This month is the portfolio project module in Praxis. I challenged myself to complete a design-based project to prove my design abilities as well as develop new skills at a fast pace.
My project is a series of brand books for real companies including logos, color palettes, examples of copywriting, mockups for websites, menus and more. I knew going into this project that one of my biggest learning curves would be working in Adobe InDesign for the first time. In order to really nail this project, not only do my brand concepts have to be stellar, but also the way I lay them out and present them in each book.
I decided the best action plan was to dedicate a portion of the first week of November to learning and familiarizing myself with InDesign as much as I could before I got into the actual project.
Although I’ve taken Udemy courses before and loved them (e.g. how I learned Adobe Illustrator), I knew that I didn’t have the time to complete an entire course in just one week. I also wanted to use free resources.
Well, the end of the first week of Module 2 is tomorrow, and I can say I’ve completed my mission to learn the fundamentals of InDesign. If you’re trying to learn InDesign on the fly or just want to gain a complete fundamental knowledge of the program, this is how I did it:
Adobe has a great library of tutorials for each of its programs. For InDesign, I went through the entire Get Started course. Each video is about 2-4 minutes, which make them great for absorbing the information in bite-sized chunks. These videos are for the absolute beginner (someone who has never used an Adobe program in their life) or an intermediate user who needs to brush up on some basics. If you’re familiar with another Adobe program, some of the videos may be slow and repetitive, but thanks to a detailed description below each video, it’s easy to jump around and watch the video(s) that you need.
If video tutorials aren’t your thing, this website has an impressive library of written InDesign tutorials for pretty much any topic you can think of. Typically, I prefer written tutorials over videos, so I plan on revisiting this resource during my project. The website also includes templates and sources for inspiration. Oh, and did I mention it’s all completely free?
With these two sources alone, you will have no problem getting started in InDesign. To learn quickly, I took two evenings where I basically “pomodored” my way through the content that I knew I needed and would find essential. If you have more time to consume this content, I would say 3-5 days is plenty to work your way through each source. Happy designing!