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3.3 How to Refine Your Design: Part Two

In this lesson, we’ll continue to refine the cover design in InDesign. Here we’ll focus on creating a CMYK color palette to apply across the layout, and look at how to add an extra-professional touch with texture overlays.

3.3 How to Refine Your Design: Part Two

Hey there, nice to have you back. So the eagle-eyed among you might have notice that I've tweaked my moons a bit more. I've replaced the central moon with the same moon as on the left side. And that's fine, it's all part of the process of tweaking your cover. I'm making it the very best that it can be. So in this lesson, we're going to further refine the design of our front cover. And now we have the type and graphics mapped out. We're ready to start thinking about color and texture to really make the design pop. I'm going to show you how you can create gradient swatches which graduates a range of color across type, images and backgrounds. And this is really going to add real depth and interest to your cover. So before you can create a gradients swatch, you need to create a base palette of normal swatches which you can use in your gradients. So expand the Swatches panel, or go to Window > Color > Swatches > New Color Swatch from the main menu. Because we're creating a cover for print, let's make sure the color type is set to Process and the mode to CMYK, not RGB. Let's set the levels to Cyan 78, Magenta 96, Yellow 46, and Key or Black to 72. And that's gonna create a dark, moody color. And click Add, and then Done. Great, so let's repeat for the next swatch. This time Cyan 81, Magenta 92, Yellow 0, and Key to 40, 4,0. Add > Done, and just two more to go. The next one is going to be Cyan 20, Magenta 13, 1,3, Yellow 26, and key 1. Add > Done, and finally we're going to have one which is Cyan 33, Magenta 48, Yellow 0, and Key 0, and Add > Done. Great, so we've got the building blocks of our gradient sorted. First up, let's create a gradient swatch for the background of our cover. So go to the Swatches panel menu, choose New Gradient Swatch. Let's name the swatch Background Gradient, and set the type to Radial to create a circular gradient. Click on the left-hand stop on the gradient ramp at the bottom of the window and scroll through your swatches list until you get to that dark cyan 78 swatch. And click on that to apply it to that stop. Now for the right-hand stop, so let's set that to the purple Cyan 81 swatch. And then to darken the gradient, pull the left-hand stop to about two-thirds along the ramp. Okay, so click Add > Done. Now let's create a gradient to use across the type which is going to have to be paler to stand out against a dark background. New Gradient Swatch has the full, and name this one Text Gradient. Set the type to Linear. From the Swatch's menu, choose Cyan 20 for the first left-hand stop, to Cyan 81 for the right-hand stop. Then click about two-thirds of the way along the ramp to add another stop and set this to Cyan 33. Great, click Add > Done. The final gradient swatch we're going to create is for the moon graphics. So choose New Gradient Swatch, name it Moon Gradient. Set the left-hand stop to Cyan 20 and the right-hand to Cyan 33. Move the top point along the slider about two-thirds of the way along to make the gradient paler, and Add > Done. And we're done, great job. Okay, so let's start applying those lovely gradient swatches. So first up, we need to create a new layer for the background color. So in the Layers panel, chose New Layer, name this background. And click OK, and drag this down to sit at the bottom of the pile. Choose the Rectangle tool from the Tools panel and drag this over the page. Take it up to the edge of the bleed on the top-right and bottom sides, but only take it up to the page or trimmage on the left side, as we're going to expand the cover later into a full cover. So that will make sense later on. From the Swatches panel set the fill color of the shape to Background Gradients, awesome. Right, on the Image layer, select all three moons and set their fill to Moon Gradient, cool. Now to really exaggerate the gradient effects, we can also apply a gradient feather to the moons. So let's work along from left to right. So select the first moon on the left side, and head up to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. Pull the dark stop along about a third and bring the pale stop back by about a third as well. And just the angle of the gradient around -160 degrees. And click OK. For the large central moon, again go to objects, effects, gradient feather Pull the stops inwards by about a third, and set the angle to about minus 130 degrees. Okay, for the final moon on the right, go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather as before. Pull the stops inwards as we did before, and set the angle to about -160, and OK. Right, we're doing really well. Now it's time for the type color. So unlock the Type layer, and select all of the text frame sitting on the page. Then click on the T symbol in the Swatches panel to edit the font color. And set this to text gradient. Awesome, the cover's looking really great. We just need one final touch, which is to add an overlay texture to the design. This is such a neat trick for making your cover designs just look really professional. So let's create a new layer, name it Texture Overlay. And make sure this is at the top of the pile, and then lock all those other layers. So working on the texture overlay layer, switch to the Rectangle Frame tool and drag this across the page, matching the background dimensions below. Go to File > Place. And navigate to the 10-grung paint overlays folder that you downloaded from elements earlier. Open that up, and let's go to texture number 8. Click Open, and double-click to select the image directly. Right-click and transform, and choose rotate 90 degrees clockwise. Then scale the image down to get that frame nicely filled up. Awesome, okay, with the image frame selected, head up to Objects > Effects > Transparency. From the Mode menu, choose Hard Light, and then pull the opacity down to 35% and click OK. Cool, and that's your front cover finished. It's looking really good but our work isn't finished quite yet. In the next lesson, we're going to look how to expand this design into full wraparound cover for paperback. That's going to have a spine and a back cover. So stick around for that, we'll be right back.

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