18 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2012 7:19 AM by Peter Spier

    How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?

    david a. gomez

      I am having an issue with a graphic. My printer (print shop) is telling me that my graphic is too pixelated and choppy, so I'm thinking about recreating it in InDesign to make it look better when it prints. The issue I am having is that I don't know the best way to recreate my header graphic in InDesign. Can anyone take a look at my graphic and tell me what tools in InDesign would be the best for trying to recreate it?

       

       

      it need to look visually sharper than it does now. I almost postive I can use a combination of InDesign tools and features to make something that looks identical.

       

      better header.jpg

        • 1. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          How did you create this originally? What format is it saved in?

          • 2. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
            MW Design Level 4

            This is a quickie done in Illustrator. Which is what I would recommend using if you do not have the original source file. Didn't really try to match the 800 number nor www font. A bit small to really nail it down.

             

            Take care, Mike

             

            unival_logo.png

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              I'm just taking a second look here...

               

              While I agree that the graphic should probably be done in Illustrator, I wonder if the problem is really the quality of the art or if it's really that the link is broken and all you are sending is the preview. Your embedded image doesn't actually look that bad, which makes me think it might be a link problem. If you select the header graphic and check the Links panel, what's the status?

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                david a. gomez Level 1

                Thats a lot  better than what I could have done. I'm still learning InDesign on the fly.

                 

                My place of work does not have Illustrator. Is there a way I could have recreated this in InDesign?

                 

                Thanks for the help.

                • 5. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                  david a. gomez Level 1

                  To answer the first question, I did not create the original graphic I was just given the graphic and I was told to use it as a header to whip up a quick single page flyer. I had a feeling from the begining that using a graphic that somone else created could create visual problems.

                   

                  What do you mean when you say that you wonder if the problem is the quality of the art? Also what do you mean when you say that link could be broken and I'm only sending the preview. I'm just trying to learn these terms you guys are throwing around. I feel like I could learn a LOT from this forum

                   

                  I didn't think that the image looked that bad either, but the woman at the print shop said that the proof with the image was very choppy with rough pixelated edges.

                   

                  When I click the graphic and look at the links panel, the status appears to fine. There is no broken link and no exclamation point telling me the link needs to updated/fixed.

                   

                  Thank you for your help as well!

                  • 6. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                    david a. gomez Level 1

                    Mike,

                     

                    Could you also tell me how you made the 1s and 0s blended in as part of the background? Does the tool you used to make the 1s and 0s in Illustrator exist in InDesign in any shape or form?

                     

                    Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      david a. gomez wrote:

                       

                      My place of work does not have Illustrator. Is there a way I could have recreated this in InDesign?

                      Yes, but it will be a fair amount of work.

                       

                      I don't know what technique Mike used to do the digits, but one way would be to set the fill color of the type to a tint of the background color.

                       

                      You never said what format the art you have is saved in...

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                        david a. gomez Level 1

                        Peter Spier wrote:

                         

                        david a. gomez wrote:

                         

                        My place of work does not have Illustrator. Is there a way I could have recreated this in InDesign?

                        Yes, but it will be a fair amount of work.

                         

                        I don't know what technique Mike used to do the digits, but one way would be to set the fill color of the type to a tint of the background color.

                         

                        You never said what format the art you have is saved in...

                        I have the original art/file I posted on here saved as a JPEG.

                         

                        My Instincts were that InDesign could be used to recreate the header graphic, but that Illustrator would be better. I know that a lot of the Adobe programs share some of the same tools/methods.

                         

                        I'm not 100% sure how to set the fill color of the type to a tint of the background color, but I assume thats one of the many options withing the text menu.

                         

                        I had a lot of trouble trying to recreate the wavy lines and the custom curvy shapes in indesign. I wasn't sure what tools would allow me to try and make something that looked like my original graphic. Also the reflection effect had me stumped too, though I believe that can be done in InDesign as well as photoshop.

                         

                        Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help out a confused novice!

                        • 9. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Is jpeg the only format you have for the existing art? That's a really bad format for this kind of artwork (it's meant for photographs and other continuous tone images).

                           

                          From the questions you are asking I'm not sure you have the skill set you are going to need to do this successfully. I ID you 'll need the thext tool and the Pen tool, and possibly the Pathfinder (there are several differnt ways to make those curvy shapes). You'll also be using gradients, and maybe some effects. From the screen captures I'm not dead certain if the Unival logo relection is in front of or behind the bottom row of digits, which could complicate things furhter.

                           

                          In truth, rather than trying to remake this from scratch, you should probably contact Unival (they have a contact form at that web address, which would be one place to start) and see if they have a vector format file of this art.

                          • 10. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                            MW Design Level 4

                            Hi David--sorry for just now checking back in. Been a bit pressed for time.

                             

                            The digits were simply done in a text editor. I typed a series of what appears to be a close enough pattern to what I could see in your uploaded image. Copied that string and pasted a bunch of them in the text editor.

                             

                            Once I knew I had enough 0s and 1s, I created a text box in AI, adjusted the font and size to what I wanted, and set the transparency for how I wanted it to show, then cliped it into the upper portion of the logo (so the overflow is hidden).

                             

                            I suppose I could do this in ID and I can take a look tonight during the debate, but I cannot promise it will work out. If it does, I can whip up some steps to at least get you started.

                             

                            A question. Is there a better version of the logo you were given? I suspect the forum software may have altered the quality a tad. If there is a better version, perhaps you could put it up on dropbox.com and provide a link.

                             

                            Also, like I mentioned, I am unclear as to the font used for the 800 number, etc., in the image. Exactly matching it from that graphic would be a pita. But the main text is a slightly altered version of Bauhaus I believe.

                             

                            And...do you know who created the logo in the first place? It really looks like it was created for a web banner graphic. Though it is not what is in place on the web site. It may be possible there exists a better version of it somewhere.

                             

                            Take care, Mike

                            • 11. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                              MW Design Level 4

                              I had a lot of trouble trying to recreate the wavy lines and the custom curvy shapes in indesign. I wasn't sure what tools would allow me to try and make something that looked like my original graphic. Also the reflection effect had me stumped too, though I believe that can be done in InDesign as well as photoshop.

                               

                              OK. I had a look at drawing this in ID natively--and I wouldn't attempt it on a production basis but it can be done to a certain degree. But it is vastly different than using AI or any number of other vector drawing applications. It would simply not be an efficient use of time in ID.

                               

                              Even AI, which I am moderately versed in is s bit clunkier than other vector applications in this regard. I have always thought to AI as the step child of Adobe. Even so, it is greatly more productive for drawing such things than doing so in ID.

                               

                              I used the pen tool, added nodes where needed, converted nodes to curves, moved the control handles, etc., to create just the upper portion of the logo. Then created the text box, changed the text to white (the 1s and 0s), cut it and pasted it into the upper logo portion. The unival word is duplicated, flipped vertically and a gradient from 0 opacity to about 70% opacity applied to create the reflection. In AI it is done a bit different but the effect is similar.

                               

                              All and all, you need a vector application to redo this logo. See if you can requisition a couple copies of AI, one for work and one to install on your personal laptop or home computer to aid in becomeing conversant in AI. The benefit to the company would be in using an in-house resource instead of farming out minor to major design work in a timely manner.

                               

                              Take care, Mike

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                david a. gomez Level 1

                                Peter,

                                 

                                Thanks for getting back to me again.

                                 

                                You are right, my skills in InDesign are a bit lacking. So can you recommend a tutorial (or two, or three) that will essential help me the learn the techniques I asked about in this discussion?

                                 

                                I'd like to learn how to use the text tool, pen tool, pathfinder, gradients and effects to create similar headers in InDesign. Even if InDesign isnt a good tool for making graphics, I'm interesting in learning the skills that you said I was lacking.

                                 

                                Everybody has to learn somehow right?

                                 

                                Thanks.

                                • 13. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                  david a. gomez Level 1

                                  Mike you are right, it was a web banner!

                                  • 14. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                    david a. gomez Level 1

                                    Mike,

                                     

                                    Again, thanks for replying.

                                     

                                    At the moment Illustrator is not an option where I work, not until I can demonstrate why these programs are essential for marketing, branding and promotion purposes.

                                     

                                    Can you recommend another vector program? Possibly an open source/free one so I can at least cut my teeth with a vector program? You guys were right, the image quality problems would be corrected if I created my own logos in a vector program.

                                     

                                    Vector images are the ones that look the best. Am I correct in saying that? They seem to retain sharpness and handle resizing well.

                                     

                                    Also, really quickly can you explain what you mean when you said: "OK. I had a look at drawing this in ID natively--and I wouldn't attempt it on a production basis but it can be done to a certain degree. But it is vastly different than using AI or any number of other vector drawing applications. It would simply not be an efficient use of time in ID."

                                     

                                    Thanks. It's only been a few days and this is already the most helpful forum I've been a part of.

                                    • 15. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                      peter minneapolis Level 4

                                      You'd probably find Google searches like "free vector drawing application," "free <name of vector drawing application> reviews," or "free vector drawing tutorials," without quotes, very helpful.

                                       

                                       

                                      HTH

                                       

                                       

                                      Regards,

                                       

                                       

                                      Peter

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                                      Peter Gold

                                      KnowHow ProServices

                                      • 16. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                        The two most commonly recommended beginner resources her are Sandee Cohen's Visual QuickStart Guide book and the Lynda.com tutorials.

                                         

                                        Corporate clients tend to be pretty fussy about their logos, and the usually have multiple versions available for print and web. You really should try to find out if they have a print version of this before you spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel.

                                        • 17. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                          MW Design Level 4

                                          Yes, one of the free ones you will constantly run across is InkScape. People do amazing work in the OpenSource InkScape. I find it slow, sometime frustrating, but capable. It is frequently updated by the active community who contribute to it.

                                           

                                          Low-cost vector applications would be next. DrawPlus is one (Serif Software). Another is Photo & Graphic Designer (Xara) but, iirc, no PDF support but could be wrong. Serif does have a free version of DrawPlus, but with its lack of internal PDF support you need to print to a PDF driver. Same with PG&D if it is not internal.

                                           

                                          Explanation to the quote. The simple shapes of the original logo can be built in ID using its drawing tools. The 0s and 1s can be clipped inside the upper shape. So in practice, ID could be used for what is a relatively simple logo like you have.

                                           

                                          It is the process--the what it takes--to make those relatively simple shapes directly in ID that makes the drawing process slower than it ought to be. Slower than it ought to be unless one takes into account that ID is not a graphic illustration application. So for ID, the drawing tools are there (in my opinion) to create "primative" shapes and manipulate them if need be. Think rectangular frames to add fills to, add stars for simple flier ads, and so forth.

                                           

                                          But your logo, as simple as it is, is a more complex design for the available tools and procedures  in ID to make the drawing and composing of all the elements of your logoan efficient process.

                                           

                                          Conversely, a vector drawing application makes for drawing, manipulating and composing the elements of your logo much easier. Where they (the vector apps) fail in comparision to InDesign, is the final composition of pulling together text, images and illustration for layout purpose. Layout is the realm of applications such as InDesign. So to me, each application group (image manipulation--think PhotoShop, illustration--AI, and ID--layout) exist to compliment each other to create or compose what we see in print or as a PDF of  such  work as can be done in these applications.

                                           

                                          Take care, Mike

                                          • 18. Re: How to use InDesign's tools to recreate a header graphic?
                                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                            david a. gomez wrote:

                                             

                                            Vector images are the ones that look the best. Am I correct in saying that? They seem to retain sharpness and handle resizing well.

                                            Vecors are mathematical descriptions of a shape. They don't use pixels, so they remain sharp and can be scaled pretty much as much as you like (you can't scaled down forever because the lines become smaller than can be reproduced).