InDesign: Working with Type

Today’s tutorial was taken by our tutor George and involved working with type on InDesign; in particular, looking at kerning and tracking.

The tutorial begin with viewing  previous student work examples of Magazines, so that we could identify any errors within their work in which we would prevent. The ones we focussed on were: Rivers, Widows, Orphans, and Hyphenation.

Rivers are the white space that occurs within the lines of text.  To solve this, Tracking is best to use as it brings the words closer together or further apart.  To do this you simply select the text whilst holding alt and press the arrow keys to determine the space between. You can also Kern in this circumstance, however it is not recommended.

Widows are when the first line of a paragraph is placed separate from its main body of text. Whereas Orphans are the other way around where the end word or sentence is separate from the main body of text. When solving Widows and Orphans it is better to find them and manually correct them as the InDesign automatically adjusts the text change disregarding the space you have already created.

Hyphenation are where Hyphens are used to link a word onto the next line of text. This commonly occurs where large words are used in small columns.  To solve this within InDesign you simply select all the text (cmd- A) and turn off the Hyphenation setting so that the text can no longer hyphen to a separate line.  However, if the text is justified it can be difficult to avoid the hyphens.

When looking at students previous work examples, we identified that there can be a lot of inconsistency in terms of how the type is used, such as the size, font and the way in which it is used. George explained how creating a style sheet can help keep your work consistent and make it easier to correct issues throughout.  This is done by the applied settings to a grouping of text. for example, colour, size or font. To create a style sheet in InDesign you go onto type, and then paragraph styles.  A new window will appear in which you drop down and select new paragraph styles. It is then in this window that you can add characteristics to set for your text, for example, subheadings, or quotes.

To make a quick change to your work, such as the colour of the headings; rather than doing it manually which could take time, you can use the style sheet.  InDesign saves where all the subheadings are placed, so when you change the colour, it will automatically change the subheading.  This saves time, keeps consistency, and prevents human error.

I found this tutorial very helpful.  We successfully identified problems of potential errors with certain text design, and shown how we can overcome these problems.  It is important to know about kerning and tracking, but they are not the answer to everything, sometimes it can make a task much more difficult.  I hope I can put this new knowledge to good use when creating my New Visual Language magazine.

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