Tips for Page Layout Design with InDesign

11 Jan

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In coming the exciting (or not) page design test for all print students! Below are some tips I summed up according to our previous sessions with Malvin. However, this may also interest those who intend to design their own pages with InDesign.

Front page (some are also applied to the inside page design):

  1. Save the work on the local computer, not even on the server! Back it up on your flash drive.
  2. Don’t put two fancy fonts together.
  3. Don’t make the column too wide – it will make reading slow.
  4. Break up long columns with quotes, pictures or something else.
  5. Different articles must be clearly identified – not necessarily with an actual line.
  6. Don’t put too many drop caps – it will make it like a magazine.
  7. About tint. > 50%, put on dark-coloured words; < 50%, put on light coloured words.
  8. Picture captions are usually SMALLER than the body font (£9), and in BOLD.
  9. Don’t put too many pictures with heads together on the same page.
  10. Newspaper body copy usually starts high then goes low, or stays level.
  11. Spaces are okay, but don’t put it in the middle.
  12. The colour RED tends to come to you; while the colour BLUE tends to leave you.
  13. Don’t put too many panels on the front page.
  14. Mix up pictures with different SIZEs.

Inside page (some are also applied to the front page design):

  1. Try not to make pictures “sit” on the advertisement.
  2. Guide reader’s eyes from the main story, to the 2nd, then the 3rd. The main story is usually made prominent by including bigger box, big headline, bigger-sized pictures, etc.
  3. Mix things up. If you are making changes (differences), make it big and prominent. (colour, size, capital/lower case, justified/unjustified, bold/light, etc .)
  4. Mix different decks of headlines. 3 decks with 2 decks and 1 deck.
  5. If you have two pictures with heads on the same page, make sure they have similar height from the chin to the head top.
  6. Don’t leave gaps between paragraphs.
  7. Don’t leave a single word at the ending line of an introduction (aka a “widow” or “orphan”).
  8. The colour should be SUBTLE, otherwise it will be too distracting.
  9. Balance positions of pictures, don’t put all pictures on the same side.
  10. Avoid two points of picture frames (squares) point to each other.

Feedbacks from practices

  1. Mix WARM and COLD colours.
  2. Newspaper uses eye breaks every around 200mm, otherwise the words will seem too intense.
  3. Make visual impacts via creating CONTRADICTs.
  4. Don’t chop off the chin in a picture.
  5. Font size for broadsheets: 70; for tabloids: 140.
  6. Keep pictures away from advertisements.
  7. Mix up different picture sizes and shapes.
  8. Prioritize stories.
  9. Body: 3mm intended, except for the first paragraph.
  10. Don’t break words in the heading.
  11. Don’t stretch the photo.

2 Responses to “Tips for Page Layout Design with InDesign”

  1. Maria January 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    How big should be the font? How many points? Thanks

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