FMP: Realising the Brochure

For the three sections of my FMP (brochure, leaflet, app design) I will write up a blog post explaining some of the key processes involved in creating each design, as it would take too long to explain every single technique.

For the brochure I used Adobe InDesign CS5.5 in combination with the Blurb Booklet
Plug-in, which I talked about here. This provides margins for the brochure and was very easy to work with in Indesign while I was creating the brochure.

To prepare other aspects of the brochure such as the vector illustrations and images, I also used Adobe Illustrator CS5.1 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.1.

Typography: 

As typography was a major part of the brochure, I used many techniques to ensure it looked just right.

Character Palette: A very helpful tool to have as many functions can be controlled. It can be accessed by going to Window > Type & Tables > Character (or Cmd + T) I shall list below the ones I used:

Kerning: Used to vary the spacing between individual characters, this came in handy for the page numbers, where I was able to fine-tune the spacing. I also used this for the larger text if I felt there was an individual issue.

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Tracking: This was the tool I used the most. Tracking alters the distance between all of the selected characters. I found the tracking for the body copy to be too cramped at the default 0 value, so I selected +50 to allow for some extra spacing.

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For some of the larger text such as titles, I increased the tracking to +100 or +150 if I wanted to emphasise the negative space between the characters, giving each one more definition, and to slightly slow down the reading of the title. While this works well in general, it can upset some of the spacing, which is where the kerning comes in useful.

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Leading: For the majority of the brochure design, especially the body copy, I did not need to alter the leading as the Auto setting was suitable. However, for the infographic boxes I used as a main design feature, I had two different text sizes, 21pt for the stand-out figure, and 9pt for the rest of the text. Therefore I set a value of 21pt for the leading for the top line of small text to give the adequate spacing I needed.

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Subscript: For the CO2 (why is there no option of a Subscript 2 in the WordPress symbols box?) text on the Engines spread I needed a subscript 2 character. To do this I selected the figure and pressed the Subscript icon on the Control Bar. This I felt dropped the character too low so I was able to go into the Character Palette, and alter the distance it dropped using the Baseline Shift tool. I set it to nudge it up 2pt.

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Paragraph Palette: 

This was another helpful tool that allowed me to set the longer passages of text in a suitable way. To access it, go to Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph (or Cmd + alt + T) I shall go through what I used from this below:

Alignment: I chose to Left Align my text to ensure that the spacing between each word was equal, which I would not be able to achieve if I went for the Justify with last line aligned left option.

Hyphenation: As I do for every text box, I turned this off, as it does not make for a sensibly readable paragraph if words are hyphenated.

Align to Baseline Grid: I used this for the Standard Features spread as I needed all the columns of text to align perfectly. It made a big difference to the appearance of the spread, and made the process of aligning much quicker. For the other spreads, I could not position text as flexibly as I would like, so I didn’t use it, taking extra care to ensure lines of text lined up.

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Indents: Again, a technique I used just for the Standard Features spread. Because I was using thin columns, which I had set to the margins on my document, I needed another way of evenly setting the text. To achieve this, I selected the text, and set it with a Left Indent and Right Indent, both being 2pt.

Other Typography:

Glyphs: To ensure I used the correct characters in a couple of places in the brochure I needed to access the Glyphs Palette, which can be accessed if not present on the screen by going to Window > Type & TablesGlyphs. This was needed for the ellipses used in a few places, as well as the degree signs used on the Key Data page.

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Images: I was very lucky with the images from the Land Rover press pack being so fantastic to work with, being of a high resolution and large enough to allow for flexibility in my designs. For the majority of images all that was needed to was to place them in the document (File > Place or Cmd + D) and make sure that the composition within my spread was suitable.

Interior Images: These needed a little bit of work to ensure that they were right for the brochure. Firstly I downloaded them from the PDF brochure, which meant the size was only 72dpi. Thankfully the size of them meant I could convert them to 300dpi by going to Image > Image Size and changing the Resolution.

To do this, I opened the image in Photoshop and went to Image > Image Size. From there I was able to change the Resolution to 300dpi, press OK to confirm the changes, and save the image. I then went to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast… and changed the Brightness and Contrast to around +20 depending on the image.

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I then saved the image as a JPG and placed it into the InDesign document as usual.

Cover Images: The idea I had for the final cover images was that they would look stunning in black and white, especially the front cover image I had in mind, where the sand was very bright, so detracted from the vehicle.

I’m going to take that image I used for the front cover image as an example to show the processes I used. Here’s how it originally looks:

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Therefore I made a copy of the file, opened it in Photoshop, and went to Image > Adjustments > Black and White…. This brings up a dialog box where the values of the colours can be altered. Sliding them one way or the other controls how the final image looks. The image below shows them in the ‘Default’ setting.

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After changing the sliders, where I mainly focused on decreasing the Reds and Yellows, here is the final result:

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I repeated this process for the image I used for the back cover as well.

Other:

‘Standard’ Exterior Colour Swatches: For these I wanted something different, and a three-dimensional appearing shape as well so I could realistically show the changes in colour according to light.

I started with the side vector drawing I had made in Illustrator and then traced around the edges using the Pen Tool. From there I had a flat, base shape that I could do something with.

I then copied the image into a new Photoshop document, with the Resolution set to 300dpi. I made sure the background was a pale grey to match that of the background for the brochure. I pasted it as a Smart Object to allow for the addition of Layer Styles.

To make the image appear three-dimensional, I double clicked on the layer in the Palettes menu, which brings up the Layer Styles box and ticked the Bevel and Emboss box, the settings of which you can see below.

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This provided me with this result. To then add a colour I could have just used the Color Overlay function, but to get the result I wanted with the differing light level I chose to select a Gradient Overlay from the Layer Styles menu, of which the settings I went for you can see below.

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That was for the Fuji White swatch, which I’m aware doesn’t show the full ability of the colour changing process, so below is the Barossa swatch, a deep purple in the light, but almost black when the light is not shining on it.

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As I found when I was did the test prints, the grey background of the swatches did not match that of the brochure, even though I used the same colour value… perhaps it was a colour profile issue… anyway it meant I needed to remove the background to place it into the InDesign document.

To do this, my tutor taught me the following process, which I shall detail below:

1] Make sure the layer with the car on is selected in the Layers Palette.

2] Using the Magic Wand tool, click on the car. This should select the car as you will see the ‘marching ants’ around it.

3] In the Layers Palette, click the Paths button to access the Paths palette. Click the drop-down icon in the top-right corner and select ‘Make Work Path’. In the dialog box, enter 0.5 for the Tolerance.

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4] Double-click on the path in the Paths palette. Enter a name if you wish, and click ‘Save‘.

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5] Go to File > Save As (Cmd + Shift + S) and choose Photoshop EPS from the drop-down menu. Click Save.

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Then it is just a case of placing it into the InDesign document in the usual way. (File > Place or Cmd + D)

‘Autobiography’ + ‘Chromaflair’ Exterior Colour Swatches: These were much simpler to create than the ‘Standard’ colour swatches. Again, I started by opening a Photoshop document, with the resolution set to 300dpi, ensuring the document was a square, with a white background.

It was then a case of double-clicking the layer in the Layers Palette to bring up the Layer Styles menu, and selecting the Gradient Overlay. From there I could create a wide variety of gradients to replicate the colours shown in the brochure. Below I have shown the settings I used for two colours, ‘Bardolino Red’, a beautiful deep red that is an ‘Autobiography’ colour, and ‘Spectral Light Blue’, which is a ‘Chromaflair’ paint, which is the Land Rover terminology for a polychromic paint that changes colour according to the position from which you view it. Despite being light blue, as you’ll see the majority of the swatch is actually a lilac, which matches that of the swatch in the brochure.

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And here is the finished result for these two colours:

Bardolino Red:Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 17.33.37 Spectral Light Blue:Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 17.33.43

I then placed them into the InDesign document, but because the eventual shape I went for was a rectangle, I just selected the shape and used the grab handles to crop it to the desired size. Taking a bit off the top and bottom meant the full range of colour change could still be shown.

Making the wheels: I discovered that the wheels in the brochure would be of a good enough quality to be used in the brochure. However discussing with the audience members, we agreed just seeing the wheel misses the important aspect of how it looks with the tyre profile, especially given that the smaller the wheel, the larger the tyre profile.

Again, I started by opening a Photoshop document, with the resolution set to 300dpi. I then copied and pasted the image from the PDF into the document, choosing to paste it as a Smart Object, as this gives more flexibility.

I then needed to remove all of the white in the image. So I chose the Magic Wand tool, kept the Tolerance very low (5-10, this can be changed in the Control Bar) selected the white and hit the Backspace key to get rid of it.

From there I chose the Ellipse Tool, made a circle (pressing the Shift key to keep things in proportion) and filled it with black. I made sure it was the right size in relation to the wheel and positioned it behind the wheel.

When I did this I could see that because I had to set the tolerance low to ensure the ‘white’ highlights of the wheel did not get removed as well, the edges were not neat enough. To rectify this I selected the Brush Tool, set the foreground colour to black, the hardness to 60% as I have found this give the most accurate finish and brushed around the inside wheel edges. I used my graphics tablet for this as I find it easier to control the brush with a stylus than a trackpad or mouse.

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As with the ‘standard’ exterior colour swatches, I had the background issue, which I fixed in the same way as I described above, with two exceptions. The first one was that my wheel was spread across several layers, so I needed to right-click a layer in the Layers Palette and click ‘Flatten Image’, which places everything into one layer. The second exception was that I used the Quick Selection tool instead of the Magic Wand tool as I wanted to select the whole wheel/tyre which features different colours instead of one particular colour.

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Again, once saved as an EPS, it is then just a case of placing it into the InDesign document in the usual way. (File > Place or Cmd + D)

Technical Illustrations: These were an important part of the design for me as I wanted something to represent a blueprint for the dimensions. This I felt would be best achieved by vector line drawings.

To start with, I found some excellent illustrations in the Range Rover press pack and I decided it would be best to trace them, and fit the style with that of the brochure I was in the process of designing.

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To trace them, I placed the image in Illustrator, locked the layer so that the image couldn’t move, made a new layer and used the Pen Tool as well as some of the Shape Tools to draw above. This was a difficult and time consuming process, but very rewarding. I eventually filled them with a medium grey, slightly darker actually than in the image below.

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I’ve mentioned the issues with the EPS path not working for thin strokes like I have before so I won’t mention it again, but the next stage was to copy the images one by one into a separate Photoshop document, set up with a resolution of 300 dpi, with a dark grey background to match that of the table headings. I then saved this as a JPG and placed it into InDesign the usual way.

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Vector ‘style graphic’ illustration: This was shown on the second spread in the brochure, and I designed to highlight the characteristic shapes that make up the Range Rover as well as highlight what is new, such as the shaping of the lights.

As I needed a base to start from, I used the vector template that was part of a promotional bag given to visitors at the Harwoods Tonbridge Land Rover dealer when their new dealership opened.

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As with the last illustration this was made with the Pen Tool and Shape Tools, before I selected the entire illustration and copied and pasted it into the InDesign document.Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 19.42.01

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