Author: AmeliaWebster

formatting a flyer in indesign

Design ideas

My chosen discussion task will be formatting a flyer in InDesign. This was the task I struggled with the most, but also, I think, benefited from the most.

Although I do have experience with formatting text in InDesign, it is something I find difficult, so I wanted to explore this task fully so that I could build up this skill a little more, as I believe it is an important one to have as a designer, especially as a designer interested primarily in typographic design.

Initially for my design I wanted to create something that mirrored the aesthetic of other promotion used for the podcast. After looking at the podcast website, as well as the promotional material online, I came up with a first design idea.

first design draft sketch
first design draft sketch
first tester vector graph shape
second vector sketch to have a good idea of the outline, here i realised i didn’t want to develop it further
initial full colour background before text
font tests including testing typing along a line
initial final design used white headers, i later changed this to yellow

Design process

I wanted to keep a similar colour scheme, yellow and blue, to match the official promotional material, as well as some of the key imagery. One design in particular caught my eye, which was one featuring a silhouette of a head with the title “rethink’ where the brain would be.

I used this as inspiration, creating a forward-facing silhouette in blue with an open eye in yellow. While experimenting with this, I decided that I simply didn’t like how the shapes and colours worked together and decided to move on to a second idea. This time I planned to use a different silhouette, more like the one in my original inspiration. Again,  although I had used a similar design, I found it looked slightly wrong, and decided it would be best to move away from this idea.

Eventually I settled on a new, somewhat simpler idea, using an image of the presenter, still using the gradient blue hues I liked originally, and combining two fonts that I felt worked well with the tone and image.

Page 1 of my final flyerpage 2 of my final flyer

Software tutorials

Although I already knew the basics of formatting text in InDesign, it was definitely helpful to have access to and have the opportunity to find tutorials to make the process more simple and more effective.

Looking at the tutorials for formatting text to refresh my knowledge really helped me get a better understanding of how I might bring my knowledge of formatting text for book design into formatting text and image for a flyer or magazine. Although the two processes were somewhat different, with the help of the provided tutorials I was able to use a combination of fonts, weights and sizes relatively easily in the setting of a flyer alongside image.

While I have never had experience with using hyperlinks in text before, I found it to be easy to understand and incredibly useful for other projects, especially for its usefulness in designing for screen or in web design. I also found it useful to be able to format a hyperlink directly into text without disturbing the layout and being able to apply paragraph styles to it.

I was unsure how to use certain text formats that I wanted to try, so I looked at some simple software tutorials to help me further my understanding. I wanted to learn how to type around an ellipse, so I looked at some software tutorials that advised on how to  type around a pre drawn shape or line. This tutorial ( on creating text along a path. This was a simple tutorial, but I feel it will be incredibly useful in the future with other projects.

I would like to further develop my skills in using typography on indesign following along with the more complex provided tutorials.


Resources for research and inspiration

When beginning research for this task I wanted to consider first what the current promotional material for this podcast might look like, and how I could incorporate that into my design.  I went to the page for the podcast itself, noting colour scheme, font, image and layout. Again, this was a combination of blue and yellow colours, which I really liked and tried my best to incorporate into my final design, specifically keeping the blue gradient colours, matching them to the image used, in complementary contrast with the orange/yellow tone for some of the headers, and an off white for the main body.

Once I had landed on my third and final design idea in the process, I wanted to do some research outside of the provided software tutorials and design tips on how flyers and magazines are designed. I first looked at some sites on magazine design, such as this one ( I also looked at Pinterest for inspiration and ideas surrounding magazine, leaflet or flyer design. I decided I liked the use of a large image with an abstract shape being used for the title text, with the key text around or underneath. I also liked abstract, bold fonts in combination with simple, clean ones, using bold colour combinations to create a contemporary yet welcoming effect that draws the eye.

I looked at further image and design for media collections for inspiration, this time specifically centred around podcast or video promotion or informational design. Again, these often use an eye-catching logo or the presenter or creator in an image to draw attention, using large or bright yet simple lettering and phrases combined with smaller, slightly less visible from afar text to draw the audience into reading further about the media. I attempted to achieve a similar technique through my design, while trying to maintain a simple decorative aspect.


Designing a podcast cover using illustration in photoshop


(left to right) Design 1, Design 2, Design 3.

Design ideas and Process

My design ideas stemmed from the idea of using illustration. I really enjoy simple illustration, and thought that it could be used  well to create a neat, clean podcast cover. I knew I wanted to use the idea of interviewing designers from looking at some design podcasts on Spotify, which provided commentary on design, or interviews with designers about their work. From there I developed the phrase ‘type talk’, as well as the idea of having a simple design to show that concept. I think illustrations work best when kept to a limited colour palette, so I decided to work with a mix of both cool and warm tones that complemented well. This way I could keep the design simple and aesthetically pleasing, while communicating the theme of the podcast. In the actual drawing process I used my Wacom drawing tablet, and the photoshop basic brush presets, the hard round brush, on full hardness and 10% softness. This gave me clear lines, while keeping a rounded edge. I drew some little character busts in my own illustration style, with simple features and colours. The idea was to have one speaking into a microphone, as if recording the podcast, and another listening. My three ideas for this project were playing with the layout, text colour and form. I wanted to keep the idea of the two figures being linked by a wire, so in my first one I placed the figures back to back, with their wires plugged into the text. In my second I did a similar effect, with the figures at both ends of the screen. In the third I used a circle, with the text in the middle, and the wires jutting out with the characters on the circumference. In the end I used the second one, as it was my favourite of the three visually, and I felt was the most eye catching and original.

the colour scheme i used for the work
plain digital sketches
characters with the microphone and headphones
first sketches
final character sketches!

Software tutorials

As I am relatively competent with photoshop as a design and illustration medium, I mostly knew how to go about creating me design, but the tutorials provided by Rachel were still very helpful, especially the video by Terry White on youtube ( . Although my initial plan was to work with illustration on photoshop, I still found videos explaining the uses of photoshop useful and helpful, such as the tutorial on embedding files in photoshop . I watched a few videos with tips on illustrating on photoshop, for example, Sophie Melissa on youtube has a video on her illustration process that I found helpful (, that allowed me to reflect on making a simpler design. These provided me with more knowledge about how to navigate photoshop and how to make my design cleaner and neater. Software skills wise, id like to try a more complex design perhaps, or the use of actual photos and editing them in photoshop, as this is something i’d like to become more competent in. This project provided great insight on what i would like to work on in the future regarding photoshop and developing my current skills further, and also provided me with an idea of my current competency level with illustration in photoshop, and taught me how to simplify my designs, as I often have the desire to make them complex, so it has definitely helped me with the ‘less is more’ side of design in being able to create a clean, simple design.

Resources for research and inspiration

Most of my research was based around sketching ideas in different styles and then transferring them over to digital, however I did look at a few minimalistic illustrative images for inspiration, on pinterest and instagram. The first was Benji Nate, a favourite artist of mine who uses a style similar to my own, with pretty simplistic features that I thought might work nicely, but eventually decided didn’t quite fit the aesthetic i was attempting to achieve. Another source of inspiration was the art magazine ‘fan club’ c which uses a simple style that I really enjoy, and inspired me a little more to look at making a more simple style of my own. From this I took away some features that made the image much more clear and simple, while retaining the message of what it was supposed to represent and advertise. Looking at different artists and images really helped me develop the imagery I wanted from something i was used to and comfortable with, into a more user/audience oriented design that could be used for advertising. It also helped me develop skills I had previously struggled with through research and trial. Topics in design I might like to explore further within this project might be looking at a more photographic approach, taking my own photographs and editing them, whether they would be of typography I find, or images I take from pre made environments, or images constructed in a set to achieve a specific look. Id like to work on my photo editing and manipulation skills in the future, as that is something I am less comfortable with than illustration, and I think it would be useful to explore in my own time using some of the skills I learned in this project, and this module as a whole.

Bunny cinema listing

Here is my current final draft for the cinema project, my feedback suggested that I re arrange the halloween listing so that it flows down rather than across, and so that the ownership of the heading becomes less ambiguous. I edited my work by placing all the halloween showings on one column, and the regular showings on another.

I considered putting the halloween showings in a box but thought this might not look quite right, so i just moved them and edited the sizing and spacing a little to make it line up. I also changed the spacing between some paragraphs a little by moving the showing time onto the same line as the showing date, widening the space between the paragraphs and the headers.

Although I had a comment that the colour scheme might be visually confusing, I felt that it was what worked best and so kept it as it was. I did change some of the decorate elements as they did seem a little overwhelming, so I removed a few and changed others to give the illusion of more space.

Bunny coronavirus signage!

Coronavirus signage


The signage used to negotiate social distancing, personal hygiene, and other precautions commonly advertised to prevent the spread of coronavirus, tends to include a similar colour palette, fonts and pictograms.


One key commonality between most of the designs was the use of a sans serif font, often in caps or bold, in a dark colour contrasting the background. This makes the message clear and urgent, while retaining the ability to be paired with other design features to make it seem friendly and helpful. The use of a bold, clear sans serif font makes the message readable to the target audience, employing a clinical, professional stance, while also remaining visually appealing.


Another key feature was the use of colour, specifically the use of only one colour or colour family, in combination with either black or white text. Colours that were most frequently used were yellow, blue and green. Yellow alerts danger and is eye-catching but doesn’t suggest immediate danger that might invoke an emotional response like the colour red, for example, would. Blue and green are often associated with healing or medical professionals, and are generally calming colours, so they work well to convey a message that is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the general public.


I also saw the use of shape being utilised to grab attention, for example many stickers or signs used a circle to have a main message in the centre, with other, important text surrounding it. This works well to grab the attention of the audience, and then maintain their focus to process or follow a message.


Signs were often posted on the ground, in order to explain social distancing protocols, or simply because it provides a good surface area that people will frequently look at. Signs on common signposts or walls also are effective, especially when encouraging people to wash their hands or to direct them safely. The use of stickers on posts or walls also does this effectively.


Overall the use of bright colours associated with clinical practice, bold sans serif fonts, eye catching shapes, and accessible signage are key components in the effective employment of coronavirus signage, whether it is used to serve as a warning, a direction or simply a reminder to stay safe.