Sunday, 4 November 2012

Graphics and Presentation Good Practise!

When creating project and reports in Indesign and other programmes its essential to follow a few guidelines to achieve good quality image and layouts.  

Here are a few key points to check through as you are creating you reports in Indesign.

Photographic Images - Jpegs:

Never drag and drop photographic images from WGSN or Mudpie straight onto your photoshop file or desktop - this will result in you getting a low-resolution pixelated thumbnail image. 
Instead click the download option and a hi-resolution image will download to you desktop/downloads file.

Fashion CAD’S - EPS Files:

Always download an EPS file when using fashion CADS from WGSN or Mudpie. Don’t be tempted to do a screen grab or try to drag and drop the image.  Doing this gives you a really low-resolution pixelated image and makes your work look really scruffy!

The EPS file will download to your desktop or downloads file.  You can then open that straight into Photoshop or Illustrator and edit accordingly.

Opening an EPS file in Photoshop:

When you open the EPS file up in Photoshop this window will appear:

The resolution automatically sets to 72.  You will need to change this to 300

(like in the above example)

so that you get a good quality image that won’t result in being pixelated when you print it out.

Downloading Images from the Web:

It’s really important to source good quality images for your reports to ensure they don’t pixelate when you come to printing them out.  Sometimes some smaller images may look OK on screen but when you come to printing them out get pixelated and look untidy.

A good habit to get into when searching for images in google is to click large in the options down the left hand side of the web page.  You can then be assured any image you find will be high enough resolution to use in your report.

Google Images:

When you hover over an image in google images, a thumbnail will pop out giving you information about the image size and resolution like in the below example.

Never use the thumbnail image in google.  You should click on the thumbnail so that it directs you to the original website that the image was taken from.  You should take the image from the website as it will be the original size not the shrunken thumbnail that google images presents!

Images from websites and Blogs etc...

If you have sourced an image from a blog or website and can’t see straight away what size it is you can check by saving it and opening it up in Photoshop.

Once it is in Photoshop go to Image in the top menu and select Image Size from the drop-down menu then this window will appear:

Using Screen Grabs and Print Screens:

What is a Screen Grab/Print Screen?

MAC: Screen grabs can be made when you click ‘Shift and CMD and 4’ on a Mac making a circle icon with a cross through it appear - you can then click on the screen and drag a grey square over an image which will then automatically save as a jpeg on your desktop.  

PC’S: The same can be done on a PC by clicking ’Ctrl and the Print Screen button’  However, instead of being able to select a certain part of a web page or image it saves an image of everything on screen that you will then need to crop out in Photoshop.

Screen grabs are very useful and sometimes they can be large enough images to use as thumbnail size images in a report but they should be a last resort!

Check the size of the screen grab image in Photoshop to be at least 1000 Pixels wide and highSee previous page (FIGURE 3) for more information on how to do this.

Never use screen grabs to copy text for example: news headline’s and articles or bulks of text from websites.  It will become really pixelated and scruffy when you come to print your reports and really brings the level of presentation down. 
Instead select the text and copy and paste it into a text box within your document.

Saving Photoshop Files read to place in Indesign:

If you have created a trend board or something with layers in Photoshop that you later want to place in Indesign you will need to save it as a Hi-res Jpeg as well as a Photoshop file (PSD) for future editing.

Saving a Hi-Res Jpeg: 

Once you have saved your PSD file click save as again then select ‘Jpeg’ from the drop down menu.  Click on save and this window will appear:

You will then place the high resolution Jpeg into your Indesign file as it will be a lot smaller in size than the PSD file which saves all the layering information etc...

Fonts and Text:

Choosing an appropriate font:

It is really important to choose a font that is representative of your project.  
Never use the standard adobe fonts like Myriad it boring and really uncreative!  Instead, search and download a font from one of the many free font websites (see below) and select one that is reflective of your project.

Good free font downloading websites include:

It is really IMPORTANT that you still choose a font that is LEGIBLE for your report!

You can choose a more ‘elaborate’ font but if it’s not very easy to read keep it to tiles only then choose a more legible font for the main body of text.

E.g. A medieval, urban or sci-fi themed font may look great for titles but for the main body of text it makes it impossible to read the report!

Hyphenated Text:

All Adobe programmes automatically hyphenate text when you type into text boxes.  This can mean you could have a whole page of text with almost every line ending with a hyphen dash.  This can look really scruffy and again make the report difficult to read.  

You can easily stop this by selecting the text box and going to - Windows in your top menu then selecting Tools & Type from the drop down menu then selecting Paragraph from the slide out menu.

This window will then appear:
You will have to do this process individually for each separate text box.  You can select multiple text boxes to amend at the same time by holding down shift and selecting each one then repeating the above process.

Spell Checking:

Spell checking and grammar is also really important!  If you are writing large amounts of text it’s sometimes best to write it in Microsoft word and spell check it there then copy and paste it into Indesign.

You can spell check in Indesign by going to Edit in the top Menu then selecting Spelling from the drop down menu then selecting Check Spelling from the slide out menu. 

Page Layouts:

It’s really important that you create a layout that flows throughout your report and is reflective of the market, brand, etc... you are presenting.

Some people find it really easy to come up with a good layout whereas others struggle more.

Choosing a good layout tips:

If you struggle with choosing a good layout I find a good starting point is to look at WGSN reports, magazine layouts, fashion look books and flyers etc.  See what sort of layouts you think work well and use them as inspiration for your own layouts.

Here is an example of a recent flyer for the Children's trade Show Bubble:

This is a great example of using materials like flyers as inspiration for your own layouts.

Start by laying out one double page spread (your master pages) first. Once you are happy with these you can use this layout throughout your report.

Don’t be afraid of white space - clean pages with attention to detail like branding etc work a lot better most of the time rather than huge coloured backgrounds where information and images get lost on.

Saving your final File ready for Print:

Once you have finished your report in Indesign and are ready to print it out you will save it as and Indesign File (So you can always edit it more if need be) and and a High resolution PDF (which you will use to print from)

Saving a High Resolution PDF File:

Go to File then select Adobe PDF Presets from the drop down menu then select [High Quality Print] from the slide-out menu.

It takes a little while to save as a PDF especially if you have lots of pages as it will have to embed all your images etc.  Once it has saved this will be the file you get printed.

Saving as a high resolution file keeps all the images etc... that you have used nice and crisp.  If you save as a smaller sized PDF you risk loosing quality!