This fall semester, I get to take a course called Public Relations Publications. In this class, we are being familiarized with programs in the Adobe Suite like Indesign and applying them to PR writing. I think that InDesign and Photoshop are some of the most powerful tools in publication.
Before starting this class, my design skills were limited. To format and design things I used Canva, which I still use and love. However, the possibilities with the Adobe Suite are endless, so I’m excited to continue learning how to use it. Our first assignment was to format a 4 page newsletter. The thing I like most about Indesign and Photoshop is how customizable they are. It’s a bit overwhelming, but it can take your designs from average to amazing.
One thing I learned is that a lot more goes in to designing a newsletter from scratch than you would think. First, there are terms like masthead, deck, and nameplate that I did not know. For the first time, I had to pay attention to the typography and make changes to things like the kerning of words. These programs are powerful, but to use them effectively, you first have to know what a good design is.
A good design is easy to read. To make text easy to read, you can use a sans serif font for headlines and serif fonts for body text. Also, contrasting colors, size and font to create drama draws in readers’ attention. A good design should not be dull, cluttered, or confusing to the eye.
Besides learning the parts of a newsletter and typography, learning how to use the programs was a challenge in itself. Photoshop and InDesign are more complex than any other design tools I have used in the past, so it took a while to get the hang of them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment because I was forced to learn the basics of the programs quickly. I’m looking forward to using Indesign in the future and learning new skills to apply to my work.
If you are a PR practitioner and want to learn how to use these programs, there are a lot of great resources out there. Of course you can learn a lot though Youtube, but LinkedIn Learning is also a great learning tool. It has tutorials and help available for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.