I’m so tired and my back is aching and I’ve been at the computer all day. For all of you who have resisted the computer – I think you made the right decision. Contract the work out! And once again I have laid a massive trip on myself. Arrrggghhh. And this is why I am too tired to write about anything other than my current project.
Anyway, this is so typical of what I do: My book Dance is nearly there and just about ready to be printed in time for the literary fairs. But the book is very narrow and when it is printed on A3 paper there is going to be a huge amount of wasteage. Well a narrow book feels lovely, but then I woke up the other morning and thought that perhaps, just maybe I could work really hard for the next two weeks and do another little book to be printed next to it. Two books at a more economical rate.
This is a book for 10 year olds (and upwards) and I have wanted to do it for ages. I designed the little monks about 20 years ago with my son’s help on an attempted book, but of course wanted to redraw them (annoying perfectionism / obsessivism here) to make the monks appropriate for the instructions.
The next thing that flummoxed me was how to get a file into Indesign which had a transparent background. I did the letters in indigo, scanned them as tiffs (photoshop files) and needed to draw neat little red arrows in Illustrator then saved them as eps’s and tried to put them onto ruled lines in Indesign. Then I spent about hours on the internet trying to figure out how to do it. I changed them to tiffs, I saved them this way and that, I separated the letters from the arrows TO NO AVAIL! I also wasted a lot more time with muddled file naming. By now I have something like 30 – 40 files, badly labelled. Finally at 9.00pm I phoned my daughter Tessa who is a graphic designer.
When your children are all more computer literate than you are (let’s face it, many of us are in this boat) you don’t like to keep bothering them. But she was so gracious despite a long day at work and a family to come home to.
Anyway, here it is below for the hardened computer people…
How to do an exemplar in Indesign:
- Scan letter in Photoshop, cut the background and safe as a psd file.
- Place it in Illustrator and draw your little arrows, (learning to bend them took me another hour) adding arrowheads (this took me yet another hour on the internet – *effects – *stylise – *arrowheads) then delete the letters and leave the arrows all in position.
- Go to Indesign. Draw your ruled lines, Place the psd. file of the letters into Indesign. It will not obliterate the ruled lines as mine did, or have the ruled lines on top of the letters which mine also did.
- Copy the arrows from the Illustrator file and paste them in. Don’t import and place them or you’ll be back to square one (as I was)