Looking for Adobe Indesign example files of music recital program booklets..
January 23, 2006 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Adobe Indesign: I'm hoping to design a vocal recital program in Adobe Indesign. By that I mean a booklet given out before a classical music performance with song texts, translations, and notes. Can anyone find any example indesign files for me to learn off of?

This seems to be extremely hard to google, since "program" is not a very useful word to search for..

I'm looking for some examples so that I can see how indesign works, in the contexts that I would use it for. (Never used indesign before)
posted by sirion to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I think looking for example ID files is probably not the best way to go. I mean, it would probably help the most but most people don't make their files available and most people who use InDesign think they don't need examples. In my experience, they usually do.

Can you find any sort of example of the layout that's pretty close to what you want? Then I, or somebody else, could probably help you break it down.

In the absense of that, I'll just give you some important basics. Forgive me if I'm too simple at times.

1. Text can only be placed in a text box.
You can create a text box [also called text frame] by: Selecting the Text tool and then clicking and dragging with it. There are other ways but we'll keep it simple.

2. Chances are, if you're looking at a program, it's one continuous text box with different formatting applied to paragraphs, not different text boxes shoved real close to each other. This is a habit of amatur designers. Please don't get into the habit of doing it unless it's ABSOLUTELY unavoidable.

Before you actually lay out anything, create the styles you know you'll need [Performer / Composer / Title / Etc.] and then make sure that every time you type one of those it uses that format. I suggest just using character styles for now, as paragraph styles [while extremely useful] are very complex and para & character combined can be quite confusing:

A suggested workflow:

Create the styles you know you'll need. No need to define all the different attributes yet.

Typeset the document, creating more styles if you need to.

Edit the styles [from the Character Styles pallette] and watch your doc come alive.

I think that's all the basics that I can suggest without overburdening you with information and being very late for work. I'll check back during the day to see if you've linked any examples or need anything clarified. Good luck!
posted by Brainy at 6:04 AM on January 24, 2006

We just bought Indesign at work. My coworker has been using it to layout our newsletter, and she's done pretty well teaching herself through using the templates included with the program and adjusting them accordingly. I'm not sure if there's a "booklet" template, but at least that can get you familiar with some textboxes and formatting as mentioned by Brainy above.

And by "done pretty well teaching herself" I mean that she hasn't had to ask me many questions about how to use the program. Learning to design well, however, is a whole other story.
posted by ruby.aftermath at 6:21 AM on January 24, 2006

Ruby, I know exactly what you mean.
posted by Brainy at 7:53 AM on January 24, 2006

Chances are, if you're looking at a program, it's one continuous text box with different formatting applied to paragraphs, not different text boxes shoved real close to each other. This is a habit of amatur designers. Please don't get into the habit of doing it unless it's ABSOLUTELY unavoidable.

I'm a bit unclear on which one is the bad habit.
posted by smackfu at 8:29 AM on January 24, 2006

Jeez, that IS really poor writing. My apologies

It is often more desirable to have continuous text be continuous text. This means that when you have a heading and a subheading you can define their spacing in the settings and know it's correct. If each one is a textbox you have to use all sorts of alignment tricks to get the spacing somewhat decent and then the boxes don't flow with the text so any reflow causes a need to re-layout.
posted by Brainy at 8:35 AM on January 24, 2006

Very helpful, Brainy. I have the same question smackfu does, though I'm guessing I should avoid the single gigantic textbox (why would I use indesign that way when microsoft word effectively provides a single gigantic textbox?). Unfortunate that there aren't websites collecting example files..
posted by sdis at 8:39 AM on January 24, 2006

I swear by Adobe Classroom in a book series. They run over all the basics and some advanced techniques.

However, I don't recommend using it to design a recital program on the get go. It's not exactly something you can just pickup and use. If you're used to programs like MS Word, it's much easier to just make individual pages in Word, send it over to the printer's specifying which pages you want to be front/back, than it is to learn a completely new program and preflighting everything, embedding all the images and fonts, send it off to the printer, and get it printed.

I DO have experience doing a whole lot of them, however. Here's some links to the Christmas program of our big band last month. Warning: I didn't embed any fonts, or attach any images; but all should be standard adobe font folio issue, except for our custom logo font. The images would show up as gray boxes.

posted by Sallysings at 8:40 AM on January 24, 2006

To further support Brainy's point, imagine this:

You have separate text boxes for headlines and body copy. Now suppose you want to change the size of the headlines... if you make them bigger, they may accidentally overlap the body copy, which will need to be moved down... which might overlap the next headline, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Using styles to define the look of different parts of a document ensures that the layout and relationship between these parts is consistent and automatic.

If you have any experience in web design, it's akin to creating a stylesheet to define the look of your pages instead of painstakingly defining the font sizes, colours, etc. of each individual piece of text like you would with old-school html
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:43 AM on January 24, 2006

So if you were copying http://www.operaheb.co.il/operas/arias/figaro2.html
you would have:

Non piu andrai

Mozart, Marriage of Figaro

Non piu andrai farfallone amoroso
notte e giorno d'intomo girando,
delle belle turbando il riposo,
Narcisetto, Adoncino d'amor. ecc.

in one textbox, and play with the top two lines in styles.

Then the translation on the right could be:
[empty heading]

Libretto by L. Da Ponte

No more will you, amoruos butterfly,
flit around the castle night and day,
upsetting all the pretty girls,
love's little Narcissus and Adonis, etc.

posted by sdis at 8:44 AM on January 24, 2006

Are you looking to learn visual layout, or actual InDesign techniques/tricks? I used to do this for my day job years ago (lay out program books for classical music performances for a magazine co.), but I used Quark. I also have a few voice recital programs I did for friends freelance, but those are also in Quark. So I guess they'd be helpful if you were just looking for layout stuff...
posted by mothershock at 8:45 AM on January 24, 2006

I would say, unless you have an area that needs two columns, there's really no reason NOT to have one gigantic text box. It's might be a different way of thinking BUT it will help in the long run because you can set spacing by using the space before and space after fields in the paragraph control bar.

On preview, you DO need two columns to do translations, but still go with keeping everything in one text box as much as possible. This brings up an important "trick".


Excuse the shouting, I just wanted to make sure it stood out. Going by sdis' example:

Non piu andrai, farfallone amoroso,
notte e giorno d'intomo girando,
delle belle turbando il riposo,
Narcisetto, Adoncino d'amor. ecc.

is ONE PARAGRAPH with Line Breaks after the commas. This allows you to control the spacing between lines with the paragraph's leading and then the space before and after with the paragraph's space before or space after attributes. [Pick one, before or after, and then only use that one for the doc or you'll get mightly confused]
posted by Brainy at 8:56 AM on January 24, 2006

mothershock: I was mostly interested in Indesign-related info, but some well designed vocal recital examples would definitely be appreciated.
posted by sdis at 10:10 AM on January 24, 2006

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