Introduction to InDesign


Adobe InDesign is important in graphic design and illustration for producing publications and other printed material. This workshop not only equips me for producing my own publications and printed material in the future but also helps me in producing the  ‘Learning the Ropes’ typography archive that I am currently working on and which has to be produced in Adobe InDesign.

We started by setting up a new document and becoming familiar with the different options that can be adjusted; intent, facing pages, columns, gutter, margins, bleed and slug. Once the document was set up we became familiar with the pasteboard and adding, moving pages and placing images. To add content to the pages we first looked at type which has many different options available, more than the other Adobe softwares. For producing typography you have control over the font, font size, colour etc. like most design software however you also have control over the leading, tracking, kerning, vertical scale, baseline shift, skew, overrunning text and paragraph formatting.

Colours are another important part of the software as you can mix and add colours to the swatches palette , however for more accurate colours you can use the Pantone system which is mainly for text or large blocks of text. To use the system you can purchase different swatches books from Pantone for different stocks of paper, you can then select the colour you want from the book and enter the Pantone number into InDesign which will then select that exact colour on screen. This ensures that when you print your work it will be the same colour as it was in the Pantone colour swatch book.

Out of all the software introductions I have been to so far I have found this one to be the most useful. I started this introduction with no knowledge of the software, where as with the other introductions I was already familiar with them to some degree, and left feeling confident with using the software independently to produce work which is essential considering its importance to my course.

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator


Photoshop uses pixels to create imagery which can be used to describe fine detail whereas Illustrator use vectors, these are mathematically plotted points which means quality isn’t lost when the image is blown up to a large scale. This is useful for producing graphics for brands and companies where the imagery needs to be used at a variety of scales, such as billboards. Vector images are also useful as they have smaller file sizes than images consisting of pixels. In conclusion Adobe Illustrator is a very important software for me to learn due to how useful it is within graphic design.

We covered selection, placing images, tracing images, creating paths, joining and editing paths, paintbrush tool, pencil tool, blob brush, geometric shapes, expanding objects, shape builder tool, gradients, appearance panel, type, templates, the pen tool and creating patterns. Adobe Illustrator offers a lot of features unique or vastly different to other Adobe softwares, such as the pen tool, although present in other software it is primarily used in Illustrator. Previously I had tried to self teach myself the software but found this difficult due to the large amount of new tools to learn, where as the workshop allowed me to not only have it explained to me in a way I could understand but to also try it for myself and have my progress reviewed.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop


Although before attending this workshop I was confident in using the Adobe Photoshop software I still found it to be very informative and helpful as I learnt shortcuts and techniques which would allow me to produce my work more efficiently and with a higher quality outcome.

We began the workshop by covering the basic principles of screen and print based media, looking at selecting the appropriate resolution and colour mode for each. With print based media needing to be 300 dpi/ppi and in CMYK, and screen based media needing to be 72 dpi/ppi and in RGB. We then moved onto exploring the tools and features available to you within the software such as cropping, colour adjustments, filters, selection tools and blend modes. All of this I already knew however an aspect of Adobe Photoshop I had previously struggled with understanding was layer masks.

Before layer mask

After layer mask

Throughout the workshop we covered how to use a layer mask to apply a texture, how to edit a layer mask and how to make more complex selections. This was extremely useful to me as previously to make complex selections I had been using the magic wand tool set to varying tolerances, however this would never make an accurate selection or produce a refined edge, so now being able to make selections with layer masks will allow me to produce more slick and professional outcomes.