Class 9 – InDesign and Type on a Path

Most of the time during was spent learning to use the PEN TOOL in InDesign and creating type on a path. After an in-class demo, the class had an opportunity to experiment with the type on a path. The PEN TOOL in InDesign is very similar to the one in Photoshop and Illustrator. Once you learn to control the curve, it is easier to master to tool.  The more you use the tool, the better you get with it. For help, here are a few videos:

How to Use the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign


Correct Way to Format Type on a Path with InDesign


Homework – Due Monday, 3/7

  • Complete the Type Book – Alignment & Alignment2 assignments.
  • Textbook ReadingType and Color, pgs 80-87. Be prepared to discuss.
  • Online Reading –  Basic Rules of Good Typography. This article will help with to reinforce the concepts we’ve discussed over the last few weeks.

Class 8 – How Text and Paragraphs are Affected by Different Alignments

We took a look at the various formats of text alignments and how text is affected. Here are some the things we noticed:

  • flush left/ragged right – when using this text alignment, we are given a bit of breathing room, or negative space. This makes the page seem less crowded with text and allows places for the eyes to rest. In our culture, we read from left to right, and setting type flush left gives the reader an exact starting place on each line. The reader isn’t slowed down by trying to find the starting place for the next time.
  • flush right/ragged left – when using this text alignment, the reader is slowed down because the eye has to find the starting point of each line. Have the left margin set as ragged means each line will begin at a different location. It is ok to use this very small amounts of type such as for captions, but you wouldn’t use this for large bodies of type.
  • center alignment – not a good choice for large bodies of text. Again, each line of text has a different starting place and this slows down the reading. Poetry and songs often use this alignment.
  • justified alignment – both sides of the type are justified and line up evenly. Because of this, type is pushed out which can cause excess word spacing, which can cause rivers. In order to fix the word and letter spacing problems, each line may need tracking. Another problem that may arise might be too many hyphenated words. InDesign will try to fit as many words on each line as possible but so justified text can also fit more text on a page.

Homework – Due Wed, 3/2

  • Type Book – Type Alignment exercise. You can download the pages of instructions here.
  • Type Book – Type Alignment2. This packet contains the rest of the exercises for alignment, leading, tracking and kerning. Download that file here. Both assignments are due Monday, 3/7.

Class 7 – Text Alignment, Tracking, Weights and Variations

This class was dedicated to the variations in type styles that are available. We discussed the differences in type — width, weight, posture, stress, serifs, and contrast. We also did several classes to help the class understand how to use the type variations to create emphasis and expression.

width – condensed or extended

weight – light or bold

posture – italic or oblique (fake italic)

stress – vertical or diagonal

contrast – extreme or medium or low/none

serif – bracketed or unbracketed

For more details on this topic, and new terminology, you can review with article: Styles, Weights, Widths — It’s All in the (Type) Family


Homework due – Monday 2/29/16

  • Study for Quiz #1 which will cover everything from the beginning of the semester.
  • Type Book—Weight & Variations exercise
  • Textbook reading: Letters, Words, Sentences, pgs 51 – 79
  • Bring in 3 magazine pages that have different grid structures
  • Bring in your tracing pads and pens

Class 6 – InDesign: Panels, MultiPage Documents and Master Pages

Today’s class we went through the process of creating a multi-page document and using master pages. If you missed today’s class, use the following videos for help:

How to Format Master Pages


How to Override Master Page Items


Vocabulary Terms:

  • drop caps – capital letter at the beginning of a paragraph that drops down at least 2 or more lines of text.
  • master pages – when you have a multipage document, a master page is a non printing page used in InDesign that serves as a template for the rest of the pages. Master pages can contain text and graphic elements, such as photos, headers, footers or page numbers, etc.
  • dummy text – placeholder text that is use in place of the real text.

Homework Due Wednesday 2/24

  • Type Book – Complete the 5 Families of Type exercise. You can download the instructions here.
  • Quiz #1 – Monday, 2/29

Class 5 – The Grid System and Why We Use It

Here’s a brief recap from last Wednesday’s class. One of the main things we covered was how to work with the grid system.

A grid is a non printing system of horizontal and vertical lines which help the designer align the elements of the layout. This system of alignment helps to create a more organized layout. In multiple page documents, the grid assists in the consistent placement of design elements. Think of the grid as the skeleton of the layout.

Vocabulary used:

  • text page – the area on a page, within the margins, where text appears.
  • margin – the area of the page around the text area.
  • folios – the page number. In most instances this is at the bottom of the page below or outside the text area.
  • header – the area at the top of the page, outside the text area. A running header is a header that is repeated across many pages
  • footer – the area at the bottom of the page, outside the text area. A running footer is a footer that is repeated across many pages.
  • gutter – the gutter separates the columns and rows from each other. It is also the area where two facing pages meet.
  • active corner – the upper left corner of any field in a grid system. This is where the top of the text is aligned.
  • passive corner – the bottom right corner of any field in a grid.

Review pages 177-221 of our textbook for full details.

In InDesign we learned to set up columns for a grid, how to use a temple, and how to save a file as a PDF. We did this as we were introduced to the Type Book project.

Homework Due Monday, 2/22

Is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New Logo a Win or a Fail?

It seems the Metropolitan Museum of Art is about to introduce a new logo, but it isn’t getting rave reviews. In the article,  Why Is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Brand New Logo Already So Unpopular? (which appears online at a critic is quoted as saying:

“the whole ensemble looks like a red double-decker bus that has stopped short, shoving the passengers into each other’s backs.”

Read the article and let me know what you think. Is this a successful redesign or a failure? Why?

Class 4 – Introduction to Adobe InDesign CC

After a few exercises to review letterspacing, tracking and kerning, we began to explore the working environment of Adobe InDesign.

Areas covered:

  • Creating a new document
  • The InDesign workspace
  • Working with text boxes, fonts, point sizes, leading alignment
  • Leading, measurements, kerning


Forms of text alignment:

  • flush right (aka flush right/ragged left) = the text is aligned on the right edge and the left edge is ragged
  • flush left (aka flush left/ragged right) = the text is aligned on the left edge and the right edge is ragged
  • center = lines of text with the midpoints aligned
  • justified = the right and left edges are aligned

If you missed the class, here is a video that might help you out. It is a bit long but complete in helping your get started:


Homework — Due Wed, 2/17/16

  • Reading Assignment in textbook: Grid System pgs 177 -221 (be prepared to answer one quiz question on this topic)
  • Typography in your neighborhood – As you travel through your neighborhood, look and the typography and take photos of the different type you see. Write 2 paragraphs explaining with the typography in your neighborhood reflects about your neighborhood. Use Google Docs and add the photos to the document. Use no more than 4 images. The typography might be seen on signs, storefronts, buildings, etc.
  • Spend a some time reviewing the articles posted by your classmates and leave comments.
  • Watch the video: Typography & Design below

Class 3 – Kerning, Tracking and Letterspace

The main topic of the discussion was kerning, tracking and letterspace. But as a review of the Five Families of Type, here’s a link to an added resource. Navigate through the links highlighted in yellow: Designing with Type

Designing with Type

Kerning vs Tracking

Do you know the difference between kerning and tracking? You need to make sure you understand.

kerning = adjustment of the space between two letters to improve the appearance. Kerning is more specific than tracking. Kerning becomes more important with large or display type.

tracking = adjustment of the space between letters for the a whole word, sentence, page or document.

Other Terms We Covered

  • points – unit of measurement in typography: 72 points = 1 inch. All type is measured in points.
  • pica – typographic unit of measurement: 12 points = 1 pica; 6 picas = 1 inch; 72 points = 1 inch.

To help with the concept of kerning, we played The Kerning Game online. If you didn’t get a good score during class, give it another try:

The Kerning Game

Video Tutorial – Kerning and Kerning Pairs
We didn’t use this video in class but I think it’s helpful.


Homework Due – 2/10/16

  • Reading Assignment in textbook: Tracking: Kerning and Letterspace pgs 90-93;
    Letters, Words, Sentences pgs 52-79. Also, the reading that was due on Monday should be completed. Be prepared to for a quick one question quiz about the reading assignment.
  • As you go through your daily travels, take one photograph of an example of good letterspacing/kerning; then take one photograph of an example of bad letterspacing/kerning. Upload each of the photos to this website by creating a your own blog post. Write two or three sentences for each photo describing why the type is either good letterspacing or bad letterspacing. The examples you photograph can be of sign, posters, flyers or anything you see with type on it.
  • Finish the type renderings your began in class if you didn’t get to finish.