Susan Mango Curtis
Associate Professor

Journalism course for College level students: Working with grids in InDesign

Project Published 4/4/17 Last updated on 3/2/20

The project comes from an college level course in digital publishing and this is the second assignment in second week of the quarter. Only a handful of the of 18 students have ever used InDesign or Photoshop. Content use in this assignment has been generously provided by Tribune News Service for educational use only.

Assignment #2:

Working With Grids

406 News Graphic and Design— Susan Mango Curtis

Phase one will be done in class as an exercise.

Phase two Due 4/19/2017

This assignment has two parts; in the first phase you will re-create the Russian Putin page below. Using a 3-column grid duplicate every detail of the page. If you’re unable to match the typography select, something that resembles. The second phase provide the opportunity explore your own creative approach.

Using the layout you have been working on in class as a starting point, recreate the same 8 ½ x 11-size page, with a new design. There are no restrictions in the second phase you may use other images, color and typography. You’re designing for magazine that’s audience is both male and female; this weekly publication is aimed at professionals who value an informed awareness and knowledge of international and national news or you can select your own audience. It’s really up to you.

In phase one (Class exercise)use a 3-column grad to re-create the page. This will be done in class with help form Instructor and TA's. Once you've reproduced the page exactly as it appears in the example save as a PDF,

  • In phase twouse either a 4 or 5 column grad to reconstruct the same InDesign document. More images available to select from in the class folder Mangos files look for assignment 2 on Google doc. This is your opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. Start by selecting your readership and publication you're page will appear in. Every publication has its own style which is reflect in the design of the page. Think in terms of topography, color placement and selection of art must appeal to the publications audience.
  • Design development:

      a)Start with a sketching, its best to explore 2-3 options on paper first.

      b)Do not simply select the design you think seems the best and develop just this one approach: you could miss out on the surprising alternative that proves to be more effective. The process of design is all about working through different options and not simply producing one solution in isolation.

      c)Stick firmly to a grid. This exercise all about you getting comfortable with working with grads.

      d)By changing the 3column grid to a 4 or 5 column, can change the sizes of the image, so be aware that you may need to edit out or add images.

      e)Let the image tell the story.

      f)Hierarchy is important, so let’s size and contrast guide the reader through the page.

      g)Ask other people for their opinion of the composition.


      a)Turn into a PDF of both variations, what you started in class and the homework that explores a different grid structures.

      b)A design philosophy that explains which of the two layouts is stronger solution and why.

      c)Upload to your class Google Doc folder T0-Be-Graded


      ·Learn to choose an appropriate grid and fit layout elements into it.

      ·Learn to apply principles and elements of design.

      ·Practice cropping and resizing photographs with out distortion and practice integrating them with typography. Creating balance, rhythm, figure/ground relationship, Unity and contrast to create a dynamic, integrated single page layout.

    • Photoshop

      Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

    • InDesign

      Craft elegant layouts at your desk or on the go.

    Age Levels
    Content Standards
    Print & Digital Media Publication with Adobe InDesign
    Custom Standards
    Journalism assignment for student interested in the creative aspect of storytelling.
    ISTE Standards
    Students: Knowledge Constructor

    Adobe creative cloud



    One article, headline, cutline, high resolution image to be used as background on spread.

    CC License
    Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    5 / 5 • 4 Ratings

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    Comments (2)

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    Shafiq Rehman

    Posted on 9/9/19 9:51:20 AM Permalink

    Thanks for sharing

    Dr. Tarek Bahaa El Deen

    Posted on 4/7/17 8:59:57 PM Permalink

    Good Project

    Thank you for sharing