Recently, the publishing forum Bookmachine interviewed a selection of industry experts about the software they used most frequently for work. Here, Annette Peppis gives away some tips for using InDesign.
1) How frequently do you use InDesign and when did you start using it regularly?
I use InDesign every day (and Photoshop/Illustrator occasionally). I switched over from using Quark XPress in 2004 when I attended an in-house course at BBC Books (where I worked at the time) on transitioning from Quark to InDesign. Almost immediately, I was hooked.
2) What methods do you use to keep updated and improve on your skills?
I am a Creative Cloud user, so have access to the latest updates. I improve my skills by googling things that I don’t know how to do and then following tutorials. Adobe have a very good Help section, but I sometimes prefer to follow tutorials on YouTube.
3) Would you mind sharing one of your top tips for using InDesign with us?
Always use style sheets. You will save yourself time, save your clients money, and make it easier for others to follow your styling. InDesign provides Paragraph style sheets (for overall formatting of typography), Character style sheets (to apply to individual characters or groups of words) and Object style sheets (so you can set the style of boxes, for example). If a global style change needs to be made, altering the style sheet will alter every instance within your document.
4) Could you please share a couple of links to your work?
5) What advice would you give to anyone wanting to improve how they use InDesign?
If you are a beginner, go on a course; it really pays off in the long run. If you are a fairly accomplished user, LinkedIn Learning has some good tutorials, and the InDesign Secrets website has some interesting articles. Alternatively, google problems as you encounter them and follow online tutorials.
6) What do you use InDesign for mainly?
Just about everything! In the past 2 months I have used it for website banners and sliders, book covers and text pages, brochures, exhibition banners, packaging and logo design (though I switch to Illustrator to refine and finalise logos). Much of my work is for the publishing industry, and InDesign is great for complex book design – especially as it integrates so well with other Adobe products.
Are you struggling with InDesign at work? If you would like 1-1 tuition, please get in touch.
About the author
Annette Peppis leads the team at Peppis Designworks, a creative hub of established publishing industry experts who create books, branding, marketing material and design templates for leading publishers and businesses. Keep in touch by subscribing to her bi-monthly emails.