About this course

This course covers the fundamental tools and techniques of page-layout software, Adobe InDesign.

Students will gain basic software proficiency in the current version of the software. Demonstrations, in-class exercises and take-home projects introduce students to basic software tools and the current version of the software.

Students will use InDesign to create page layouts for both screen and print media and learn how to apply typographic tools, design to a grid, apply color and generate graphic elements.

Students enrolling in GDT computer-based courses should be proficient in basic desktop computer operations.

Course Objectives

Basic concepts and software features

Working with multi-page documents

Working with typographic tools

Paragraph, character and object styles

Running footer and folio information

Organizing complex hierarchies

Interfacing with other software

Preparing documents for print and web

Class Format

This course will consist of demonstrations, projects, exercises and a few critiques.

There will be no quizzes, tests or exams.

It is expected that additional time outside of class will be spent on projects and homework assignments.

It is important that the entire class work together in a collaborative environment, learning from each other as well as the instructor.

It is expected that more experienced users will be willing to help beginning users with the software.

More experienced users should elicit creative evaluations from beginning users during their working process.

Demos will be front-loaded during the semester and gradually tapering off with technique-driven demos and larger, more comprehensive projects taking their places as the semester progresses.

An emphasis will be placed on creating print pieces but will also include generating material for on-screen viewing.

3D modeling, video, animation, motion graphics, photography and illustration work will not be emphasized in this class.


No textbook is required for this course

Students are responsible for finding a file storage system of their choosing.

A sketchbook is recommended but not required for this course.

Semester Points

Attendance and Participation
20 points total
1 point per class session

10 Exercises
30 points total
3 points per exercise

5 Project
50 points total
10 points per assignment

Semester Total
100 points


Other possibilities for loosing Attendance and Participation points:

  • Inappropriate food and/or beverages

  • Sloppy file management

  • Improper file submission

  • Not logging off computers when leaving

  • Constantly have headphones on

  • Facebook at inappropriate times

  • General classroom disruptions

  • Other things as they come up

Extra Credit

Opportunities for extra points may be offered based on the needs of the class as we go along, but please don't base your efforts around this possibility.