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Design Projects Using Adobe InDesign

Start-to-Finish Tutorials For Learning InDesign

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These projects help you learn the basics and explore more advanced features of Adobe InDesign by creating the same type of projects you might tackle as an in-house or freelance graphic designer. The 12 categories of tutorials include business cards and letterhead, magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, and posters. In most cases, tutorials start with setting up your document (or some start with the initial sketches and planning) and go all the way to printing or saving as PDF or digital publication.

Unless otherwise noted, these tutorials go to sites outside of About.com.

Also see these InDesign Collections:
Best Tutorial Sources | Interface & Tool Basics | Templates

1. Ads and Direct Mail

Make the sale in a mag or in the mail.
Make the sale in a mag or in the mail.

2. Brochures, Leaflets, Pamphlets

Build a better brochure by learning to use InDesign.
Build a better brochure by learning to use InDesign.
  • How to Make a Print Ready A5 Leaflet in InDesign CS5
    Beginner level tutorial for creating a 4 page leaflet or brochure uses some of the type setting features that were new in CS5. 22 steps. From James Andrew at vector tuts+.
  • Create and Print a Brochure with Photoshop, InDesign, and UPrinting.com
    Part 1: (14 steps)
    Part 2: (9 steps)
    From Collis at psd tuts+ / vector tuts+, artwork is created in Photoshop then placed into InDesign for further work.
  • Pamphlet Project
    Ues InDesign to create a 3-fold pamphlet. From Shield Yearbook.

3. Business Cards and Letterhead

Express your unique identity using Adobe InDesign
Express your unique identity using Adobe InDesign

4. Digital Publications

Repurpose print content or design specifically for iPad and other digital devices.
Repurpose print content or design specifically for iPad and other digital devices.

5. Invitation

You are invited to learn how to use Adobe InDesign.
You are invited to learn how to use Adobe InDesign.

6. Magazines, Newsletters, Newspapers

Read all about it! InDesign does beautiful periodicals.
Read all about it! InDesign does beautiful periodicals.
  • Magazine Design With InDesign
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    At Layers Magazine, this basic 3 part tutorial by Chad Neuman includes master pages, auto page numbers, shapes, text import from a Word file, text wrap, and other features. Uses Illustrator for some steps. Downloadable files provided.
  • How to Create a Professional Magazine Layout
    A vector tuts+ Intermediate level tutorial for CS4/CS5 from Otto Coster.
  • Design a Multi-Page Mag Feature
    Jo Gilliver of Computer Arts demonstrates how to set up a complex including grid setup, creating a template, and adding finishing touches. Downloadable support files. The tutorial is a PDF dowload as well.
  • Create a Newsprint Magazine
    Download the PDF tutorial from Computer Arts which includes tips on designing a "complex, versatile grid system" and how to work with black and white images and cheap paper but get great results.
  • Magazine Cover Design in InDesign CS3
    13-step tutorial by Terry White at Layers Magazine includes techniques for making a cover that stands out on the magazine rack.
  • Create a Five-Color Magazine Cover Using a Spot Metallic
    An Intermediate/Advanced level tutorial by Mark Mayers at psd tuts+ that uses InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat Pro. It's two parts all on one (very long) page.
  • How to Create a Music Magazine Cover in InDesign
    From vector tuts+ and Simona Pfreundner, this is an introductory or beginner level tutorial.
  • Create a Hip Magazine Cover in Adobe InDesign
    From SpryeStudios, a 14 step tutorial.
  • Newsletter Project
    This Shield Yearbook tutorial uses columns for a simple, single page newsletter. A Basic introduction to using InDesign.
  • Create a Newsprint Publication
    From Computer Arts, topics covered include grids, consistency, and use of two color printing. For InDesign and Photoshop CS3 or later.

7. Menu

On the menu: InDesign Tutorials
On the menu: InDesign Tutorials
  • Design a Coffee Shop Menu Layout From Scratch With Photoshop and InDesign CS5
    Part 1: (24 steps)
    Part 2: (35 steps)
    Intermediate level tutorial by Alvaro Guzman at psd tuts+ using Photoshop to create the artwork to be imported into InDesign for the addition of more text and print to PDF.

8. Photo Albums, Photobooks, Yearbooks

Create picture-perfect photo layouts.
Create picture-perfect photo layouts.

9. Portfolio

Strut your stuff in an interactive portfolio.
Strut your stuff in an interactive portfolio.

10. Posters

Plaster your walls with posters.
Plaster your walls with posters.

11. Resumé or CV

Land a better job with a good-looking resumé
Land a better job with a good-looking resumé

12. Other Miscellaneous Projects

You can create almost any kind of graphic design project using Adobe InDesign.
You can create almost any kind of graphic design project using Adobe InDesign.

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