Feedback for School Project, new here

Hi, I recently joined a digital design class and I wanted to ask if any of you guys could give any feedback for my product. It is a booklet about procrastination and it is aimed towards middle and high schoolers. Also, it will be A6

I used InDesign to create the booklet(it was compulsory,) so the design and graphics are terrible and very simplistic. I would appreciate it if you could detail any possible improvements I could make about the content/aesthetics. It would also be helpful if you could talk about how this could impact your life(I know its weird, but its part of our course,) or if you think it would/wouldn’t make a difference in your life.

Design Decisions:
I am a very inexperienced designer, so I didn’t make a lot of conscious design decisions. I decided to use a purple and blue colour scheme, because while experimenting with colours, I found that they complement each other quite well. The borders around the pages are going to be cut out when printed, to make the corners round. This is would make my product look more clean, unique and also more safe, because the chances of getting paper cuts would be reduced a lot. I used the font, Avenir, because it is an aesthetic font, and it is very versatile. The ‘graphics’ I made were very simple, because of the software limitations of InDesign. I didn’t put much thought into the graphics and I just kept them wherever I wanted to. There are 3 sections to my product: ‘What is Procrastination?,’ which is page 2-4, ‘Are you a Procrastinator?,’ which is page 5-6. and ‘How to stop Procrastinating,’ which is page 7-9.

I appreciate any and all feedback you could give, however harsh it is! Thanks

Link to GDrive:
https://( )/file/d/1nzI3wceJ5B4VMAOhmmKbNDBZohzCTnhD/view?usp=sharing

Keep “drive. google. com” in the brackets, since you can’t have links

Moderator note: I’ve fixed the link. New forum members can’t post links until they get a few posts under their belts. It helps keep the spammers away. I’ll boost up your user level, so you won’t run into this problem again.

By the way, welcome to the forum! :smile:


First off; I don’t understand your comment about the graphics are terrible because you used indesign. InDesign is exactly the right software to do this kind of work. There is nothing to stop you producing elements in Illustrator and importing them, unless your brief dictates it. That being the case, I’d question the validity of that caveat.

In terms of content. The major issue, for me, is long tracts of centred body text. Range it all left. It will be far easier to read and more comfortable. Remove hyphenation from the body text too.

There is not a lot of ‘colour’ to the type – by which, I don’t mean actual colour, I meant typographic texture, variation. It would help to have pull-out phrases, or even pertinent words, in a bolder font, or even a different font entirely. The overall feel is fairly dry and utilitarian. If you want kids to pick it up and read it, you have make it more dynamic, inviting.

You have tried to do this with the title and the cover, although, not too successfully. Again the type isn’t engaging. This is the perfect example of where I would suggest creating a more exciting illustration in Illustrator and importing it into InDesign.

On the plus side, it is fairly clean, but you have filled up every available space, with little room to breathe.

Not convinced by the arrowheads on the heading underline. The don’t serve anything, unless the reason was to imply thoughts pulling in two direction, but, even if that were the case, it is too obscure to be effective. If there is not a good reason to do something, don’t do it.

I’m not convinced by the rounded corners on the booklet. They lower the apparent reading age too much. The paper cut thing is not a valid reason. That sounds like you were retro-fitting in reasons because you want round corners. Why do it just to be different. Again, if there is a good reason, by all means do it. If not, don’t.

You need to have better rationale for colour choice than you quite like the,. Think about your target audience. Appeal to them.

Finally, ‘I didn’t put much thought into the graphics’. Fail. You need to. It all has to work together coherently. If your brief dictates that everything has to be created in InDesign and you can’t use other software. To my mind, that’s not realistic, but if that is a constraint, then you have to work within it. You can’t simply say that in design is rubbish at vector, so I won’t bother. You can produce things far more vibrant in InDesign. It is not that basic a programme. You need to push it.

Over pall, the type on its own is not scintillating enough to carry it. It’s far too pedestrian and ‘plonked’ on the page. Little thought if hierarchy and colour, so you either have to get very good with type in a short period of time (spoiler: it takes years), or use graphics to lift it and make someone want to pick it up, or they’ll be left undecided, procrastinating for ever!

Well, you did say we could be harsh. All well-meant, rather that simply slating you on your first post. Hope it helps.

Good luck.

1 Like

Thanks so much! This will help me so much in improving my design :smiley: . I got hammered, but for good reasons I suppose.

Don’t import anything into InDesign.
Place it, with links kept active.
When done, package your results.

The book is ok - I don’t mind the centred look to it, as it’s A6 it might be an easier read.

The cover isn’t great - you can do far better than that. Som text is caps, others isn’t, Doom is plonked in the middle of nowhere.

I use InDesign 99% of the time, Illustrator and Photoshop are support programmes for me.

I create covers in InDesign all the time. You really do need to improve/work on your typographical elements.

I know others say to Place and Link files.

But you can make very basic vector elements in Illustrator and copy and paste them into Indesign. They’ll come in as paths, and you can manipulate them with colour etc.

Nobody would know the difference. Although, having a lot of elements inserted this way can cause severe lag and bloated pdf files.

Use it sparingly, as the vector spirals for the cover.

Unless, I am missing something, place and import amount to the same thing. It’s all about linking to separate files in the main document, as you say, and keeping the links. The important thing is not to copy/paste any raster elements, or in fact anything other than very simple vector elements. As Smurf said, the odd small, flat vector element I can be pasted in. I have done this myself on occasion, as it is easier to draw them in Illustrator than InDesign.

It’s just that the key command is for “place” within the program. And where a student is involved, the difference between placing, “importing” or embedding is kinda crucial.

As far as vector line art goes, I’ve seen indesign do some really crazy things to Illustrator gradients when copy pasted into InDesign. Especially when dealing with logos, that would be a no-go. As a sign guy, I see files quite often where a designer as made a wallcover, and a logo is supposed to go on the wall in 3D, and the logo has a gradient. Getting that sucker outta Indesign can be a downright hassle, placed or embedded. It’ll print fine, but sometimes that is not the intent.

Oh would never copy a gradient over! Never ever ever.
A basic line art of very basic nature.

Never copy anything complex.

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