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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Designing

Create a Quick One Page Portfolio in InDesign

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In this tutorial, we'll explain how to create a quick portfolio page by using the Step and Repeat, Paragraph Styles and object elements. We will also use Adobe Bridge.

Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9$ a month.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe InDesign CS4
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour

Step 1

Open up a new document in InDesign. Choose Tabloid as the page size and uncheck the Facing Pages box, since we will only use one page. Set the Margins to 3 picas and the Bleed to 9 points.

Step 2

Go to the Layers palette and create three layers: One labeled as "bg," one as "thumbnails," and one as "text."

Step 3

Click on the "bg" layer and create a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M). You can drag along the bleed lines for orientation. Then fill it with a dark gray to black linear gradient from the Swatch Palette.

Step 4

Click on the "thumbs" layer. Create another rectangle (18p by 12p) and align it to the page margin.

Step 5

Select the rectangle, fill it with white and then go to Edit > Step and Repeat (Command + Alt + U) and apply the settings you see in the image below. I already calculated the distance for you so we will have three rectangles on the page.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 and this time set the Horizontal Offset to 0, the Vertical Offset to 23p, and Repeat Count to 2.

Step 7

Select all the white rectangles and apply an Outer Glow in black to them. You can find those effects under Object > Effects.

Step 8

The next thing we want to do is to open up Adobe Bridge and go to the folder with our images. If you don't have one, create one in the same location that your InDesign file is and place nine photos of your choice. I picked nine illustrations I created for Vectortuts+. Select those nine images and with the mouse still clicked, drag the pointer over to InDesign (on the taskbar).

Step 9

You will see a little thumb next to the mouse curser. Now if you click on the rectangle, the images will be placed there. Click each rectangle once and fill them with your images.

Step 10

Select all the rectangles with images and go to the toolbar and click the Center content button. This will center all the images to the rectangle.

Step 11

With the rectangle still selected, apply a Stroke of 10pt white and align the Stroke to the Center.

Step 12

Let's move on to the text. Create a text box with the Text Tool (T). I typed a title, a sub title and a link. I already applied a style to each line so you can see what it looks like.

Step 13

Open up the Paragraph Styles Palette (F11). On the top-right corner, click on the small arrow, then choose new Paragraph Style and give it the name "title."

Step 14

In the Basic Character Formats, select Arial Black, 18pt.

Step 15

For Indents and Spacing, choose right alignment and 6pt for space after.

Step 16

Choose a yellow for the character color. Repeat Steps 13 to 16 again and apply other styles to the subtitle and web address.

Step 17

Select the text box and apply Step and Repeat (Command + Alt + U) again, as we did in Step 5.

Step 18

Select the text boxes, set the Horizontal Offset to 0, the Vertical Offset to 23p, and Repeat Count to 2 and apply Step and Repeat again, as we did in Step 6.

Step 19

This is what we should have so far.

Step 20

Create a small, long rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M), fill it with white. Then go to Object > Effects > Inner Shadow. Apply the settings you see below.

Step 21

Add text about your self, your title, website, and your contact information with the Text Tool (T).

Step 22

Create another rectangle, fill it with yellow and repeat Step 21.

Step 23

I created another rectangle with the same styling on top and place an image. You can do this by either dragging it on to the page from Adobe Bridge, or by going to File > Place, or with the shortcut Command + D.

Step 24

Place a copy of the yellow rectangle on top. After you're finished you can output a final PDF file.


This is the one page portfolio look on a 11 x 17 paper. I hope you enjoyed this quick InDesign tutorial. Creating small downloadable PDF portfolio's on your website is good to do. It's one more addition to your promotional toolset. It gives potential customers something to walk away with and another avenue for driving business.

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