Making Beautiful Documents: Design and Layout with InDesign

, Research Director, Gray Area Foundn. for the Arts

Tired of miles of black text on a white page? Or of trying to awkwardly squeeze images in between tons of words? Or of documents always being...ugly?

Put simply, InDesign is the new MS Word - the standard-bearer for creating professional documents, and a prerequisite for many jobs and opportunities. Much more than a word processor though, InDesign is a full publishing suite that allows powerful creation of a variety of print documents like brochures, proposals, postcards, fliers, and even entire books - and provides full integration with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

While powerful, the software can also be very intuitive once you know a few basic tips, tricks, shortcuts, and best practices - especially if you're already a little familiar with other Adobe products. That said, you certainly don't need to be a professional designer to start using InDesign and adding that extra bit of shine to your documents, no matter what your career path.

I decided to offer this class after seeing dozens of friends who were well-versed in Illustrator and Photoshop, but had rarely if ever touched InDesign before. I find with learning any new tools that the first 10% is 90% of the work - so to this end, this class will be a rapid, hands-on, practical (but fun!) introduction to the software. I'll also include general design pointers helpful for single-page and multi-page print media, and will tailor the class based on a pre-class survey to gauge everyone's existing experience. Hope to see you there!

  • Making Beautiful Documents: Design and Layout with InDesign


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Jake Levitas

Research Director, Gray Area Foundn. for the Arts

I'm a designer focused on how information and design can serve as empowerment tools. I spent several years designing maps and analyzing data at an urban planning firm and translating these into intuitive graphics. Since then, I've been laying out, editing, and designing pages, documents, and graphics for nearly a decade in a variety of roles and positions. I co-founded Occupy Design, a global project to build a visual language for the Occupy movement centered around economic and social justice infographics and universal iconography. I currently serve as Research Director at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a local art and technology nonprofit, where I design and produce print and web media on a regular basis and manage creative technology projects.

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