InDesign Basics - Simple Project Page

In this tutorial we will learn how to set up a very simple project page. This can go into a portfolio, or be used as a work sample to send to a potential employer.

Download the InDesign template for this tutorial at the bottom of the page.

The template we will create is not meant to be the final product, but a jumping off point to help you design your style of project page. By following along with this tutorial, you will learn a lot about how InDesign works, and give you the information you need to get started with the rest of your portfolio. Some topics have already been discussed in other tutorials, which will be linked to within the tutorial.

This tutorial will cover:

  • Setting up your page

  • Creating layers

  • Assigning paragraph styles

  • Image placeholders

  • Saving as a template

Setting up your page

Begin by setting up your document. Mine is a 2 page document starting on page 2, with facing pages. See the image for the rest of my presets. You can change the margins, bleed and slug to fit your own style. The tutorial for the basics of setting up an InDesign document can be found here.

Document Setup InDesign
Document Setup InDesign

Creating layers

Layers will make changing your portfolio easier later. Because this page will be used as a template for the rest of your project pages, it is good to do this now. I have a layer for Project Title, Project Information, Heading, Description Text, and Images.

Setting up layers InDesign
Setting up layers InDesign

Assigning paragraph styles

From here you will begin to add your text. Start with the basics:

Project Name

Project Information

Project Description

Take a moment to assign the proper paragraph styles to your new text. See the image below for my paragraph styles. For a refresher on how to properly use paragraph styles, check out this tutorial here.

Paragraph styles InDesign
Paragraph styles InDesign

Image placeholders

Now add any supplementary images. Try and keep it simple. I like to add a placeholder image where my images will go to get the right layout. Here is a very simple layout with just 6 images. This layout will probably have to be tweaked for each project, but it is helpful to have a template.

Place images InDesign
Place images InDesign

Save as a template

Export your file as an inDesign template. This will let you create as many copies as you need without worrying about overwriting the template.

Export as InDesign Template
Export as InDesign Template

Now that you have your sample page set up, you can tweak you paragraph styles, margins, and layout until you are happy with it. Once you like what you see, get started making your project pages. These documents can later be used to compile an inDesign Book, which will copy all the .indd files and images to a specific location and be packaged to send to a client.

Download the template files used in this tutorial below by subscribing:

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