Smarter Than I Look

Last week while on vacation I finished my InDesign tutorial. The program is overwhelming, but I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the parts of it I really needed to begin my catalog layout. I figured I’d design the first four pages (cover, back and insides) and take it to a printer to have them assess my layout. Then, they could give me the feedback I needed to continue. I opened a new document, chose the number of pages and freaked out.

I wanted to create something called Master Pages which allows me to create guidelines, page numbering, etc that will apply to each page. The user can create multiple Master Pages to be used inside a document. Since I was familiar with the concept, I wasn’t too worried. Then I started second guessing myself and I panicked. What if these pages were wrong? Why was page one off on its own? How do I turn off Facing Pages? Why in the hell did I take on an 84 page catalog when I have no idea what I’m doing?

I sent out the bat signal to my Facebook peeps and it seemed no one could (or would!) help me. I then called the very nice people at First Impressions Printing. I’ve known owner Danny Correll for many, many years and he’s just a great guy. The two designers, both named Cheryl, have always been very forthcoming with information and help. I didn’t want to take advantage of their kindness, but offered to pay for their time. Danny said he’d talk to the Cheryls and see what their schedule was for the day. Cheryl soon called me and said I was welcome to come by later that afternoon. When I asked about payment she told me that she doubted it would take long so I shouldn’t worry about it.

I arrived around 1 p.m. and told her how I’d started setting up the document. I know that pages are printed out of order, for example, page 1 and the last page are on the same sheet, but I told her I wanted to create the catalog in chapters and put it together later. She said that was fine. I also told her about how I was setting up my Master Pages and it turns out I was doing it correctly. She showed me an easier way to number my pages so I could add a design element and that was it. Basically, I was doing it right and I felt so relieved.

Since I’m also doing all the Photoshop work on the images, I asked a few technical questions about photo editing and it seems I was on the right page with that too. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know I have my act together more than I thought. I have a long road ahead of me with this project, but if I don’t try to eat the elephant in one bite (as Steve tells me all the time) then maybe, just maybe this will work. As for payment, the Cheryls and the staff at First Impressions can expect some delicious chocolate chip cookies later today.

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