This is the Family Health Newsletter that I constructed in InDesign. The requirements were to make an 11 x 17 inch document that would fold into four 8.5 x 11 inch pages, using only two colors - black and a spot color. For this assignment, we had to use PMS 340, which is the green color that you see above. This document had a lot of text, but there was plenty of room for photos or graphics. I chose to stick with a leaf graphic that I drew in InDesign, and created a theme by repeating it throughout the layout in either white or different tints of the Pantone spot color.
This was the first project that made me realize how much work goes into working with lots of type within a document and how to make it look good. In my first attempt I set up a simple 3 column grid and basically packed in as much text in as little space as possible so that each page was just a huge block of text. But then I ended up with two blank pages because I ran out of text! I tried spacing it out and added in more graphics but it still felt so crowded. I went back again and changed the front page to a seven column grid to create a small column of negative space on the left and let the extra text flow to the next page. I think this helped open up the layout a lot.
I didn't change a whole lot on the inside. I tried create a symmetrical, yet opposite layout by having the side panel on the left take up one column and the text take up two columns and do the exact opposite on the right page. I think this helped add variety, but kept the layout unified at the same time.
On the back page, I originally hadn't used any grid structure at all. But I changed it to a seven column grid to give myself some rough outlines to line up the large text box and the four large graphics.
The only other thing I had to change was the spacing of some of the text. I had quite a few orphans and widows hangin' out by themselves that I hadn't noticed before.
This project gave me a sharper eye and helped me pay more attention to the technical parts of a layout. And just by following simple typesetting rules, I think I was able to come up with a fairly decent design.