Entries in the 'Reading List' Category

Reading Assignment 8-24-09

GR M24

Design It Yourself, Logos, Letterheads, & Business Cards. The Non-Designer’s Step-By-Step Guide, by Chuck Green

pages 42-43

Reading assignments – 8-17-09

GRM-24 – Desktop Publishing

Publication Design Workbook, A Real-World Design Guide, by Timothy Samara

Pages 1-33
Topic Areas Covered:

Thinking – Content, Message, Organization

  • concept and content
  • evaluating and organizing: section and sequence
  • the many forms of content
  • color as communication
  • type as visual concept

Getting it Printed, by Eric Kenly and Mark Beach

Pages 1-21
Topic Areas Covered:

Planning for Results

  • precision planning
  • timely scheduling
  • optimal quantities
  • compelling quality
  • matching cost and value
  • planning workflows
  • service expectation
  • involving your printer
  • working with production managers
  • copyright concerns

Publication Design, by Roy Paul Nelson

Pages 1-28
Topic Areas Covered:

Chapter 1 – The Emergence of Publication Design

  • the design of magazines
  • the design of newspapers
  • the design of books
  • the design of miscellaneous publication
  • the role of the art director
  • the art director’s background
  • working with photographers and illustrators
  • working with writers
  • the realities of art direction
  • bringing in a consultant
  • the exercise of taste

Calendar Grid with Sliding Numbers

Creating a calendar from scratch and setting up the dates for each month can be tedious and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. The following method works equally well in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign.

Begin by creating a paragraph with 14 tab stops using an alignment of your choice. Use these paragraph settings to create a grid of numbers which you’ll duplicate and use on each of the subsequent months. The size of type and amount of leading in your number grid depends on the overall size of the squares used for each day.

For the first line in the number grid, press the “tab key” seven times to move the cursor to the correct position to begin numbering. Set up a grid of numbers as shown below.

The next step is to create a an actual grid, or table to “hold” the numbers and daily information. To create the grid, use the table tool, or create a square that is the same width as your tab set, and depth equal to the leading. Use the “step and repeat” feature to duplicate the squares, and label the days of the week at the top of the grid. When the grid is completed it should look like the illustration below.

To use the calendar in a document, highlight the unused dates and make the type the same color as the background (usually white, i.e., no ink printed, so that one can write in the grid).

To create the calendar for the next month, highlight the number grid with the arrow tool, slide it into the appropriate position and white out the unused numbers.

Hope this technique saves you some time and frustration!

Tables Simplify Complex Formatting Tasks

Reading: Bible p.547-569 – Setting up Tabs and Tables

While InDesign allows for the most complex of formatting jobs, it supplies a number of tools to ease the tedium and redundancy where formatting text is concerned. When dealing with large quantities of data, such as the information for a price list or catalog, Tables can pick up where Paragrarph Styles, Tab and Paragraph Rules leave off.

First, consider the data flow. The initial data can originate from a number of sources. It may come from Microsoft Word, Excel, or it can come right off the internet. If you are getting the data from a website, ask the provider to export the data to an Excel file. Once you have the Excel file, you can open it and determine if any fields can be eliminated, as it is easier to edit the data before importing into InDesign.

Creating the Initial Table

With the data finally prepared, go to File>Place, importing the Excel file into InDesign. When placing, be sure to check “Show Import Options.”

In the “Show Import Options” dialog, at the top of the dialog you’ll see, “Sheet.” Here, you need to choose the specific worksheet associated with the Excel file.

Formatting: Table > Unformatted tabbed text. By choosing this option, you will be able to control all aspects of formatting the table in InDesign.

With an active text cursor within the table, Select>All and go to the Table Menu>Convert Text to Table. The Column separator can remain set at Tab, and the Row Separator at Paragraph.

Apply Design Styles to the Table

Once your text is converted to a table, it is similar to an inline graphic in that it resides within a text frame. However, to make changes to the table or its contents, use the text tool. With an active cursor in the table, you can edit the column or row size by moving the cursor directly over the line. When it turns to a double-headed arrow, click and drag to change the size. Edit the column widths appropriately so that the rows fit comfortably on a line.

Drag with the text cursor to highlight text in a cell. To highlight all the text in the table, first highlight a row, then go to Edit>Select All to change the font, style and size. Incorporate paragraph styles and a complex task is eased.

The Table>Table Options gives information about the table, and control over the spacing, strokes and fills for columns and rows in the table for graphic customization.

‘The Assault on Reason’

Finally, a politician who can read and write. I don’t know why we didn’t elect this guy president…oh, yeah, we did.

This is an important read for anyone concerned with the state of our nation. Al Gore presents a seething indictment of the Bush administration. After the first few pages, you’ll be wondering why the whole bunch of them weren’t tossed out long ago. As I read The Assault on Reason, I suspected Gore had read Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, as he makes similar points about the communication tool that captivates and hypnotizes while spewing out its one-way message.

‘The Meaning of Life’

by Bradley Trevor Greive

This is a little book, not much larger than a CD. It’s a feel good book chock full of warm and fuzzy black and white animal photos accompanied by surprising simple, yet insightful observations. Pick it up to read a page or two at a time, and I challenge you not to say, “Aww,” and read on. Ultimately the book does answer the questions it poses, so if you’re searching, or even if you’re not, this is an amusing book about life’s purpose. Great for gift giving. After you’ve read your copy, don’t tuck it away in the bookcase. Leave it out where everyone can enjoy it and you can enjoy it over again.