InDesign FX: Creating custom frames

Published by | Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

One of the challenges in designing any page layout is to make the various elements seem like they belong together. You can do this by making thoughtful choices with color, alignment, and type. You can also bring elements together by literally merging them. In this week’s InDesign FX video, I show how to create custom frames by merging simple rectangles with type outlines and other shapes in Adobe InDesign.

So for example, you can take a photo in a frame with a wide stroke and position it with overlapping text.

Figure 1

Then by subtracting the text from the rectangle, you can make the bottom stroke follow the curves of the letters, in effect making it look like the letters are pushing their way into the photo.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Another variation is to leave out the overlapping object to create an interesting negative space. Here, we can start with a plain old starburst overlapping a pair of rounded corner rectangles.

Figure 4

After we subtract the starburst from the rectangles, the message in the resulting space is made more powerful because we can see the impact it’s had on neighboring items, even if we can’t see the starburst itself any more.

Figure 5

I also have a member-exclusive video in the library this week called Making trading cards. With this fun effect, you can bring together any series of images and give them a nostalgic, collectible aura.

Figure 6

See you here again in two weeks with more InDesign FX!

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