InDesign Learning Journal for MileS Fettinger

Attended the live class and the program seems very useful. It reminds me of page maker which I enjoyed a lot. I see the continuity with Photoshop but there are a lot of new tools that I don't know what they do.

Finished watching the tutorial videos and I'm a little worried the video that had the most content was the hardest to follow, the presenter jumped from instruction to instruction very quickly and I have no idea how any of it relates to each other or how it is important. I'll watch it again.

Day one of the first assignment. I went back and re watched the video again. I'm unsure what the assignment wants, am I creating a whole new spread of just filling in the sample spread with my own info and images?

Logic: decided to just make everything from scratch.

Well all I want is an orange background, no paint bucket, background tools, or layer options. I'll try to make a full spread rectangle and fill it orange. Yay that worked, but now I have to lock it because every time I try to select anything it keeps grabbing the background. Tried the text tool but it won't type anything just blinks. Maybe I need to make a text box? The box with the X in it worked. Now I can shrink the text, shift the text, and slant the text but all I wanted it to do was rotate. I just learned what stroke is, must a throwback term to typewriters, like how many time the striker would hit the paper to make a bold word. Still trying to rotate the text. Free transform in Photoshop was the hint, It was under Object_Transform_Rotate. 30 seconds in Photoshop = 30 minutes in InDesign, I guess that is why I need the class. On to pictures!

Logic escapes me, I made the box to place the image in, found an image on that is passable, went to File_Place to put the picture into the box. The resolutions do not match so I can only see a tiny bit of the picture, so I go to Transform_Scale but that only changes the size of the box. After walking away for a bit I came back to it and searched the help menu and discovered it is called Fitting. The only thing that is bothering me is that I like to keep my components separate like the example showed separate layers for the background and menus and images but everything I've added so far is on one layer. I can't find the add a layer menu item. Well I found if you right click on the first layer you can create a new layer, and I named it text so I can put all my text boxes in this layer. I placed another picture then added the text box for the heading, typed my title and chose a font and size, then used the vertical scale and baseline shift to place the title exactly as I want it. I noticed the background image and title are too similar so I am looking for a way to outline the text with an outer glow, but after looking at the InDesign tutorial I think I might have to use stroke.

Adding the recipe instructions I set up a tab to create a numbered list. Well that is really weird, when I press tab nothing moves over until I press it two or three times then it moves. When I go to the next line I have to press tab two or three times to get the text to move over but when it does I lose the tab I just had on the line above. This pattern repeats as I go down the list and now I am on the last paragraph and everything is jumping around with huge gaps all over and nothing is going to the tab I created, no idea why. When in doubt google it. Google just said there were lots of issues when InDesign changed versions but nothing specific to my problem. I kept poking at it by tabbing and retabbing the paragraph until I think I got it how I want it, but it didn't text wrap around a picture so that is next thing I need to figure out. Figured out the text wrap function and after I applied it the tabs just had to go, the text had to chop up too many words to do the wrap and adding the tabs and to the mix made it unreadable. I think I'm done and I have the recipe how I want it to look.

On to the second assignment! A rock concert poster is an awesome assignment It can go so many different ways. My favorite band growing up was Van Halen and now that I have kids they really think Weird Al is funny so I think I'm going to go for a parody of a vintage concert poster. This could be tough since I have to avoid copyrighted images and symbology. The design portion shouldn't be that different, I have to include all the text that any poster would have so I could get creative with the images and the concert info. I can't set the date too far in the future since hamsters don't live that long, or have a disclaimer that says no refunds if a member of the band dies or is eaten by a predator.

Well this was more of a task than I originally thought, finding royalty free hamster pictures was an adventure, I found another website called that helped a lot. They had guitars, microphones, drum sets, wood chips, everything an aspiring hamster band would need. The other thing I found was a vintage Van Halen concert poster from 1978 so I thought about a homage. That can make the font choice interesting, we'll see how that goes.

I created a blank 20 x 30 poster then created 9 vertical stripes using the shape tool. I did a gradient overlay on each box with the odd boxes inverted to the colors are bold at the top and bottom but blend more in the center. I went about the task of finding suitable hamsters, matching size and resolution then removing them from the background and inserting them in a white rectangular box, each hamster got his own layer so the instrument or clothing they are wearing can be easily grouped. The bass player is famous for his Jack Daniels bass guitar so I had to make one to match unfortunately there were no Jack Daniels royalty free images and I didn't want to mess with copyright issues so I found a bottle of something I'd never heard of but was royalty free and the found a vector image on of a bass guitar and merged them into one. Them I went to work on Eddie Van Hamster's guitar. I found an electric guitar on that actually looked like his brand and then I went to work on it. I did a color swap of blood red for brown on the guitar and then threw in some random color stripes, I wanted it to look similar but I'm pretty sure his pattern is copyrighted too so I avoided it. I found a drum set and added Van Hamster on the bass drum cover using the arc tool to make the text wrap around the circle. I wanted the detail even though most of it would be covered up. I added some drum sticks and a headband and Alex Van Hamster was done. The lead hamster gets a microphone and they are done.

I wasn't sure if I needed anything else but after looking at the vintage poster everyone is lit from a single light source and the background is black. My white background was going to be a problem and so I found some wood chips and made a grid out of some lines then added a metallic gradient overlay on the lines. Viola you now have a hamster band in a hamster cage, it helps with scale too, they aren't giant hamsters they are tiny with tiny little instruments going for cute not scary. Cut using the ellipse tool and then created a new document pasted the cut into the new document, added a fill layer using a sample of the color from the striped 20 x 30 poster. Merged the layers, then created another ellipse just a little bigger. Cut again and now we have a frame then pasted into the 20 x 30 poster. Time to start working on layout and text.

This was the easiest part, InDesign can manipulate text in so many ways. I made sure to keep text color changes to a minimum using only two. I also kept font changes to a minimum limiting it to two. I did manipulate the text I used in many different ways including subscript and changing the vertical and horizontal scale, baseline shift, using contrasting colors to stand out while implementing stroke to outline text in white or "paper" for increased readability. I kept all pertinent information a standard width and used text height for emphasis. I tried to keep the bowtie text effect but I don't think mine is as smooth. I tried to create a path and do text on a path but I spent so much more time trying to make the path curve I could have just gone back to Photoshop and did it twice. So I gave up on the path and tried to find a skew that could tilt the letters. I found Object & Layout_Transform but that tilted the entire word and not the letter I selected. I'm back to trying to type on a path but I saw a video that said you can do it with shapes, so I need a six sided polygon to make the shape I need. Unfortunately the polygon's angles are set and not changeable so I can't set each corner to the angle I need. I'm going to try the path again, I watched a video on YouTube that shows how to do it. They so lied, I can make all manner of useless squiggle but nothing will let me make a nice symmetrical arc. There is a hump at one end and every time I try to manipulate it I add another squiggle so I discovered I can change the size of my squiggle the width or height but not the path. Twenty minutes ago I could have just typed the word in Photoshop and selected warp text once I move two sliders to see what happens I could have selected the shape I wanted and been done. I know it can be done here but it is so buried I can't find it. Time to call it done.

Here is the original
Here is my version
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Created with images by byrev - "angle cutting fire"

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