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InDesign: An Introduction Short Course

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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

Taught by a leading design professional, this introduction to InDesign short course is ideal for those who would like to create beautifully designed projects for print or digital use.

Why choose this course?

Adobe InDesign is one of the leading design software applications and its use in the workplace is growing as organisations seek to project their brand and materials in more engaging, professional and creative ways.

Knowledge of InDesign is a huge advantage for those with responsibility for design and marketing and also useful for those setting up their own business or online projects.

This practical InDesign: An Introduction short course is aimed at beginners, and takes place over ten weekly evenings in our central London location.

Course overview

This course will cover the key functionality of Adobe InDesign CC, the industry-standard layout and publishing program, as well as techniques for laying out text and graphics for professional publication.

You'll gain an appreciation of the fundamentals of typography, page layout and other page design principles and learn how to apply these principles using InDesign, gaining hands-on experience in the art of successful page layout.

You should have good working knowledge of the Windows or Macintosh operating system.

  • Zhuliyana Boyanova

    “ The content was very well-balanced and covered everything from fundaments of typography to page layout and design principles. I can now confidently craft elegant layouts and navigate the programme with ease. ”

    Zhuliyana Boyanova

    Former student

  • “ Teaching was very good, went into detail in short space of time. Chance to get on hands on use of the programme throughout the course. ”


    Former student

  • “ Great course, well taught and good value for money. I now feel confident and excited to apply these skills in my job from the beginning of a project to the end, including the language used in the industry to dealing with printers and tips on good practice. Thank you! ”


    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

  • The InDesign working environment: how to open & view files, make use of the pasteboard, manipulate the document window.
  • Toolbox: the selection tool, colour controls, hand tool, rotation tool, the direct selection tool, eyedropper tool.
  • Navigation: how to move around your document using the pages palette, view menu, page keys, layout menu, scrolling and the navigator palette.
  • Layers: how to use and re-position layers, lock and organise layers.
  • Constructing a new document: including how to change document preferences and create a custom start up page.
  • Master Pages: creation, editing, footers, headers, guides, grids, application and overriding master page items on document pages.
  • Type: creating, colouring, editing, alignment plus essential typography tips and techniques.
  • Duplicating items.
  • Graphic Frames: Modifying graphics within frames, manipulating and editing the frame and its contents both separately and together.
  • Text Frames: creating, importing, editing, overflowing text, dynamic spelling, spell checking text, creating text in columns  and the manipulation of text frames.
  • Creating solid objects.
  • Anchor Points: Understanding Bezier curves, selecting, manipulating, adding and deleting anchor points and their direction lines.
  • Drawing shapes with pre-set tools.
  • Wrapping text around a graphic object.
  • Styles: paragraph, character and object styles.
  • Aligning objects.
  • Colour: understanding CMYK colour and the Pantone Solid Colour system for print. RGB colour for the web. Creating colours in the Swatches palette, applying colours to objects and using stroke & fill attributes. Also how to view the separate print/ink plates on screen.
  • Working with gradients: creating, editing and adjusting gradients.
  • Transparency: changing the opacity of a solid object or graphic, applying blending modes, creating drop shadows.
  • Printing & exporting: PDFs, pre-flight, packaging files for printers and fixing problems.
  • Considering design in page layouts: what do graphics say?; face-ism ratio; the golden ratio; grid-based design.



Prerequisite knowledge

Working knowledge of the Windows or Macintosh operating system.

Tutor information

  • Helen Pummell

    Helen Pummell began artworking in 1996 at the very start of the desk top publishing revolution, working with each new development of design industry software, from the first version of QuarkXpress through to today's powerful Adobe Creative Suite.

    She has taught an ever-evolving range of creative software at City, University of London and with private students since 1999.

    Her design experience spans advertising, retail, marketing, education and recruitment and she has worked for some of the country's leading advertising and marketing agencies. Her clients include many national brand leaders, household names and high street favourites, for whom she produces artwork and promotional solutions for both web and print.

    Helen currently teaches and freelances using a combination of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.