Year-at-a-Glance: Design an annual calendar 3 ways in InDesign | Abby Hersey | Skillshare

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Year-at-a-Glance: Design an annual calendar 3 ways in InDesign

teacher avatar Abby Hersey, I draw things. I make things. I love coffee.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      01 Introduction


    • 2.

      02 Planning your calendar


    • 3.

      03 Border Artwork


    • 4.

      04 Themed Monthly Artwork


    • 5.

      05 Background Artwork


    • 6.

      06 Creating a template in InDesign


    • 7.

      07 Border layout in InDesign


    • 8.

      08 Themed layout in InDesign


    • 9.

      09 Background layout in InDesign


    • 10.

      10 Class Project


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About This Class

Join illustrator Abby Hersey as she shows you how to design a year-at-a-glance calendar 3 ways.

In this class you will learn how to showcase your style in a yearly calendar. You will learn an easy way to typeset a whole year’s worth of dates in InDesign, and learn 3 styles of calendar layout.

Since the purpose of this class is ultimately to build your skill set and add to your portfolio, you’re encouraged to work in the way you normally do. If you're a painter, paint away! If you like to draw, that's great too. If you typically work digitally, please do for this class as well! Abby will be demonstrate layout digitally in InDesign, but you can create the artwork however you like as long as you have a way to get it onto your computer.

You can get a free trial of InDesign here.

Meet Your Teacher

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Abby Hersey

I draw things. I make things. I love coffee.



My love of design began with the over-the-top, unquestionably 1980’s rainbow wallpaper in my childhood bedroom. It inspired in me a love of color, pattern, and shape that’s only grown over the years and has driven me to create engaging and inspiring designs of my own. I passionately believe in the power of illustration and design to transform spaces, simplify communications, and build relationships.

I was formally trained in graphic design, but most of what I use on a daily basis is self-taught, trial and error,  or learned from Skillshare, which is why I am passionate about sharing what I've learned, demystifying design concepts and technical skills through my classes.

When I’m not in the studio, I’m probably outdoo... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. 01 Introduction: maybe her see on illustrator and designer based out of Columbus, Ohio. For several years I've been creating an annual here declare its character that I use to show up my work, and I engaged my followers. I felt this counter as a detail, but would also work very well. A small art. It's one of those things that my followers have really got used Teoh be putting out. They look forward to it every year and before even have the artwork finished. I have a stack of orders in this class. I'm going to show you three styles of urine. A glance Calendar layout one Where will use artwork as a border for the calendar. One where we create themed elements for each month and one, we use an overall artwork background. In addition to working through each of these calendar styles, I'll teach you an easy way to typeset a whole year's worth of dates. In in design. I'll share how I go from concept to sketch to final layout for my project. I'll be working digitally on an iPad pro, and the layout will ultimately be completed on the computer using in design Big Last project. You'll be designing a theoretically it's calendar. Using the techniques learned in this class. You'll create artwork for your calendar and select one of three layouts that we cover. You'll be showing off your own unique style, so I encourage you to create the artwork in whatever manner typically would. You're a painter. Go ahead and be if you tend to go digital, do that. All that matters is that you can get the artwork into the computer for the calendar layout . We'll be using in design for that portion, and I've included a link for a trial of design in the class Project section. When you post your class project. In addition to the final calendar layout, you might include some notes about your process, some of the individual elements you use and how you play the geyser. Finished artwork. Sharing a project with class is a great way to get feedback from your fellow students as well as myself, so I really encourage you to put it there and, uh, interact with the community. Let's get started planning encounters 2. 02 Planning your calendar: Once you've decided on your subject matter, it's time to start planning the layout of your calendar. I like to use cheap printer paper and pencil to come up with some very basic thumbnails. Do anything to detailed. I just want to get on overall sense of how the pieces play together. Since I'm doing a tea towel calendar, I know that the dimensions of my piece are about 18 inches by 27 inches, and I'm gonna try and keep my thumbnails proportionate to that. If you are considering a printed product, if you want your gallery, wall art or something like that, I would encourage you to make sure that it's a size that's easily frame. Uh, people will appreciate that when it comes time to purchase your calendar, they have. Teoh spent a lot of money to get it framed with a specialty frame. They're not gonna be too please. As you can see, I'm just giving this very loose overall concept of succulents surrounding the thing. With the date up here, you might find that your subject matter dictates the best layout from calendar. For example, if you were going to use snow globes, those of make really excellent monthly elements. They would probably make a really good border, but they might be more difficult to pull off as a background image. Um, you might have text from the calendar covering up important bits of thes snow globes, so just just keep those kind of things in mind. If you pick something like florals, it's much easier to fit it into whatever calendar layout you want. They make a great border. They would be great as background. They make excellent individual elements. So just just pay attention to your design and think of what would you help? Help it be best calendar, not even take this one fully all the way out. I'm getting a sense off what this layout would look like and then good with that, the last one I'm going to do. Um, my background. I am thinking of doing a very plain pots for my succulent Nothing that'll be too busy or distracting behind the calendar text calendar, textile kind of service decoration for those and then doing varied, um, succulents in those pots. I've got three pretty solid concepts here, and so I think I'm ready to move on to creating my artwork 3. 03 Border Artwork: I'm going to begin with the border style calendar. Border artwork can be simple or complex, uniform or wonky. It's essentially just a frame for your calendar for this style. We don't want too much of our elements touching the calendar text, but that's the only real limitation to how you interpret border. I'm designing my calendar to be printed on tea towels, so I know that my artwork needs to fit in an 18 27 inch space, and I'm going to work in that proportion. I also want to be sure that I leave enough empty space for illegible calendar. 4. 04 Themed Monthly Artwork: Now I'm going to create 12 individual illustrations to go along with the 12 months on the calendar. I'm going to keep my size and calendar space in mind, just like I did for the border layout. 5. 05 Background Artwork: from a background artwork. I want to be sure that nothing important will be lost. Behind the calendar text. There are different wings to use the background with your calendar. You could fill your calendar with a pattern and overlay the calendar, for example, or you could design the background with calendar placement and bind. Here's my 2018 calendar, where I've designed shelves of dishes and kitchenware to be the backdrop of the calendar. If you have this route, you want to make sure that there isn't anything too busy on these illustrations. Otherwise, the text could be too difficult to read. 6. 06 Creating a template in InDesign: Now we're ready to begin to lay out of our calendar text, and we'll be using in design for this process. I'm going to start by creating a template that can be used no matter what my design, whether I choose a border or background or monthly elements. And I also can save this and use it from year to year without having to start from scratch going to start with a new document. And I know that the size of my tea towel calendar is 18 27 so I'm gonna make a custom size click. OK, here's my documents. Begin by making the text for the days of the week. Draw a text box and because I want to fit all seven days in there, it's a little wider that's obviously whiter than it is tall. I'm gonna hit command B to bring up my text frame. Options can also reach this menu by right clicking on your text box and selecting text frame options. So the number of columns I want this 71 for each day of the week, and I don't want any gutter because I want them right next to each other. I also want to align them to the center of the text box and I'll go ahead and click. OK, I'm gonna need to make five copies of this row in order to get all the days for the month, so I'm just going to duplicate it until I have five rows. There may be months where you need a six throw, but we'll cover that when we get to one. Gonna go ahead and click in this first box and type one, which is very small, and I'm gonna want that to be larger. I'm not worried about the font just yet. Weaken screwing with that later. But I want to make sure I can see my day as well. Okay. Also gonna come up here and tell my text I wanted to align center now by hitting Enter, It will take me to the next textbooks. Working type 23 4567 Get to the end of the row and hit. Enter and type eight. You'll see that this red box comes up. They click that with my arrow tool. I can then link it to this set of text boxes and then I can go in and hit Enter and just keep plugging. Look, the link it at the end of this road as well. And again, I'm just hitting enter to go from box to box. So the most days there will be in any month are 31. And so this provides the good bait a good basis for our calendar layout. I'm going to duplicate this, actually, probably need to make this a little bit smaller. I'm just gonna do a real basically out of four rows of three to start. Since I know will be adjusting these once I have my artwork in here not messing around with guides or anything like that. At this point, I did make sure that I left space for the names of the month and I'll go ahead and dropbox for that and again not concerned with my typeface yet. Deal with that. Once I have my artwork in and can make judgments about what makes the most sense. Yes, I could have done this before I copied and duplicated them across counter. That would have been smart, but I didn't. I'm doing it this way. Now I'm ready to adjust the dates dynamically so that my calendar is technically correct. I'm gonna reference a calendar for 2018 so that I know that I start on the right day and that I keep everything consistent. You can obviously reference calendar on your phone or the Internet or your computer. What have you just want to make sure that you get the dates correct? That's the most important quality or calendar. You could make beautiful artwork and pick the best typeface, but at the end of the day, your dates have to be correct. So for 2018 January starts on a Monday. I'm just gonna come in this box and hit Enter, and that moves January 1st over by one day. January does, in fact, have 31 days. And so the next day on the calendar is a Thursday, and I know that's when February will start. Go ahead and February's first day over. February only has 28 days, so I'll just select and delete the days I don't need and March then will also start on Thursday. So go ahead and move marches. Days over 31st of March falls on a Saturday, works out perfectly. April, then starts on Sunday April has 30 days. I'm gonna get rid of 31. That tells me that May will start on a Tuesday. May has 31 days. June will start on a Friday and that bumps 31 off. But June only has 30 days. So I'm just gonna to leave out. Well, I don't need and make that correct. September starts on a Saturday which bumps several days. Well, bump several days off. We only really need the 30th. But I'm gonna have to make another row in order to accommodate that. Going to duplicate this last row, select and remove all the text. I use my arrow tool to link, and then I'll get rid of the 31st because we don't need that. Same is gonna be true for December. Well, duplicate that last room selected, removed on my text and link the previous row to that new box. So this calendar encompasses the whole year has all the dates that we need. I verified that they're correct with a calendar for next year. And I can save this template to use for future years because Aiken come in at any time and just remove or add or shift around to make it work. So go ahead and save my template and I'll say this is an in design document, that it's easy to open and edit and nothing gets messed up. 7. 07 Border layout in InDesign: go ahead and place the artwork for my calendar. Choose the border artwork for starters, and I'll send that to the back and lock it in place so that as I adjust my calendar, I don't grab the background image and accidentally adjust it. Obviously, the text that I have now is too large. I'm gonna need to shrink the calendar down and fit it in that white space. So I'm gonna select all of this, grab the corner, just resize It's going to get angry with me about this, and it will not, uh, show my text. I'm gonna have to go in and adjust the size of my typeface to make it work at this size. But for now, I'm just concerned with being general placement of my months and I'll just the type face once I'm happy with this. - Gonna start with January and make my text a little bit smaller until I can see it. That looks good. So I will go ahead and do that to the remaining months now. I have all of my months laid out the way I would like them and placed where they should be , and I can focus on decisions about the type. I'm gonna begin by adding the year to my calendar. Gonna put it down here at the bottom, slide it into place. I would like to use this same typeface for all of my month titles. Gonna go up to January and select me text, change it to that fund and start messing with the size to get it where I think it should be . I think that works. So to apply all of the toe, apply this to all of the other months if you go and individually and change them. But I'm going to do a character style to kind of make it a little easier on myself. The select my January text Go up to my tight menu and click character sales and click on the create new style button at the bottom of the character styles menu and double click it . I'll call it Month titles and down here in the style settings that lists my typeface and the size, and I'll go ahead and click. OK, No, I console ECT all of my month titles using the shift key as I click and then come over my character styles menu and hit month titles. It updates all of them consistently. Gonna go ahead and save this out. I'm gonna export to a pdf depending on what you're doing with your artwork. It may make sense to use a different format, but I'm gonna go ahead and use PDF for now, Here's my pdf document Pops up. When it's done exporting, you can see that my artworks nice, high quality. Everything's clear and readable. I'm very happy with this Overall. 8. 08 Themed layout in InDesign: back into in design and show you real quickly how I would do the layouts for my other two styles of calendar. Unlock my graphic at the back. Get rid of that and place one of my other pieces of artwork. Go ahead. Do the themed artwork drop that in? In this instance, I had planned for the date to be at the top of the calendar. So go ahead and move that up and you can see this one is laid out to be four months across , three months deep. So I have a little adjusting to do there, move everything into place or roughly into place, and then I can adjust. After I've got everything. We're clones. - So I've got to really tall months here at the bottom with September and December both using six lines of text, some of the bump everything up, just a smidge. Unlock my background artwork, select everything since screwed it up a little bit. And I'm really the export this one to a pdf as well 9. 09 Background layout in InDesign: last but not least, use my background artwork. This one's back to being three rows across. I will adjust accordingly. - I could use guides to help me set these up in a really linear fashion. But since the pots in my artwork are a little bit wonky, I'm not really concerned about Langley's up perfectly. There's only have the impression that everything's pretty uniform. Depending on your background artwork, you might find that it's a little more walking than this. If you remember the example from earlier where I showed the dishes that had a calendar on them, those calendars had to be moved all over the place. To get them to work well with your work with the end result was totally worth it. So don't don't get tied up with having to have everything precise. If that doesn't suit your artwork, this one's done as well, and I will export to pdf 10. 10 Class Project: Now that you've learned about three different styles of calendar layout and how to set up a dynamic template in in design, you're ready to do your class projects. Your class project may include notes about your process, sketches and thumbnails, individual elements from your artwork, your final calendar layout and how you plan to use your calendar. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.