Information Design - Spring 2009 - Actual Size

Tri-Fold Brochure in InDesign

Use this tutorial, adapted from a book whose name escapes me just now, to set up a basic trifold brochure layout in InDesign CS2. Complete steps 1-3 & 7-11. The other steps are optional.

1. Setting the Units

  1. Start InDesign.
  2. Open the Preferences dialog box (CTRL + K).
  3. Select Units & Increments.
  4. Or: Edit » Preferences » Units & Increments

  5. Make sure that Horizontal and Vertical Ruler Units are set to Inches.
  6. Click "OK".

2. Setting Up Your Document

  1. Go to the File pull-down menu.
  2. Select New » Document (or CTRL + N)
  3. Fill out the New Document window as follows:

3. Placing Guides

  1. Go to the master page by double-clicking Master A in the Pages palette.
  2. Go to the Layout pull-down menu, select CreateGuides, and fill out the resulitng dialog box as follows:
  3. Click the first guide (blue) line you just created and take note of its x coordinate, which should be about 3.667".
  4. Drag a ruler guide form the left ruler and drop it just to the leftof the first guide.
  5. With the ruler guide still selected (click it and it should change color to indivcate iot is selected), go to the x coordiniate box and type in 3.667-.375" (i.e., 3.667 minus .375 inches).
  6. Your new ruler guide will snal to 3/8" from the left of the guide.
  7. Drag another rule to the right of your fold guide and, with it still selected, type 3.667+.375" in the x coordinate box.
  8. Your new rule should snap 3/8" to the right of the fold guide.
  9. Repeat these steps with your other fold rule.
  10. Double-click page 1 in your layout to check your results.

4. Adding a Swatch

Let's add a swatch. This will be the second color for the brochure.
  1. Go to the Swatches palette.
  2. Pull down the Swatch palette menu (click on triangle in upper left corner).
  3. Select New Color Swatch.
  4. Fill out the dialog box as follows (note: for now select PANTONE 8321):

5. Creating a Gradient

  1. Go back to the Swatches palette and pull down the menu once again, except this time select New Gradient Swatch.
  2. Give the new gradient a name, such as brochure gradient, and clock the first stop (the littel square) on the gradient color ramp (the bar at the bottom of the screen containing graduated color).
  3. If PANTONE 8321 isn't already selected, click it and the stop wilkl fill with that color.
  4. Click the other stop to assign a different color, scroll through your list to Paper, and click it.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Check that you see a new gradient swatch in your palette.

6. Directing a Gradient

  1. Double-click on page 1 to make sure that you're still on that page
  2. Create a rectangle with the following coordinates:
    x: 5.5"
    y: -.125"
    width: 5.6375"
    height: 8.75"
  3. Tag the fill of the box with your new gradient swatch.
  4. Select the Gradient tool in the Tool palette.
  5. Drag it veritcally, starting at the bottom of the box straight up (hold down the Shift key) to the top of the box (see Cohen pp. 149-50).

7. Create the Title for the Brochure

  1. Draw a text frame to line up with the left margin of panel one at approximately y: 1.215, and line up on the right margin with a height of 1.25".
  2. Type in your headline with whatever font you choose (e.g., Charlemagne Std, Bold, 32-point type, with 30-point leading).

8. Placing an Image

  1. Find a dummy image online (e.g., try the National Park Service Digital Image Archive) and save it to your desktop.
  2. Now place the image ...

  3. Draw a picture frame with the following coordinates and dimensions (you can change these later):
    x: 5.5"
    y: 2.475"
    width: 5.625"
    height: 2.25"
  4. Go to the File pull-down menu and select Place.
  5. Locate and select your Dummy Image.
  6. Use the direct selection tool and click and hold your mouse down over the image.
  7. You should see another vector and a dimmed image representing the entire picture as well as the frame you drew representing the cropped area.
  8. Position the image so that it is somewhat centered in the frame.

9. Creating Text Wrap

  1. Create a frame that fits from the bleeds on three sides to the first fold line and fill it with your spot color.
  2. Draw a second frame, a text frame, to fit the margin guides for this panel.
  3. Go to the Type pull-down menu and select Fill with Placeholder Text.
  4. Type in a subhead at the beginning of this text box for this panel (e.g., "The Company Story").
  5. Format the subhead in larger type.
  6. Draw another rectangle that is 1" wide and .75" high.
  7. Fill it with paper (white) and move it to the upper-left corner of your brochure to fit the margins
  8. Place a logo or small image on top of this white box and center these two elements (box and image) to each other using th alignment buttons found in the Control palette.
  9. Group these elements together (see Cohen p. 106).
  10. To wrap the text around the rectangle, go to the Window pull-down menu and select Type & Tables, Text Wrap (a new palette appears).
  11. Choose Wrap Around Bounding Box (the text should wrap).
  12. Tweak the wrap by changing the values in the Offset fields or moving the bounding box with the selection tool.

10. Fitting Content to Frame

  1. Move to page 2 of your layout (i.e., the inside of your brochure) by either clicking next to the page number at the bottom of the window or by using the Page palette and double-clicking page 2.
  2. Draw a picture box to fit the entire inside of the brochure, including the bleed.
  3. Place your dummy image inside this rectangle frame.
  4. With the frame selected, go to the Object pull-downmenu and select Fitting » Fit Content to Frame.
  5. Optional: If you've prepared a swatch (step 4), then open the Swatches palette and drag and drop the spot swatch on top of the dummy image.

11. Creating and Linking Text Blocks

  1. Draw three separate text frames to fit the three columns of page 2, each with a y coordinate of 1.5" and a depth of 4.25".
  2. Link them together by clicking with the selection tool the out port from text box 1 to anywhere in text box 2.
  3. Click the out port of text box 2 and anywhere in text box 3.
  4. Click in text box 1 with the Text tool and select Fill with Placeholder Text from the Type pull-down menu.
  5. Select all the text and format it with your chosen typeface, using 12 points and a first line indent of 12 points.
  6. ~ Jonathan Bass
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