Professional Graphics Without the Professional: Intro to InDesign

 In Design

In our last installment of Professional Graphics Without the Professional, we discussed why graphics are so important to online engagement, and covered a few design programs to fill in the gaps in your design department. If you’re ready to take your designs to the next level, it might be time to try out Adobe’s collection of design programs.

All of the programs in Adobe’s Creative Cloud have their uses, but my personal favorite is InDesign. While it’s designed to be used for print design and typography, it’s an adaptable program that can be used for all kinds of projects. It’s my go to for flyers, Facebook graphics, and email banners.

There are plenty of free tutorials available to guide you through your InDesign journey. Below are some of my favorites:


Adobe’s website offers tons of video tutorials to walk you through everything from setting up a new document, to designing your own business cards. There’s something to learn for every skill level.

Adobe also offers a free 30 day trial for all of their design programs, if you want to give them a try before committing to a purchase.

Changing InDesign Defaults

Like most software programs, InDesign has default fonts and colors selected upon startup. I love Minion Pro as much as the next girl, but if you have a company style guide (or just a favorite font or color palette), you might want to change the default choices in InDesign. This tutorial will show you how.

Bring Your Own Laptop also provides a free, 20-step, InDesign tutorial to walk you through some formatting basics.

Using Data Merge

InDesign’s data merge can be used to insert Excel data for a wide variety of projects. This example shows how to customize a letter, but the technique can also be used to insert product data or mail merge envelopes.

Creating Multiple Page Sizes

If you’re trying to design multiple, coordinated pieces (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc.) this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about designing them in the same file. It’s really helpful for making sure they go together.

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