This summer semester students in the layout & design course were assigned a tri-fold brochure project that they were to design in either QuarkXpress or InDesign. Many students like Roberto Bertoni decided to use this project as their opportunity to start learning InDesign.
One thing that students might overlook when using InDesign for the first time is the document size that by default it displays in pica increments. This is one thing Roberto missed when setting up his brochure project for the shoe company Kangaroo. Roberto’s 9″ x 12″ tri-fold brochure was unknowingly sized at 9 picas by 12 picas – which lead to a final brochure which was just 1 1/2″ by 2″ in size. Roberto spent several hours working on this project, and despite noticing during the design process that he had to use a font that was just 2pts, he did not come to the realization that the size was incorrect until it was time to print his project.
Though many students might find this experience to be embarrassing, Roberto thought very optimistically of this experience. Roberto informed us, “even though it seemed like a mistake, it was a rather positive experience because it led me to think in new ways.” Roberto explained to the class during critique that this mistake enabled him to start thinking about new ways of branding the product, such as hang tags and brochures that could be inserted into the shoes.
So what can you do to prevent this from making this same mistake? First you’ll notice that by default InDesign sets the size in picas with the width and height being in a different measurement that will appear similar to “51p0″.
To change the settings to inches you can go to the InDesign menu>Preferences>Units & Increments where you’ll have the ability to change to another measurement such as inches.
To change the measurements you are using once you are in your document you can ctrl + click or right click on the ruler to change from picas to inches. To change the actual document size after you have created your document you can choose File > Document setup.
Thanks again to Roberto – for allowing us to share his experience with everyone. Hopefully sharing this experience will help prevent similiar mistakes.