Cover sales header 2

The InDesign Field Guide teaches you how to use Adobe InDesign like a pro, so you can confidently create products, book clients, and walk away with a money-making skill that propels your business forward.

In 2010, I accepted a job to design a full printed book, cover to cover, in Adobe InDesign. I took the job, but had one big problem.

I had never opened InDesign in my life.
As in, never clicked that little pink icon ever, EVER.

I spent hours upon hours upon hours designing this book, page by page, trying to learn InDesign as I went. I had no idea what styles or master pages were — the two most time-saving features of InDesign — and layed out every single page manually, one at a time.

I finally made it to the end of the book and felt super proud of myself for figuring it out.

Except I had one step left, and thanks to a rookie mistake, I royally screwed up the entire project.

I was prepping the file for print and accidentally turned ALL the text to outlines, saved my file, and closed it. And then I panicked. I realized my mistake right away, but there was no un-doing it. 

If you don’t realize my mistake, here it is: converting text to outlines makes the text uneditable. Since I had accidentally saved my file with the text outlined, I would never be able to go back and edit any text in the entire book. I had basically flushed all those hours of work right down the toilet.

Long story short, I never found a solution, and ended up hacking my way through 6 more editions of the book over the next few years. I re-typed entire pages by hand in order to change one small word. I felt so unprofessional every time I had to explain to a printer that no, I didn’t have the original, editable file.

It was embarrassing to have made such a rookie mistake, and I vowed never to let InDesign get the best of me again.

Since that embarrassing mistake, I've been working with InDesign nearly every day on a wide variety of projects for tons of clients, big and small. I've quickly realized how many other creatives aren't comfortable using InDesign — for lots of reasons . . .

  • you feel like you're missing out on a big pocket of clients + projects because you don't know the program, and you're embarrassed that you haven't been able to figure it out yet
  • you're scared to open the software, thinking you'll make a costly mistake like I did
  • you're overwhelmed by the tools, buttons, icons, menus, and ALL THE THINGS you see when you open InDesign
  • you've messed around in InDesign for fun, but you're not confident enough to take on real projects that require it

Whatever the reason for keeping InDesign buried deep in your computer, I want to help you bring it back to the surface and see what an impact it can have in your business. I want you to avoid making costly and embarrassing mistakes like I did, so I'm opening my playbook and teaching you everything I know about the program.

I personally know the value of having a working knowledge of InDesign in my arsenal. It’s helped me land jobs, book clients, and create my own passive income digital products — all with the confidence that I know what I'm doing.

Translation: InDesign makes me money.

And it can make you money too, if you know how to use it . . . so I'd love to teach you.

Enter The InDesign Field Guide.

The InDesign Field Guide can teach you the skills necessary to take your business to the next level.

With InDesign in your back pocket, you can create...

  • Downloadable PDFs like lead magnets, opt-in incentives, content upgrades for your blog, free downloads, worksheets, cheat sheets, checklists, etc.
  • Digital products like e-books, guides, workbooks, printables, course content, planners, templates, etc.
  • Printed products like books, magazines, booklets, planners, lookbooks, stationery, etc.
  • Sales + promo materials like portfolios, catalogs, brochures, sales sheets, order forms, invoices, contracts, proposals, resumès, media kits, pricing guides, sales slides, questionnaires, etc.
  • On-screen graphics like social media profiles + covers, promo + announcement images, website graphics, email headers, blog post graphics, slideshow presentations, etc.

This is not your typical, run-of-the-mill online course.

I’ve designed this course with unique teaching methods to show you only the tools you’ll actually use — and I'll teach you in a practical way so you'll remember what you learn.

InDesign is overwhelming on it’s own. I’m breaking it down into bite-size pieces delivered in a very specific order to help you learn the software faster and hands-on, so you walk away with a money-making skill you can start using right away. Here’s how:    

  • 8+ hours of easy-to-follow video tours and tutorials
  • 50+ pages of complimentary PDF guides, cheat sheets, and checklists
  • a real-life project you'll practice on + complete by the end of the course, which you can start using in your business right away (keep scrolling to see exactly what it is and how it can help you)
  • 10 demonstration videos showing you exactly how I design page layouts from start to finish, and how I make design decisions on the fly
  • a private discussion forum to interact with fellow InDesign nerds, learn from each other, and get feedback from other students on your course project
  • the exact workflow I use for nearly every project in InDesign to automate your process and reduce duplicate work (plus a project planner you can use over and over)
  • learn how InDesign integrates with Photoshop + Illustrator, and when you should be using each program
  • my personal InDesign tips + tricks to work smarter + faster
  • loads of bonus materials including extra videos + guides, ready-to-use templates, and quarterly live webinars with me to get all your questions answered
  • every piece of content housed in an easy-to-navigate members-only website that's available immediately, so you can learn at your own pace
  • the best part – save thousands of dollars by learning the exact software you would normally hire a designer to use

​So what's this course project thing?

Avatar course project 2

When I started creating this course, I wanted to teach the tools and techniques of InDesign in a way that would be applicable and easy to understand. To do this, I decided to create a real-life document to practice on.

Every student is going to work on one single project throughout the entire course, and you’ll finish the course with a tangible, functioning product you can use in your business right away.

Every technique you learn in this course will be applied to this project. We’ll practice on it, try out tools on it, and polish it into InDesign perfection with every lesson you complete.

The course project is called Your Business Guidebook, and it will serve as the central hub for all your internal business documents. Here's how it'll work:

  • You'll have access to my entire finished InDesign file right from the start, so you can see exactly what you'll be working on.
  • You'll create your own document in Lesson 1, and practice every tool we cover on your own file.
  • You'll perfect your InDesign file with each lesson to create your own guidebook, unique to your business.
  • You'll complete homework for each lesson on your own guidebook file, so you know exactly what things to complete before the next lesson.
  • At the end of this course, you will have practiced all your new InDesign skills on this file, so you’ll be able to turn around and work with real clients and get paid real money for it.
  • This gives you a tangible finished PDF to walk away with, plus see how the program’s tools apply in a real setting, not just on a blank screen.

​What's covered in the course?

The course is self-paced, but it takes on average about 4-6 weeks to complete.

Get your first taste of InDesign by learning about workflow and some introductory settings.

  • Intro to InDesign — when to use each of the Adobe programs, plus basic terms + tools to be familiar with as you start using InDesign

  • Preparing Your Workflow — my personal systematic approach to working smarter in InDesign, especially for longer projects

  • File Setup — how to setup a new document, and a quick tour of the InDesign workspace and preferences

Learn all about working with pages and the famous master pages in InDesign.

  • Page Setup — how to set up margins, bleed, grids & guides, a tour of the pages and master pages pane, adjusting your page count, and organizing your content

  • Master Pages — what master pages are, how they can streamline your workflow, plus how to create and design on a master page, and how to apply it to the rest of your document

  • Page Numbering + Sections — how to setup automatic page numbering, adjusting the page order and sections of your document, and how it affects page numbering, and a quick way to navigate your document with bookmarks

Learn everything you need to know about typesetting in InDesign – this is the biggest lesson of the course!

  • Text + Typefaces — how to create and properly flow text boxes across multiple pages, how to add in breaks to start organizing your content, basic typography terms and how they apply to InDesign, and how to properly choose typefaces and fonts for any project you work on

  • Characters — a tour of the character and paragraph panes and how to access the tools from multiple places, plus custom typography features like OpenType, glyphs, and special characters

  • Paragraphs — the big world of paragraph settings, including some cool features you may not have known about, plus standard typesetting guidelines used by real publishers

  • Styles — what character + paragraph styles are and how they can help you streamline your design process (seriously, these are going to change your life!)

  • ​​​​​​​Footnotes + Endnotes — how to create, format, and edit footnotes with InDesign's automated tool, and how to manually set up endnotes

  • Demonstration Videos — learn how I make design decisions on the fly and create a page design from start to finish in my styling demonstration videos

We’ll cover a wide variety of layout tools and techniques to refine your design even more in your Business Guidebook.

  • Working with Shapes + Color — how to add new elements to your layout like shapes, lines, and other objects; how to work with color and gradients and create your own swatches from them; how to apply special effects on your objects in a tasteful way; and how to work efficiently with some unique transform tricks

  • Linking Outside Files — how InDesign integrates with Photoshop and Illustrator, what linked files are, and how you can add and edit them in your document

  • Other Layout Tools — some interactive tools InDesign has to offer and which ones are actually worth the work; plus some lesser-known tools to help you refine your design

  • Tables — how to use tables in your layout, and how to design them attractively for things like worksheets, pricing guides, or catalogs

Finalize your workflow and prep your InDesign file for print and web.

  • Finishing Your Workflow — what final workflow steps you need to take to proof and refine your document; what the preflight tool is and how to use it most effectively

  • File Prep + Organization — how to organize your files and folders for an easy-to-navigate InDesign package that’s a breeze to edit later; standards for prepping your file for print and for web/on-screen use; and what other file types InDesign can create from your final document

But wait, there’s more! You know I couldn’t just stop there, so here are a few bonus items to help you perfect your InDesign magic even more:

  • Discussion Forum — chat on the members-only website with fellow students + get feedback from each other

  • Bonus video + PDF guides — topics include creating editable forms, creating ebooks + published books, using Adobe Typekit, plus an InDesign project planner with workflow checklist

  • Pack of 12 Ready-to-Use InDesign Templates — for common projects like e-books, style guides, mood boards, social media profiles, and paragraph styles

  • Live Q+A webinars — quarterly scheduled group video chats to get all your straggling InDesign questions answered

  • Workshop Recordings — watch past workshops I've hosted with Spruce Rd. teaching you how to design a lead magnet PDF from start to finish (including the mockup!) and our tips for designing for digital products.

Screenshot first 15 spring ended2