Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

Creating a new company newsletter or brochure, what are spreads in InDesign

Daniel Walter Scott

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In this video we're going to create our newsletter, or our brochure, we're going to work on our margins, our columns, the gutters between it. We're going to look at things called spreads. It's going to be exciting, let's go and do it.

First thing we're going to do is create a new document. Either click this button, or you can go to 'File', 'New', 'Document'. We're going to start with some of the presets, Print'. Depending on the part of the world, we're going to use 'A4' or 'Letter'. We'll use 'Letter' in this case. You can see, mine keeps defaulting back to millimeters, it's mainly because, in between making videos I've to do work in InDesign, and I work in millimeters so I can switch it back. So there's my sizes, I'm going to work in 'Portrait'. We're going to have 'Facing Pages' turned on this time. Remember, pages, we're going to have 8. Just consider when you are making a newsletter or a brochure, often you have to work in multiples of 4. You can have 2 pages. So, front and back of 'US Letter'. Also, when it gets past that it's actually big sheets of paper folded in half, and stapled. So you can't have like, say 6 pages because you'll have one big sheet folded in half.

And then you have this kind of one sitting in the middle, and it becomes really hard to bind together. There's ways around it, but often you work in multiples of 8. If you ever pulled up a newspaper, and pulled one sheet out of it, you've chopped it to pieces, and you've pulled out one sheet, you'll notice there's actually 4 sides. So, think of that when you are doing a newsletter. Definitely don't do 5 because you've got the back of a sheet of paper that you have to use. Starting number? This might be that you've got a really long document and you've got pages, and you want to start the page numbering on something different. We're going to keep our start to 1. Very rarely will I change that.

'Primary Text Frame', we'll look at that in a later video. Columns, we haven't used this before. By default you have to have a minimum of 1. What we're going to have is 3 in this case. And the gutter is the space between these columns. Just leave it to whatever the default is. Let's have a quick look at why we use columns.

So in here, I've done a little research for magazine spreads. What you'll notice is that when people are designing magazines, professionals, they will start with the number of columns, and consistently use that throughout the magazine. It gives a bit of consistency through, say a really long document, so that you're not going to every page, switching out different columns. It's one of the things that are really easy to notice when you're looking at amateurs do work, there's no consistency with columns. So, often it's 2, 3, 4, 5 columns. So we'll look at some of the examples. Now you can break these rules, kind of, but it adds a bit of consistency throughout.

So let's look at, say this one here, it's an easy one. There's 3 columns. That's what we're going to be doing. And that is keeping to 3 columns. So let's have a look through, say this one here. This one's a little bit different, they're using 3 columns but they're kind of breaking the rules, a tiny bit, with the spreading across of these. So there's still 1, 2, 3; I know you're thinking like, "There's only 2 columns" but you can see, this image here is actually spanning two of them. And they do the same thing over here, so there's still 3 columns but this one here is spanning two of them.

Let's have a look at some of the ones that, say this one here, I'd say is maybe an amateur work because this just, I don't know, you can kind of see there’s no real columns in there. This is not even. It should be one, and then another one, and then, this one's a bit short. I don't know, I hope you can kind of see it, it feels like it's not. There's no consistency there, this one doesn't span the columns like it should. So it's got all the right ingredients for a great magazine but I think, columns can really help lift an amateur's work.

This one here, 2 columns. This one here, still is, I think in the amateur category. It's cool, it's nice, but it's columns that I'm just unsure about. See this one here, it's beautiful, but crazy, but it's still using 4 columns. This big giant no. 2 spans two of them. That's okay, we're allowed to break the rules, but really breaking the rules within the rules, if you know what I mean.

That was a long explanation, let's jump back into InDesign. So we're using 3 columns. Margins, we're going to use something slightly bigger, so we're going to do '0.8 inches'. You'll notice that they changed all of them at the same time because this little linking icon is set. I'm going to break that now, so I'm going to do all of them, except I want to do the bottom to be a little bigger, maybe 1.4". Now, if you're using millimeters-- I'm using 20 all around, except the bottom, which I'm using 35 mms.

Couple of things to know, often the bottom will be bigger than the rest of the document. Gives you a little bit of wiggle room down the bottom to put things like page numbers and document titles. It also just gives a nice-- even if you're not going to put page numbers down there it gives the document a sort of grounding, gives it kind of a base at the bottom. So, it's just a visual footing. Not sure how to explain it but it's nice with a nice thick bottom at the bottom.

What you'll also notice, there's no left and right, there's inside and outside. So if I turn 'Facing Pages' off, can you see, it becomes left and right, which we understand, but then, 'Facing Pages' on, it becomes inside and outside. That means, if I jump back to my example you can see here, it just means-- look at this example here, you don't have a left and right essentially, but you have an inside margin, and an outside margin. And what you often can do is, you can have a slightly bigger inside margin if you've got something called Crepe, if you've got a really thick magazine, maybe these pages will disappear into that gap here, they call that Crepe. So you can kind of increase that. Our magazine's not big enough to worry about that. And often, as a designer, even if your magazine is really big, that is often the role of the printer to start playing around with the Crepe, and adjusting that for you. Talk to them about it if you are worried about it, and often they'll help you out.

'Bleed', we're going to have of '0.125' unless you're in millimeters, then it's 3mm. 'Slug' we never use, so we're going to click 'Create'. Let's jump to our pages panel. If you can't see it, let's go to 'Windows', 'Pages', and just have a quick look at what we have done. We've got 8 pages. So our page 1 here, that's our cover, and then it moves to 'Spreads'. So I double click page 2, you can see here I'm going to zoom out, 'Command -', or 'Control -' on a PC. You can see, they've put pages 2 and 3 together. You can have them separate, that's fine but obviously when you're working on a magazine it's handy to see them together, that's why we look at this word 'Spread'. We want to see them together. Great work, let's go inside of it, 'File', 'Save'. And let's put it into our 'Desktop', 'InDesign Class Files'. Let's call this one 'Green at Heart Newsletter', 'V1' not 'Final'.

All right, let's get on to the next video. Let's look at something called 'Master Pages', exciting.