In Class Assignment: Setting up a multi-page document for print

Congrats! You’ve just been hired by a magazine. You have been asked to design within the existing style and set up a few pages for commercial off-set lithographic printing. Choose a magazine and study the overall design elements to find what is consistent throughout the pages and to identify the “house style” of the magazine. Create 4 pages (2 spreads) that fit stylistically within the pages of your magazine. You must include at least 1 page worth of scanned advertisements from your magazine,  (Can be a full page, 2 half pages, or several smaller ads – make a decision that fits within the style of your magazine.)  Use the article & Sidebar text that is located here. Oh yeah, and you are on a tight deadline … this goes to press at 6:45pm tonight!

A. Size & File Setup
Use a ruler to measure things like page size, the top/bottom & side margins, column width & gutter width. Set up your InDesign file to match the specification.

– In the New Document Window set the number of pages to 4

– Click the check box for “facing pages”

– In the “Start Page” field put 2 (what change do you notice if you were to leave the Default Start Page as 1?)

– Change your document bleed to 1/8 inch (.125).

– Save your file as the name of your magazine.

Set up your Master Page elements (things like folios, columns or grids & margin guides

Determine if your magazine uses any spot colors, or if its printed just in CMYK.

Scan your ads at full size and correct resolution (Magazines are typically printing at about 150 line screen. Calculate your resolution using the formula: Resolution = 2X line screen). Use the de-screening filter on the scanner to avoid unsightly ‘moire’ patterns. Place your ads  “Command+D” or File>Place, (based on how your magazine handles ad placement… some magazines place ads on the left page, some tend to place them on the right, etc).

Check Point # 1 – Call me over to review please!

B. Text

Edit the copy in a word processing program – Make the changes noted by the magazine editor in this PDF.. If you are unfamiliar with standard proofreaders marks refer to this list. Do a spell check and read the copy to check for grammatical errors. Use the “find and replace” feature to insert fi ligatures and remove double spaces after sentences.

Place your copy using “Command+D” or File>Place, (or copy & paste from your text editing program.)

Create any additional text that you need on the pages (ie: captions, subheads, page information, insert your name for the story byline).

Set up Paragraph and Character Style Sheets to match the different elements of your magazine using the following naming conventions (if they apply to your magazine, your magazine may have different or additional elements).  Double check to be sure that your Style Sheets are functioning properly. Your partner will need to use them!

– Headline

– Subhead

– Article Lead-in

– Body Copy

– Byline

– Photo Credit

– Pull Quote

– Caption

– Sidebar

– Page # / Folio

– Issue or Section Information

If you don’t have the fonts that your magazine uses, you may substitute with something really, really, really, similar or use a font identification website to help you figure out what the font might be. 

C. Images

Choose photos that either you have taken yourself or that you have on your computer, or you may choose from this stock library.  Insert images that fit stylistically with photos your magazine would typically print. (I don’t care if the content of the images doesn’t match the text, I only care that they are set up properly to print at a commercial printer!) Determine how many images there should be, what size, and if they need special effects (color correction, clipping masks, etc).

  • Use the “Effective PPI” in the Links tab to ensure your photos are high enough resolution for the size you wish to use them.
  • Use Photoshop to edit and size the images:
    • crop the photos to correct size & resolution for the print method. (This magazine will be printed at 150 line screen. Use the formula resolution = 2X line screen to determine the resolution that your photos need to be).
    • do any color corrections that need to be done & convert images to CMYK
    • create any clipping masks or silhouettes if needed.

D.  Additional design elements

– Add any additional design elements that will help your pages ‘fit in’ your magazine. Lastly, finalize the design by combing through to be sure you have done all necessary kerning, removing of orphans & widows, etc. (refer to this list of minimum typographic management points if you need a refresher!)

Check Point # 2 – Call me over to review please!

Pre-flight & Package your file.

Export a PDF using the Parks Printing PDF settings we installed earlier this semester & send me (, or both the final PDF and final packaged folder. You may send it via Dropbox, You Send It, We Transfer, Google Drive, or whatever file transfer method you prefer.