Technical Tutorials — A Beginners Guide to InDesign… and More.
Since L4 where we had to play around with InDesign a fair bit, I had gotten pretty good and confident in the software in terms of designing editorial magazines. I had also used InDesign for the final brief of L4 as part of my ‘Fantasy Festival’ project on a ‘Studio Ghibli’ themed festival.
In spite of being familiar with the program I thought I’d hop into the technical tutorials ran by Tony and Koray, to refresh my knowledge and thankfully had learnt a few more, very useful tips.
The first tutorial had been a simple introduction to the basics of InDesign such as master pages, grids, margins, gutters, bleeding and such, which went alongside the analogue workshop we had earlier in the week.
[edit / update — 06.11.20] The following tutorial had been more intermediate, I found to be more advanced and helpful that would definitely be relevant in applying to the editorial magazine. We were taught and shown how to experiment with paragraph styles by selecting certain paragraphs/texts and changing their font, colour etc. which connects to other texts also linked to a named paragraph style — this trick would be extremely useful for this brief as if needing to change a font and/or colour, all the text throughout the pages would change accordingly without having to change them all individually — saving a lot of valuable time and effort! I anticipate having an attempt at this trick and get into grips with it fully before starting my own work. Tony also went into detail about exporting an InDesign file, the differences between PDF print and PDF interactive and much, much more.
As ever, Tony’s technical workshops and company is greatly appreciated as this was the kind of content many of us had requested. I’m elevated to attend more of the technical sessions in the future as they are ever so helpful.
[edit / update — 13.11.20] In the recent session of technical tutorials, Koray went over some of the basics in setting up and preparing a document within Photoshop. Initially I had thought I already knew what there is to know regarding this but Koray had actually given us specific information and tips that I was not aware of before, such as, when working and sticking to digital, resolution should be between 72 and 100 with the colour mode set to RGB, whereas if designing and planning for a print, resolution should rather be up to 300 with colour mode CMYK for best print quality. Additionally, and a really useful tip, knowing the University printers are best compatible with ‘Adobe RGB 1998’.
I had also learnt of new techniques regarding editing multiple pictures into one on Photoshop. Learning that instead of using the erasure tool to erase bits of the image you don’t want, rather than this irreversible/damaging technique, to rather use ‘create layer mask’ on chosen layer, where black is associated with the parts you don’t want visible and white associated with what you’d like visible. Extra skills were taught such as using the ‘gradient tool’ for a seamless blend paired with the mask layer, reminders to often play with blending modes and adjustments.
Another useful tool I’d discovered for images that may have a lot of background information, under the ‘select’ option, to select ‘subject’ which focusses on the subject of an image, using the mask layer tool once again, removing what isn’t wanted/needed — it is basically the quick selection tool but saves time and can be more accurate depending.
And yet another interesting and handy tip Koray shared with us was, typically when playing around and adjusting the colour grading, brightness, hues, contrast etc. at the top of the application under ‘image’, ‘adjustments’, once you make a change but later decide you’d like to go back to the original, it’s an irreversible change so instead, by selecting the (descriptive) two oval-shaped option in the layers section, you can make colour grading adjustments there that can be reversible. With this also, if the new fill layer is above all other layers, the change affects all the layers and elements which can be time-saving and necessary, however, if you’d want the change on one or two or multiple particular layers, to place the new fill layer directly above those.
This session as ever was super helpful, interesting and beneficial to learn a new skill/s in Photoshop regarding editing multiple pictures to make one. It was also nice to see Koray after some time and to show appreciation for their time and effort, due to their asking I had filled their survey regarding online content delivery/teaching on Teams with positive and honest feedback!