the design. I borrowed elements from the previous project for both consistency and to give me something easy to experiment with.

The final brochure design, seeing it all spread out like this, I might move the transparent background to be in the same spot.

Week 5 Notes

  • PDFs can be interactive (with animations)?! I'm waaaaaay behind on my design knowledge
  • "Today is all about digital publication" - Dan Armstrong from class 5
  • Saving and using assets into the CC libraries, the mystery finally solved!
  • Honestly, I'm still confused about object states and whatnot, I will probably need to work on another project to really feel comfortable using it.

Week 5 Project

The main page. Once I had this set up, I felt more confident in the project.

Interactive Brochere

This project threw me for a loop. I thought I would "get" InDesign by this point, but this week proved otherwise. I had to follow the video lecture(s) step by step so that I could understand what to do next. As far as the style of the publication, I felt like I had finally established one by the time I completed projects 1-4. Finally understanding how to save assets into the CC libraries also was helpful!

One of the parts that I loved during the live classes was seeing that video can be embedded. I had to do this with mine. I had some time-lapse videos on hand and just recently finished a workshop with Adobe Spark, so I went to work on creating a video for the interactive publication. This part wasn't actually hard for me, for some reason the rollover buttons gave me the most grief.

Scratch that, the part that gave me the most grief was publishing it. I guess that's what I get for embedding the video.

Final Thoughts

I learned a lot from this course. My knowledge of InDesign prior to this was scant. I am actually excited (instead of groaning) to learn more and more with what I can do with the program . I even went back after project 4 and tweaked my designs to match more and make them fit as a brand. I also took some of the critiques I received and worked those in as well.

My re-worked projects, they now feel much more cohesive.

I feel that this workshop benefited me the most. I'm not sure yet how to implement it into classes, but I think that could range from anything like visual learning material, creative class projects, to helping art students think about professional practice and branding. My other job is working as a gallery director and this helps me rely less on the graphic designer for basic promotional materials for exhibitions. All in all, I came away learning a lot from this course.


Created with images by Ella Jardim - "untitled image"