Guest Blog: How Do I Do That in InDesign? I Wrote A Book! – Dave Clayton
Celebrating 10 years with KelbyOne!!
As a graphic designer of 20+ years, and a user of InDesign for the same length of time, that is a question I get asked a lot when I talk to other designers who haven’t braved the wonders of the little “Id” icon in their tool bar. InDesign is used to create printed items such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books, and also digital items such as interactive PDFs and ebooks.
Just to give an overview of what InDesign is to the lovely readers of this blog, it’s an application that is part of the Creative Cloud. It actually celebrates its 20th birthday this year!
Back in the day, us ‘desktop publishers’ used a piece of software called Quark Xpress. This was launched around 1987 and became the industry standard. Adobe originally had a program called Pagemaker, which it purchased from Aldus, and this was the competition to Quark. From this, InDesign was created as a strong competitor and was released in 1999. It was the first native Mac OS desktop publishing application and was very quickly adopted by the design industry, especially when in Creative Suite 3, it was bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.
So, that’s your history lesson! Why am I talking about this?
My working history with KelbyOne (formerly NAPP) celebrates 10 years this year. I started out as an official NAPP Evangelist way back in 2009 when I became a member of NAPP and offered to help get NAPP more recognised in the UK. This proved to be a successful relationship. I visited my first Photoshop World in Las Vegas to meet Scott and the Photoshop Guys. I have guested on Scott’s blog before detailing that part of my history so I won’t repeat it here.
Here are the links to get my background:
KelbyOne – The Personal Side of Dave Clayton
Over the course of those blogs I talk about how it all began, the evolution of me as a content creator for KelbyOne, and how those experiences led me to not only teach and present alongside my best mate, Glyn Dewis, but to also now co-host a podcast with him. Glyn was introduced to me back in 2010 by Scott. The podcast is called He Shoots He Draws, and it’s a weekly photography and design podcast. We are currently on episode 76 as you read this. We are really pleased with the success, and with over 115,000 downloads worldwide, people certainly don’t mind listening to us both chat with each other and our guests.
Stay with me, this is heading back to InDesign, I promise!
I would like to add at this point, all these things began happening for me at the age of 42! Yes, 42!
In a world where everything is instant and everyone wants instant success and gratification, my story is one of patience, dedication, and networking. Anyone who has met me has probably done so at an event. I try to attend as many as I can afford given that I live in the UK, that I can designate time for and travel to, which means being away from my family for anything from 5 to 14 days. Over the past 10 years I have put myself in positions that have taken me out of my comfort zone, and it’s paid off and still pays off.
I never thought I would get to write for an industry leading magazine, nor teach video content training for a leading training provider, let alone stand up in front of hundreds of people and teach graphic design. KelbyOne gave me these opportunities and I have stepped up to each one with both enthusiasm and nervousness!
Being a graphic designer by trade means I predominantly use InDesign for a lot of my design work. It’s a subject I have been able to write about for Photoshop User magazine, teach for video classes, and stand up and demonstrate at Photoshop World. I am proud to do so each and every time. Each time could always be my last, so I give 100%, hope I’ve left a good impression, and was able to teach just one person.
One person who I admire greatly as a designer is KelbyOne’s very own Chris Main. Chris has been the editor of both Photoshop User and Lightroom Magazine since day one. It was the Photoshop User Magazine (and Layers Magazine) that got me to join NAPP/KelbyOne. So I would like to give Chris credit for being a spark in my adventure. Thanks Chris!
Then something incredible happened, another part of this world that I never even expected… I got to write an actual book about it! And not only that; it’s with Rocky Nook. And not only that; it’s also the fourth book in Scott’s ‘How Do I Do That In…’ series! Scott has written this series for Photoshop, Lightroom and Lightroom CC. I ‘half jokingly’ used to say to Scott and Ted at Rocky Nook that that series would be perfect for InDesign and Illustrator. This went on a while, I would often throw it out there in the hope Scott would write a version for InDesign. Then one day I get a call from Scott Cowlin and Ted Waitt, to paraphrase it went a bit like this… “Dave, we spoke to Scott about an InDesign version, he agrees. But he wants you to write it.”
I let those words sink in, internally I squealed like a little kid, then cooly responded with, “I can do that, thank you,” (still squealing internally).
For me, I go back to 2009 when I got that NAPP Evangelist gig. I was happy, and that was about the extent of what I thought that relationship would be. To celebrate 10 years with KelbyOne and my relationship, now friendship, with Scott Kelby, by writing a book for Rocky Nook, for Scott, is in some way a testament to patience, relationship building and trust.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a huge task to take on given I have a day job with the amazing Astute Graphics, a home life which involves being a parent to 4 children with my lovely wife, I still write for Photoshop User magazine every month, and I still work at other events. But I wanted to push myself further and deliver something everyone involved would be proud of. It’s taken a little longer than I hoped to finish the book, but as you read this, it’s written and delivered and awaiting a confirmed delivery date this year.
I guess the moral of the story is, you’re never too old to pursue a dream, even if you never knew that dream existed until it happened – does that make sense?
If you are sat reading this in your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s – it’s there for you, but it won’t deliver itself to you. You have to work hard, be dedicated, be consistent, be patient, be approachable, be communicative, and, most of all, be appreciative and respect opportunities that come your way. I am grateful to sit here writing this and whatever my future holds as a creative, instructor, author I will approach it the same way. My overnight success took 10 years and is still going.
If you’ve been sat on the fence about using InDesign, I think you should check out this book when it’s released. Each page is a tip and there are 12 chapters walking you through those “How do I do that?” moments when you are in inDesign. I have written much like Scott’s approach, how I would if I were sat next to you at your computer. It’s not the full, comprehensive classroom in a book type book. Those are also available, in fact Rocky Nook have a much more comprehensive title called The InDesign Compendium – that goes super deep. My book is to help you get started and keep moving. Over 200 tips and tricks, shortcuts and cool extras to help you become a better designer and InDesign user.
I am teaching at Photoshop World Orlando this year, three classes including an InDesign class. Guess what it’s called ;)
Hopefully the book will be available at Photoshop World Vegas 2019 at the Rocky Nook booth.
Please come and say hello if you attend my class in Orlando. I am happy to answer any questions! I’ll also have some very exclusive t-shirts and swag for the podcast. These were made by Hey Monkey Design – first person to find me and say, “Dave, How Do I Do That In InDesign?” Will get a free t-shirt!! Then I know you read this all the way to the bottom :)
And look out for the book on Amazon, RockyNook.com, Barnes & Noble or pick a copy up at PSW Vegas (TBC).
Thank you to Scott Cowlin, Ted Waitt, the Rocky Nook team including Lisa, Mercedes and the ever patient Jocelyn – you’ve been superb and I hope it’s been worth all those months of waiting for me!
Thank you Scott Kelby for the opportunity, for 10 years at KelbyOne and for friendship.
Thank you Glyn Dewis and Alan Hess for the massive amount of support, encouragement and ass kicking when I needed it.
Thank you to Astute Graphics who allow me to work in the best job I have ever had and accommodating my additional activities.
Thank you to my wife who has enabled me to achieve all this with her support, patience and constantly being an amazing mother to our children, especially when I am on the road.
Until the next adventure…!!
Dave Clayton is a UK-based graphic designer, instructor and soon to be author. Dave is also the full time training manager at Astute Graphics. He and Glyn Dewis are co-hosts of a weekly design and photography podcast called ‘He Shoots, He Draws.’ He’s been working in the design and marketing industry for almost 30 years and loves graphic design, design events, books and pretty much anything design related that he can be involved in. He’s been an Evangelist (NAPP), a writer (Photoshop User Magazine), a video instructor (KelbyOne) and class instructor (four Photoshop Worlds 2016-19). Dave celebrates a 10 year association with Kelby One this year. You can find him on social media at:
And the podcast is at HeShootsHeDraws.com.