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Design

How to Create a Vintage Botanical Flyer in Adobe InDesign

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

With spring just around the corner, this flyer has a fresh, pretty design that feels spot on for the season ahead. Easily adaptable to suit country fairs, farmers’ markets or community events, it’s also quick and easy to put together using InDesign and Photoshop.

Looking for more flower images? You can find lovely botanical vectors to use in your designs on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.

Spring has sprung! Let’s dive in...

What You’ll Need to Design Your Flyer

Make sure you have access to both Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. We’ll create the main layout in InDesign and edit the main flower image in Photoshop.

You’ll also need the following images and font files to create your design:

Once you’ve downloaded the images and installed the font files, you’re ready to get started!

1. Set Up the Flyer Layout in InDesign

Step 1

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document. 

With the Intent set to Print, make sure Facing Pages is not checked, and then set the Width of the page to 8.5 in and Height to 11 in, to create a standard flyer size. 

Add a Bleed of 0.25 in on all sides of the page, and click OK to create your document. 

new document

Step 2

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1 to open the Layer Options window. Rename the layer Paper and click OK.

Select New Layer from the panel’s top-right drop-down menu, and name this second layer Background Color, before clicking OK

Create a further four new layers in this order: Flowers Behind, Typography Behind, Flowers in Front, and finally Typography in Front.

new layers

Lock all of the layers except the bottom layer, Paper, which we’ll start working on first. 

layers locked

Step 3

Select the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) from the Tools panel (docked to the left side of the workspace), and drag onto the page, creating an image frame that extends up to the edge of the bleed on all sides. 

Go to File > Place, choose the paper background image you downloaded earlier, and click Open

Allow the paper texture to fill up the whole of the frame, with none of the edges of the paper visible. 

paper texture

Step 4

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu. 

Name the swatch Strong Blue and set the Type to Process and Mode to CMYK. Adjust the percentage levels below to C=85 M=70 Y=0 K=0. Then click Add and OK

strong blue swatch

Repeat the process to create three more CMYK swatches:

  • Wheat: C=9 M=19 Y=41 K=18
  • Peach: C=2 M=25 Y=37 K=5
  • Pale Grey: C=6 M=8 Y=4 K=0

Step 5

Return to the Layers panel and lock the Paper layer. Unlock the layer above, Background Color. 

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle that extends across the whole page and bleed, as before. From the Swatches panel, set the Fill Color to Peach.

background color

With the rectangle selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Bring the Opacity down to 60%, to bring through some of the papery texture below, and click OK

effects transparency

2. How to Add Vintage Graphics and Type to Your Flyer

Step 1

Lock the Background Color layer and unlock the Flowers Behind layer above. 

Switch to the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag onto the page, creating a large image frame in the middle of the layout. Go to File > Place, choose the vintage flowers illustration, and click Open

flowers behind

With the image frame selected, go to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow

Click on the colored square next to the Mode menu to open the Effect Color window. Choose Swatches, and click on your Peach swatch, before hitting OK

Back in the window, pull the Opacity down to 60%, and add about 25% Noise to the shadow. Click OK to exit the window. 

effect color

Step 2

Lock the Flowers Behind layer and unlock the next layer up, Typography Behind. 

Take the Type Tool (T) and zoom into the top-left area of the flower illustration. Create a small, square text frame and type in the first letter of your main title*.

From either the Controls panel running along the top of the workspace or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Pier Sans Bold and Font Size to around 85 pt. 

From the Swatches panel, set the Font Color to Pale Grey.

*Here I’m using ‘SPRING FLING’ for the event header, but you can easily adapt this to any name you prefer.

text frame

Step 3

Select the text frame and head up to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. 

Choose Wheat for the Effect Color, set the Opacity to around 85%, and from the bottom of the panel set the Spread to 20% and add about 25% Noise. Then click OK to exit. 

effect color

Step 4

Edit > Copy, and Edit > Paste the text frame, positioning it to the top right of the original, creating a jaunty effect, as shown below. Adjust the text to the next letter of your event title. 

pasted text frame

Continue to copy and paste text frames along the width of the flower illustration, shifting them up and down to create a jumpy effect. 

spring text

Continue the same process for the next word of the title, arranging this below. 

main title

Step 5

If you have extra words to add to the title, such as ‘THE’, paste another of the text frames and position it above the title, centrally on the page. Reduce the Font Size to about 35 pt. 

the text

Do the same with any text below, here ‘COUNTRY FAIR’, setting the Font Size to about 40 pt. 

country fair text

Step 6

You can add extra text above the main title, at the top of the flyer, as well. 

Set the Font to Pier Sans Bold, around Size 16 pt, and the Font Color to Strong Blue. You can check the Superscript option in the top Controls panel (to the right of the Font Size box), to set small words like ‘THE’ or ‘AN’ at a smaller scale.

superscript

Setting certain words, like ‘presents’ here, in Adobe Caslon Pro Semibold Italic will help to break up large chunks of text and create a sense of hierarchy. 

caslon italic

Make sure to set the date of the event in a large Font Size (here 30 pt) below the main title and pull it out in Strong Blue. Add any extra details, such as the location of the event, below this. 

date and place

3. How to Build Up a 3D Effect on Your Flyer

Step 1

Take a look at the way you have arranged the letters of the main title over the flower illustration. Can you spot any elements of the flowers you could easily cut out and bring forward, creating a 3D effect? For example, the butterfly at the top right of the illustration could be brought on top of either the ‘N’ or ‘G’.

main title

Once you’ve spotted a few possible opportunities for bringing elements forward, open up the flower illustration in Photoshop, minimizing the InDesign window for a moment. 

Use the Lasso Tool (L) to loop off any elements of the illustration you feel you could cut out and move forward. Here, I’ve looped round the butterfly roughly. 

lasso tool

Step 2

Click on the Refine Edge button in the Controls panel at the top of the workspace. 

Check the Smart Radius button and adjust the sliders below to make the selection more accurate. When you’re happy with the result, click OK

refine edge

Then Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste Special > Paste in Place the selection onto a layer above. 

butterfly

Repeat the same process for other elements on the design, pulling them all onto other layers above the original background layer. 

When you’re finished, switch off the visibility of the background layer and head up to File > Save As. Save it as a Photoshop (.psd) file, which will preserve the transparency in the image. 

photoshop image

Step 3

Head back to your InDesign document. Lock the Typography Behind layer and unlock the layer above, Flowers in Front. 

Create an image frame using the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) over the top of the flower illustration, and File > Place, choosing your edited flowers Photoshop image. Scale and position so it sits perfectly over the complete flowers image on the Flowers Behind layer below. 

flowers in front

Step 4

Now it’s time to move some of the letters in front of the cut-out flowers, to create your 3D design. 

In the Layers panel, make sure both the Typography Behind and Typography in Front layers are unlocked. 

expand layer

Then expand the Typography Behind layer, and select the letters you want to bring forward. 

expanded layer

Drag them and drop them onto the Typography in Front layer above. 

typography in front

4. How to Export Your Flyer for Printing

Step 1

When you’re happy with the design of your flyer and have checked it for any spelling errors (go to Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling if you have a lot of text), you’re ready to export your design for printing. 

Go to File > Export, and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu in the window that opens. Give the file a suitable name, and then hit Save

In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose Press Quality from the Preset menu at the top.

press quality

Step 2

Then click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before clicking Export at the bottom right of the window. 

marks and bleed

InDesign will generate a PDF file that’s ready for sending off for professional printing. 

print marks pdf

Conclusion: Your Finished Flyer

Awesome job—your flyer is finished, and it's ready for sending off to print! We've covered a range of handy print design skills in this tutorial, including setting up flyer layouts in InDesign, formatting typography to a high standard, and editing photos to give your designs a cool, 3D design. 

final flyer

Want even more flowers? You can find more beautiful botanical illustrations for your designs on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements

Or why not try your hand at another flower-themed tutorial, to really get you in a springtime mood?

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