Figure 1 - Final podcast listing design

Exploring the Use of Tables in InDesign

Queenie Podcast Listing

Figure 1 – Final podcast listing design


This project was to create an A4 timetable for the podcast ‘Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams’. The design was intended to put function before form, to achieve a logical layout of episode order, in which each episode can be clearly distinguished.


Design Process

Initial sketch

Figure 2 – Initial sketch of podcast layout listing

I first made a quick sketch of my general layout, most notably, I decided each episode should be assigned to a singular cell, achieving a clear distinction between each episode. I also wanted to separate the Introductory Episode from Episodes 1-10, as I interpreted this as a separate category of information.

Digital Design

Figure 3 – Initial digital layout of listing

I immediately decided I wanted the bright orange found on the original book cover, creating a clear link in content from podcast to book. I initially used this colour to fill the whole document, however made the contrasting white title the focal point of the design – the podcast title is an important piece of information; however, I wanted the episodes to be at the peak of the design’s hierarchy.

Figure 4 – Initial development of podcast listing, with the addition of a white background and cell strokes

To achieve this shift in design hierarchy, I changed the document colour to white, and each cell to orange, which really emphasized their importance, diverting the viewers eye. I also applied a thick white stroke around each cell, which hid this underlying table, making each episode cell separate from the next.

Figure 5 – Further development of podcast listing, with the removal of unnecessary cells, the addition of imagery, and a restructure of hierarchy

I next removed the additional orange blocks from the design, which reduced the number of distractions from the design. I also adjusted the cell insets to ensure the type did not run into the extreme strokes.

Upon reviewing my design hierarchy, I realised that there were further issues which needed addressing; the authors name was too hidden, placed below the content publisher (BBC 4), the title still held too much prominence, and there was also the missing element of the podcast description.

To reduce the titles prominence an add prominence to the authors name, I made the title and author on the same line at the same scale. I also inserted the podcast description.

I next applied graphics to areas of the design, which I achieved by merging cells, before converting these now singular cells to graphic cells, and pasted my graphics in. One of these graphics was the taken from the cover design of the Queenie book, helping to connect this podcast back to the original book. I also inserted the BBC Sounds logo to the design, as this is the platform the podcast could be accessed from, however upon reflecting this element holds too much prominence in the design due to its large scale.

Figure 6 – Final podcast listing developments with adjustments to paragraph styles and cell heights.

Finally, I adjusted the type spacing using paragraph styles, and ensured all the corresponding cell heights matched.

Learning Process

Software Skills

Having never used tables in InDesign before, the only pre-existing software skills I could apply to this task were paragraph styles and the basic InDesign skills such as resizing an element. To learn the great majority of the required table skills, I simply experimented with the Table tools, learning how to create a table, add/remove columns, and rows, add strokes, and how to input data. I then used tutorials to gain the additional skills required which I could not figure out from my own experimentation, including inserting images into cells, and accurately resizing the height of a cell.

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Inserting images to cells:

Design Thinking Skills

Figure 7, Stindig calender
Figure 8 – Alternative design idea prior to the creation of my initial sketch

I researched different ways of laying out a table, and also specifically podcasts. I first explored the Swiss Stendig Calender designed by Massimo Vignelli, Figure 7, where I attempted to implement the same large numbers into my design, Figure 8, however this design approach resulted in a listing which wasn’t particularly functional –it required the viewer to navigate to the episode descriptions, as appose to design elements instantly attracting the eye. After the failure of my first design, I referred back to my early podcast listing research (Figures 9 & 10), before drawing my initial sketch for my used concept,  (Figure 2).

Listing 9 – Queenie BBC Sounds podcast listing
Figure 10 – Apple Podcast Listing