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CSI: InDesign


CreativePro Magazine Issue 12 coverThis article appeared in Issue 12 of CreativePro Magazine.

Few things are more likely to dishearten even the cheeriest InDesign user than being asked to revise or redesign a big legacy project that was badly put together.

“We need this brought up to date,” the email says, or maybe “Can you redesign this?” with a subtext: Should be pretty simple, you just have to modify what’s already there.

If you don’t feel nervous, I bet it’s your first project like this. Seasoned designers will experience a frisson of cold dread.

If it’s a document or book you haven’t seen before, you have no idea who created it or how many people may have worked on it over the years. You don’t know how it was put together, and at first glance there’s no pattern you can get your mind around. As you work through these steps you will uncover its secrets.

Whatever your design skill level, avoid pain by following these guidelines.

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Alan Gilbertson is a designer and creative director living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the "Sun Coast" of the United States. He is an Adobe Community Expert who has been using Adobe design applications for more than two decades.
  • Deborah Bouton says:

    Great article — whew! Thanks for all the tips.

  • Lena Salazar says:

    Lots of great tips here, and helpful for building a clean file as well as cleaning up old ones!

    • That’s true, Lena. I have a policy that whenever I get a legacy document to update/redesign, I leave a clean and well-structured document for whoever might inherit it. Good karma can’t hurt. :)

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