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Seven Principles of Great Template Design in InDesign

Article Description

Use the seven principles covered in this chapter to guide the decisions you make throughout the template construction process. Gabriel Powell shows you how.

Speed Is a Priority

Well-built templates are built for speed. They eliminate the stress of repetitive formatting and automate routine tasks as much as possible. While constructing a template, continually ask yourself: Is there a better or faster way to create this? How can I bring this layout together in fewer steps?

Many of InDesign’s tools are designed to work together. For example, by setting up a nested style, you can apply a character style in the same click that you apply a paragraph style. In addition, making a paragraph style part of an object style’s definition allows you to apply the paragraph style at the same time you apply the object style. If the paragraph style also contains a nested style, you’ll be combining three tools into one. What would have taken you three steps to produce you can now create with just one simple click.

As you become more familiar with InDesign’s toolset, you’ll discover new and better ways to reduce the number of steps it takes to produce a document. The templates you design will employ the smartest production strategies and will avoid manual labor whenever possible.

At times, you may not find a better or faster way to produce a particular layout. If so, consider modifying the design, if possible, to make it easier to create. Sometimes all it takes is changing one element to drastically speed up production.

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