Visuals are getting more and more important for blog success today. There are many tools bloggers can use to achieve their expected visual outcome for their brands—I’ve talked about Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, PicMonkey and several other tools before. But today I want to share why InDesign has transformed my blogging process—and the many things you can do with this tool.
As a graphic designer, I’ve been using InDesign for almost 8 years, starting with high school yearbook class. Over time, I learned how to use InDesign’s best features to enhance my blog and creative projects.
I want to hand over some of my experience to you today. We will start with some of the basics of InDesign, its comparison with Photoshop and Illustrator, the importance of templates and finally, how to use it to enhance your blog. Then, there may or may not be a huge bundle of freebies! You’ll have to see! Let’s get started!
What is InDesign?
Adobe InDesign is a publishing application, often used with similar programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator. It is the industry-standard for print publications, interactive PDF forms and the like. While InDesign is excellent for books, magazines, printables and more, it is also a great program for digital design–that is, materials to publish on your blog!
Why is InDesign different from Photoshop or Illustrator?
A key feature of InDesign is its ability to format multiple pages and easily add and modify text elements. InDesign is usually associated with creating layouts, rather than editing photos like Photoshop or creating vector-based graphics like Illustrator. However, InDesign integrates very well with these two programs. You can place images from Photoshop or objects from Illustrator right into your InDesign documents. Need to edit a photo in your InDesign layout? Right click on it and you can open it in Photoshop quickly and easily.
The reason I choose to make blog graphics and PDFs in InDesign is its ability to easily place and crop photos (unlike Illustrator) and edit text with superior text wrapping tools. These two things are why InDesign was made–and it definitely makes my blog process simpler.
So, how do you make InDesign work for you and your blog?
The #1 Way to Use InDesign for Your Blog? >> Templates!
It all begins with InDesign templates. Making branded templates for your blog or business saves an immense amount of time during the creation process. Templates allow you to choose your colors, fonts, graphical elements and photos and place them in a proper layout to be used over and over again, with slight changes every time. They are super important to creating a consistent brand image online.
How to Use InDesign Template Files
If you are new to Adobe products, you may not know that you can save your documents in several different formats. The default file format for InDesign documents is .indd. If you save your document in a .indt format, you prevent yourself from overwriting the original file and from there, it always opens another “Untitled” document. Thus, you can create multiple files from one template—easily, quickly and on brand for your web presence.
In fact, you don’t have to start from scratch by making templates. I’ve created a batch of 10 freebies for InDesign for you to download! Click through to find out what’s included and how you can use InDesign templates for your blog!
8 Ways to Use InDesign to Enhance Your Blog
1. Blog Post Images
I already mentioned I make my routine blog images using InDesign templates. While this process also includes taking photos and editing photos in Photoshop, the last and most important steps occur in InDesign when my blog post images all come together. You can even create multiple images at a time on different pages. Hello, multiple Pinterest images! When you’re ready to save your images, go to the File menu, scroll to Export and save as a PNG!
Related Post: 6 Secrets to Easy & Awesome Blog Graphics
2. Free Worksheets & Content Upgrades
InDesign is perfect for worksheets or content upgrades (checklists, workbooks, planners, etc.) for your blog. InDesign makes this process so easy, because it is specially built for print design and laying out text. You can easily add multiple pages and page numbers, making sure your content stays organized for your readers.
Olyvia has a great tutorial on how to create a worksheet in InDesign, if you would like more ideas on how to make worksheets for your brand.
InDesign is also great for longer items or PDFs such as e-books, if you would like to sell an e-book on your site or have one as a lead magnet for your e-mail list. Your long-form content is especially important for showcasing your expertise or your story, so make sure you dress it up with a professional layout too.
4. Moodboards or Brand Boards or Collages
Moodboards and collages are one of my favorite things to make in InDesign. You can easily start with a photo layout and tweak, crop and replace photos as you go along. Plus, you can use the Eyedropper tool to find the right color scheme to add to your moodboard, too!Want to know how to best use @InDesign for awesome blog graphics? This post is for you! Click To Tweet
5. Workshop Presentations
If you choose to create a workshop to interact with your blogging community, an important item to have is a presentation. While there are tools like PowerPoint and Keynote, I have found that making a PDF document in InDesign gives me much more design flexibility for presentations. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do so!
6. Social Media Graphics
Yes, we’re all about the Instagram series and Twitter chat graphics. But can we always remember what size is best for each social media platform? I’m usually good with memorizing numbers, but I still can’t keep up with optimizing image sizes per platform. My way around this in InDesign templates, making sure they are properly sized for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Never again do we have to look up sizes!
7. Media Kits
As an online publisher, bloggers often create their own media kits to begin to work with brands. Media kits are usually 1-2-page PDF documents that blogger upload to their website or send via email to brands. Because written content along with branded images is important for a quality media kit, InDesign is the best tool to use to ensure a well-designed document to promote your online space. You can make your media kit fancy with different colors, graphical elements and photos — all to tell your brand story in a refreshed and exciting way.
Last but not least, you can create awesome infographics in InDesign. Because infographics are largely layout-based and graphic-based, it’s easy to make them with InDesign. Think about creating an infographic specific to your niche. Do a little bit of research, get statistical and see if you can find unique and relevant information to share with your people. Lauren from Elle & Company also shares her step-by-step guide for making infographics, if you want to check it out!
If we want to sum it up, InDesign is perfect for your PDF or blog image needs.Did you know that InDesign is THE tool for your blog image and PDF needs? Click To Tweet
InDesign has been the heartbeat of my content production. It’s time for you all to experience how it can help take your blog to the next level. That’s why I made a huge template bundle for you all – fo’ free!
Who’s ready for some freebies?!
Included in the template bundle is 10 InDesign template files (.indt files) for various blog needs. You can customize the images, type, color and more! All social media templates are optimized at proper sizes, to save you time too! Here’s what you will get:
- Pinterest Image Template
- Instagram Image Template
- Twitter Image Template
- Facebook Image Template
- Moodboard Collage Template (2 different versions!)
- Brand Board Template
- Media Kit Template
- Checklist Content Upgrade Template
- Workbook Content Upgrade Template
Are you ready to enhance the design of your blog and brand? Put the power of creativity back in your hands with these templates.
Have you used InDesign before? What’s your favorite design tools for your blog?I'm LOVING these free @InDesign templates for bloggers! Get yours today! Click To Tweet