Adding Professional Touches

With today's word processors and low-end page-layout programs offering predesigned templates for birthday cards and reports , almost anyone can claim to be a designer. But a closer look reveals the difference ‚ skilled graphic designers plan their typography and layout around the content, using typographic techniques to call attention to and refine content. The use of reverse type, sidebars, and pull quotes helps break up pages and organize text, while careful formatting of fractions, hanging punctuation, and end-of-story markers adds a professional touch.

Reversing type out of its background

This is the reverse of what you usually see ‚ white type on a black background rather than black type on a white background. Of course, reverse type doesn't have to be white on black, but any lighter color on a darker color. You'll often see reverse type in table headings, kickers (explanatory blurbs above headlines), and decorative elements. Reverse type, which brightens text and pulls readers in, works best with larger type sizes and bold typefaces so the text isn't swallowed by the background.

InDesign doesn't have a reverse type command or typestyle ‚ but using this effect involves just a simple combination of basic InDesign skills. To lighten the text, highlight it with the Type tool, click the Fill button on the Toolbox, and choose a light color from the Swatches pane (Window Swatches, or F5). For a dark background, you have three options: filling the text frame with a darker color, making the text frame transparent and placing it on top of darker objects, or using a ruling line behind the text.

For the first two options, select the text frame with the Selection tool or the Direct Selection tool, then click the Fill button on the Tools. To fill the text frame with a color, click a darker color on the Swatches pane. To make the text frame transparent, click the Apply None button on the Tools. Then place the text frame in front of a darker object or graphic.

For reverse-out type that is not in its own text frame, you use a ruling line of the appropriate width (at least a couple points larger than the text size ) and move it into the text. If you use a Ruling Line Above, you would move the line down behind the text; if you use a Ruling Line Below, you'd move it up. Figure 19-8 shows reversed -out type used as description headings, as well as the Paragraph Rules dialog box and the settings used to create the effect. (To access this dialog box, choose Paragraph Rules from the palette menu of the Control palette or Paragraph pane, or press Option+ z +J or Ctrl+Alt+J.)

Figure 19-8: This product guide uses reversed-out text created via ruling lines for its description titles.
Tip ‚ 

When designing elements with reverse type, make sure the point size of the text is large enough to print clearly on the darker background. Consider the thinnest part of characters , especially in serif typefaces, when judging the size and thickness of reverse type. You'll often want to use a semibold or bolder version of a font so the text maintains its visual integrity.

Creating sidebars and pull quotes

Pick up almost any publication, from Time magazine to your neighborhood newsletter, and you're almost guaranteed to see sidebars and pull quotes. So basic that you can even create them with a modern word processor, these treatments aren't really typographic treatments ‚ they're just page-layout techniques involving text elements you create by applying simple InDesign skills.

A sidebar is supplemental text, formatted differently, and often placed within a shaded or outlined box. Sidebars help break up text-heavy pages and call attention to information that is often interesting but not essential to the main story. Even in technical publications , it's helpful to pull in-depth information or related text into sidebars to provide visual relief. To create a sidebar, you'll usually place the text in its own frame, then stroke the frame and optionally fill it with a tint. To inset the text from the edges of the frame, use the Text Frame Options dialog box (Object Text Frame Options, or z +B or Ctrl+B).

A pull-quote is a catchy one- or two-line excerpt from a publication that is enlarged and reformatted to achieve both editorial and design objectives. On the editorial side, pull quotes draw readers into articles with excerpts that do everything from summarize the content to provide shock value. On the design side, pull quotes break up staid columns and offer opportunities for typographic treatment that emphasize the content (such as colors and typefaces that reflect the mood of an article). Although the use of and length of pull quotes is often dictated by design, an editorial person should select the text and indicate it on hard copy or within text files. To create a pull quote, copy and paste the relevant text into its own text frame, then reformat the text and frame as you wish. Use the Text Wrap pane (Window Type & Tables Text Wrap, or Option+ z +W or Ctrl+Alt+W) to control how text in columns wraps around the pull quote.

Formatting fractions

If you're in a big hurry, it's fine to type 1/3 cup and get on with your life. It looks like a fraction, but it's kind of big and ugly, and it calls a little too much attention to itself. Compare the first line in Figure 19-9, which is formatted appropriately for a fraction, to the last two lines, which are not. InDesign doesn't provide an automatic fraction maker, but you can use expert typefaces or character formats to achieve professional-looking fractions.

Figure 19-9: In the first line of text here, the "1/3" text is formatted manually to look like a true fraction.
QuarkXPress User ‚ 

InDesign has no equivalent to QuarkXPress's fraction-building tool.

Applying a fraction typeface

Some expert typefaces include a variation, appropriately called fractions, that include a number of common fractions such as ‚½, 1 / 3 , ‚¼, and ‚¾ . Adobe has so-called Expert Collections for many of its popular fonts; these collections include true small caps, true fractions, and other typographic characters. Many OpenType formats have these characters included as well. You can also use a symbol font, though the numerals may not exactly match the appearance of numerals in the rest of your text, since symbol fonts typically use plain fonts like Helvetica as their basis.

To use a true fraction from an Expert Collection, symbol, or OpenType font, choose Type Glyph, then select the font and face from the pop-up menus at the bottom of the dialog box, then select the fraction you want.

Tip ‚ 

If you're dealing with a wide range of fractions in something like a cookbook, you probably won't find all the fractions you need. Because it would be difficult to format fractions such as 3 / 16 exactly the same as an expert font's ‚¼, you might opt for formatting all the fractions manually.

Formatting fractions manually

You'll notice that expert fractions are approximately the same size as a single character in that font. That's your eventual goal in formatting a fraction. Usually, you achieve this by decreasing the size of the two numerals, raising the numerator (the first, or top, number in the fraction), and kerning on either side of the slash as necessary.

For example, see the fraction in the first line of Figure 19-9. The rest of the text is set at 9 points, but the denominator (the number after the slash in a fraction, or 3 here) has been set to 6 points using the Font Size field in the Character pane. The 1 is set as a superscript using the Character pane. The 1/ and the /3 are both kerned by ‚50. (You can also use the Control palette to access these controls.) The font size and kerning that works for your font, size, and values will vary.

Platform Difference ‚ 

Macintosh fonts provide another option for refining fractions. It's a special kind of slash called a virgule , which is smaller and at more of an angle than a regular slash. Press Option+Shift+1 to enter a virgule, then kern around it as you would a slash. (The fraction in the first line of Figure 19-9 uses a virgule rather than a regular slash.)

Note ‚ 

InDesign's default superscript and subscript size is 58.3 percent of the character's size (this odd value actually equals 7 ½ 12 , in keeping with typography's standard of using points, of which there are 12 in a pica, for text measurement). The numerator and denominator in a fraction should be the same size, so if you use InDesign's superscripts at its default settings, multiply the text's point size by 0.583 (just highlight the denominator text, go to the Size field in the Character pane or Control palette, and type *0.583 in the Size field after the current point size). I recommend changing InDesign's superscript and subscript type styles to 65 percent to improve readability, especially at smaller sizes. You can change these default settings in the Text pane of the Preferences dialog box (choose InDesign Preferences on the Mac or Edit Preferences in Windows, or press z +K or Ctrl+K).

Unless you're rarely confronted with fractions, by all means save your formatting as character style sheets. You'll be able to apply the formats with a keystroke or use Find/Change (Edit Find/Change, or z +F or Ctrl+F) to locate numbers and selectively apply the appropriate character style sheet.

Hanging punctuation

When display type, such as a pull quote or headline type in ads, is left-aligned or justified, the edges can look uneven due to the gaps above, below, or next to quotation marks, punctuation, and some capital letters . See the text frame at right in Figure 19-10, which does not have hanging punctuation. To correct the unevenness, graphic designers use a technique called hanging punctuation, in which they extend the punctuation slightly beyond the edges of the rest of the text as shown in the text frame at left in Figure 19-10.

Figure 19-10: Notice the difference between the text frame at right, with standard alignment, and the text frame at left, with Optical Margin Alignment ( otherwise known as hanging punctuation ).
Note ‚ 

The "edge" of text is defined by the edges of the text frame or any Inset Spacing specified in the Text Frame Options dialog box (Object Text Frame Options, or z +B or Ctrl+B).

InDesign's Optical Margin Alignment feature automates hanging punctuation, extending punctuation and the edges of some glyphs (such as a capital T ) slightly outside the edges of the text. (Assume Adobe bills this feature as margin alignment rather than hanging punctuation because it also works with capital letters.)

Unfortunately, you can't control how much the characters "hang" outside the text boundaries ‚ InDesign decides that for you. And Optical Margin Alignment applies to all the text frames in a story, rather than to highlighted text. This means you need to isolate into its own story any text for which you want hanging punctuation.

To specify Optical Margin Alignment, select any text frame in a story and choose Window Type & Tables Story. Check Optical Margin Alignment, as shown in Figure 19-10.

Note ‚ 

In general, Optical Margin Alignment improves the look of display type whether it's left-aligned, centered, justified, or even right-aligned. However, Optical Margin Alignment will actually cause columns of body text to look uneven (as they are).

Choosing and placing end-of-story markers

In magazines, newsletters, and other publications with multiple stories, the text often continues from one page to the next. In newsmagazines, a story might meander from page to page, interrupted by sidebars and ads. In a fashion magazine, stories generally open on a splashy spread, then continue on text-heavy pages at the back of the magazine. In either case, readers can get confused about whether a story has ended. Designers solve this by placing a dingbat (a special character such as a square) at the end of each story.

You can use any dingbat character ‚ in Zapf Dingbats, DF Organics, Woodtype, or Wingdings, for example ‚ or an inline graphic to mark the end of a story. The end-of-story marker should reflect the overall design and feel of a publication, or emphasize the content. You might see a square used in a financial publication, a heart in a teen magazine, or a leaf in a gardening magazine. A derivative of the company's logo might even be used to mark the end of a story ‚ you can easily envision the Nike swoosh used in this way.

To place a dingbat, first decide on the character and create a character style sheet for it. If you're using a graphic, you might consider converting it to a font with a utility such as Macromedia Fontographer or Pyrus FontLab so you can insert and format it automatically. If you're using an inline graphic, you might store it in an InDesign library (see Chapter 7) so it's easily accessible. Make sure everyone working on the publication knows the keystroke for entering the dingbat or the location of the graphic.

Once you have the character established, you need to decide where to place it. Generally, the dingbat will be flush with the right margin or right after the final punctuation in the last line:

  • To place the dingbat flush with the right margin, there are two ways to set a right-aligned tab:

    • One is to choose Type Insert Special Character Right Indent Tab or press Shift+Tab.

    • The other way is to set a tab stop in the paragraph style sheet you use for final paragraphs (see Chapter 21 for more details on setting tabs). Because InDesign offers an easier method to right-indent a dingbat, you should use this method only if you want to right-align the dingbat to a place in the column other than at the right margin ‚ essentially , if you want to have it indented a little from the right margin.

  • To place the dingbat after the final punctuation, separate the two with an en space by typing Option+Spacebar or Ctrl+Shift+6, or with an em space by typing two en spaces.

Adobe InDesign CS Bible
Adobe InDesign CS3 Bible
ISBN: 0470119381
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 344
Authors: Galen Gruman

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