This lesson will help Level 3 year 2 Graphics students understand how to create a basic layout for their Unit 11 progression portfolio in Adobe in Design. They are more complex rules in printing books so this workshop will cover some basics.

Starter Session

Review Students portfolio from last week session

Main Session

Before starting with the book you will need to plan your book, start thinking:

  • How many pages
  • Book size – You need to research acceptable sizes that can be both usable on/off screen
  • Interactive or not interactive?
  • Loads of text or not?
  • Load of images/project or not?
  • Personal/college/work related projects? Which combination is best?
  • Why Bother with a pdf book?


Once you know the number of pages your book/magazine will have, it’s good to calculate your spine size; fortunately they are many resources on-line to do it for you:


This section will help understand how to create a book cover in InDesign (front, back and spline). You will just be look at a technique to make the template for the cover. Once you have done this you can them move on to creating the design and layout of the cover. Remember this cover only the steps to create a cover for print, if you want to make this book, someting poeple can see on screen you will have to delete the middle page and rearrange the layout

Create a new document in InDesign and set:

  • Page number: 3
  • Columns: 1
  • Margins: will be changed later
  • Bleed: will be changed late but use 2mm for now

Make sure the Pages Panel is visible -> Window -> Pages

Click on the sub-menu icon in the Pages Panel to see options. Turn Off the allow document to shuffle option if it’s on.

Drag the page 1 icon bellow the master pages next spread 2-3. A little hand sign will let you know that you are moving the page.

You now have 3 pages next to each other

Now Click on the Page Tool on the Tool Bar, and then click on the middle (centre) page of your spread.

Now you will see the secondary (sub)menu options for that page; change the page width to 15 mm, don’t touch the height.

If the message bellow appears on your screen, change the pages margins. Change your margins to 0 mm or anything way smaller than your intended page size, and columns as well as columns to 1 if you have set columns.

Get back your Pages tool from the Tool bar and select the middle page and change the width to 15 mm.

You now have your Book/Magazine Cover Template. All you need to do is make sure your reference point is centred.

Now Arrange Your Layout according to your roughs, sketches, plan….For the benefit of this lesson I have a simple layout.

To add the inside pages just click on the Pages Panel menu, then select insert pages, add the number of pages you want to add according to your plan.

Add your pages content, for basic layouts instructions you should use tutorials (prints) handed out on week 1.

Resources printing services – see the portfolios they print