In this session, we were joined by Kladi from Printmysoul, a graphic design boutique which has worked with top brands and many Fortune 500 companies. We were beyond excited to welcome Kladi, as she is known as one of the world’s best Adobe Illustrator instructors.

Kladi's roots as a southern Italian street artist show her flair for design and her academic prowess is impressive to say the least. In this session, Kladi put her teaching cap on and showed us how to create a book layout within Adobe Indesign. To follow along, you can access these freebies.

Build a New Document

Open InDesign and create a new document. Set the intent for print. This will help set the resolution at 300 DPI, working in CMYK. You can also view your presets by clicking ‘presets’. Select an 8 x 5 format, choose a straight portrait mode and click on the facing pages icon.

Unlock the inside and outside settings in the icon and mention a 20mm margin, both on top and bottom. The inside margin goes into the binding space. Be careful of using margins to avoid overlapping the content. Put the inside margin at 25mm and outside margin at 24mm. Then click on preview to check how it looks.

Pro tip: There is no set formula for putting margins. If you have a smaller document, keep smaller margins. If you have a bigger document, insert bigger margins.

Understand Bleeds

The black line in the reference image below is the actual area of the five documents. It’s the size of the document that’s going to be printed. The red line is the bleed line, which is the area that sits outside the printed page and allows the printer to wave a small margin of error when printing a document. The magenta line defines a safe area for content.

Pro tip: Having margins is extremely important so that the printer does not cut the design or words.

Name the document and save it. Then click on create. You can also create a preset by clicking the small arrow next to the name of the document. Once the file is created, you can add many pages inside.

In the file you can access the settings of your document. Choose document setup or press Option + Command + P which will allow you to view the document set up window. Here you can change the size, margin and add pages in the document. Add five pages, check the preview and click Ok to proceed. 

Work with Panels

Bring the panel and reset it to zero. Choose essential at the top right of your page and click on a down pointing arrow to reset essential.

Style Pages

The first section is dedicated to the master pages, which is the background used as a fixed design to underlay. Double click on one of the two pages in order to start and enter your master page.

Use Grids

Start to modify from the grids. Click on the layout and select create grids. For this page in particular, avoid using a square format. Don't use the same number in repetition, to give it more balance. Use preview and check how the grids appear. Also make sure you fit the grids in the margin and not on the whole page.

Pro tip: Click on ‘remove existing work guides’, if you want to override the previous setting.

The Gutter is the space between two columns or two rows (in this case). Set it to 3mm, allowing breathing space between the texts.

Bring in the Layers

All the content sits in the layers. Start with a base layer. Add a second layer and name it ‘layout’. Select the rectangle tool from the tool menu. Double click on the field control just to make sure that you have a color in your shape.

Leverage the Grids

Start to build blocks by using the rectangle, for an understanding of where the content is going to be. Create one for the title or heading, some space for images and then the content. This acts as a visual guide.

Pro tip: Make sure to have the rectangles on a separate layer so you can turn that off any time. 

Add a Placeholder for Numbers

Use a placeholder for numbers by tapping on the type tool and activating it. Click and drag it in order to create a text frame. Head to the type menu at the top and scroll down until you see ‘insert special character’ and select ‘markers’. Pick the current page number and click on it.

Click on your pages from the little icon and create a number. Select section option by right clicking on the page and then accessing the new section. You can click the start section and click on start page numbering it at whatever you want.

Add Content

Add two layers for images and text before adding the content. Use Command and add the downloaded content on the layer. You can also drag and drop any text file.

Click and drag in order to create a text box, which will contain all the text you’ve added.

Click on properties, under textile paragraph style, click on normal in order to apply the normal style to your text. You can change the font style later.

Read Text

Always read the text and define the heading, sub-heading and content. Give it proper spacing. Rearrange the dialog or double quotes in boxes by pressing Command + C and Command + V to copy and paste the selection. Then drag all the content to overlay.

Pro tip: If you see a small plus red sign popping up, it means that you have an overset text. There is text that's hiding and in order to show it, right click on your text box and press Command + C to expand the text for it to automatically fit the frame.

Add Images

Leverage the power of Creative Cloud libraries and download the images. Select all the images and drag them to the library. Use the rectangle framework as a placeholder for images. Add it onto the composition and then drag any image in the frame. Use Shift + Option + Command + E to fit the image inside the frame. Zoom in the image by clicking the small eye popping on it or use the bounding box to stretch the image.

Add another frame on the left side and then add another image there.

Pro tip: To create a rounded corner, click on edit corner (from the small yellow box) and drag the corners to create a rounded shape.

Check preview and see how the final document looks. See image below for reference. To toggle between the images, click ‘w’ on your keyboard.

Pro tip: Use Shift + W to view it in the presentation mode.

Paragraph Styles 

Add two columns giving space to the introduction, by pressing Command + B. This will split the text in different columns. Change the gutter settings and keep the margin space in mind. They allow you to create a style and controller at any point that you have your production, by simply modifying the paragraph style.

Select the text that you want to style, under properties. Select the text, Aktiv Grotesk Extended. You can choose this font by activating them through Adobe Fonts. For images, use Adobe Stock and download them.

Use the downloaded fonts and change the text by simply activating them.

Change the size of the font to 10 and apply it on the content. 

Change Color

The Color Theme Tool allows you to lift a color theme from any image that is inside the document. Click on the tool to load a palette from the image. Add it to the library and change the paragraph style text color.

Pro tip: Make sure to wrap the text around the image as shown in the reference image.

To wrap the image into a vector, click on control option type at the drop down corner. Add a text style to your heading and subheading, just like the body copy. This can be re-used again and again with the next pages.

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to create a book layout design InDesign.