A guide to creating a newspaper with Adobe InDesign templates

Newspaper Club x Creative Market — Typographic Times-Blog-1

This is a guest post from our friends at Creative Market, a platform for handcrafted design assets from independent creatives. Below, brand strategist Laura Busche explains how you can create a custom newspaper quickly using Creative Market's huge library of InDesign templates, images and fonts. 

Ever dreamt of wearing the editor hat? Whether you’re hoping to launch your own publication or share stories from your brand or agency, a newspaper is an ideal way to get your ideas out there.

The best part? Gone are the times when printing a newspaper required a big budget or a massive readership. With Newspaper Club, you can design and print your own newspaper starting from just 1 copy.

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In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through making a newspaper by designing a mock publication called Typographic Times. To speed up the process, we'll show you how to use pre-designed Adobe InDesign templates, fonts and graphics from Creative Market.

You’ll learn how to:

• Define your structure
• Build a mood board
• Set up your template
• Design your newspaper (fast!)
• Export and print your file

Define your structure

To figure out a structure, focus on your target reader. What are their interests and preferences? What matters most to them when it comes to the subject?

With Typographic Times, we want to appeal to a design enthusiast with a passion for typography. They’re interested in remarkable new typefaces and the process of font design. Based on this, here are some sections that make sense for our newspaper:

•  Just In: News about exciting new typeface launches

•  Behind the Foundry: Stories from type designers changing the field

•  Type Toolkit: Tutorials and resources to learn about type design

Consider the best type of supporting media for each section:

Just in might benefit from type specimens — vertical images where a typeface’s character sets are showcased.

For Behind the Foundry, plan to incorporate portraits of people and workspace photos.

Horizontal screenshots might make more sense for Type Toolkit, where we’ll surface useful features to facilitate type design. (No need for a final layout or assets just yet — use placeholders for now.)

PUBLISHING SCHEDULE

Next, consider your publishing schedule. How often will your reader want to get a new issue? How quickly does this field change? We’ll settle on a quarterly schedule for Typographic Times since it is enough time to allow for meaningful advances in the industry that we can report on.


Build your mood board

Our newspaper has a name and structure. Now we'll create a visual identity that makes this publication truly memorable. If you don’t know where to start, get inspired by some of the many examples on Newspaper Club’s Instagram.

FONT

Choose a font with distinctive features that captures the personality of your newspaper. Because ours is focused on typography, it’s especially important to find a font that stands out and appeals to a design-minded reader.

For our main headline, I choose Kenac, a legible, expressive serif typeface by Latinotype. For the newspaper’s body text, we’ll use the Sánchez font family, combining bold and regular weights.

Each of our publication’s inner sections also has a unique character, so we’ll craft slightly different sub-brands. For these sections’ identities, we’ll use Antiga by Rafael Serra, Buster by TanType and Cartograph by Connary Fagen.

Laying out the different fonts side-by-side in InDesign can help you figure out if the newspaper is looking visually cohesive.

IMAGES

Creative Market is a great resource to find unique photos and graphics. For our typography newspaper, we’re using two stock assets: a photo showing vintage metal typesetting letters and another one featuring an old newspaper. You can also experiment with different color palettes — a (free) generator like Coolors can be useful for that.

Put it all together and you’ve got a mood board:

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Choose your format

Next up, choose your newspaper size and paper type. Newspaper Club offers several different paper types and 3 different sizes: mini, tabloid and broadsheet. You can order a free sample pack to compare them all:

Get free samples

For this example, we’ll go with a tabloid size — Newspaper Club’s most popular size and a familiar format for many designers. You can download Newspaper Club’s blank tabloid template for InDesign (it’s already set up to the correct dimensions) or use a pre-made template from Creative Market as we’ll describe below.


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Set up your template

Multi-page publications are easier to build when you can reuse paragraph and character styles, set up master pages and roll out global changes quickly. These are all features built into Adobe InDesign, the tool we recommend for making a newspaper.

Let’s cover some basics you’ll need to be aware of when designing your publication:

• A master page is a template with repeatable elements that can be applied to individual pages in your newspaper. Master pages often contain universal elements like pagination and publication titles. You can have multiple master pages.

• A paragraph style is a specific formatting definition that applies to text. There are many other details you can set up in a paragraph style, but the font, size, color and spacing are some essential ones to think about.

• A character style is just like a paragraph style, but it is meant to be applied to individual characters or words within paragraphs. In InDesign, a character style can overwrite specific attributes for a piece of text within a paragraph.

• A margin is the empty area around the edge of the page that needs to be kept clear for printing.

For Typographic Times, we’ll start out with this simple pre-made InDesign template to speed things up:

Creative Market newspaper template

It already contains text blocks, image placeholders and multiple page layouts that we can quickly repurpose.

(It’s also ready to license for commercial use — Creative Market’s Commercial License allows for a pre-designed asset to appear in up to 5,000 end products for sale. You can learn more about these licenses here.)

There are many other newspaper templates available on Creative Market — just make sure the dimensions can be adapted to Newspaper Club’s sizes for print.


Design your first issue

Before you get started, make sure to read Newspaper Club’s artwork guidelines

Open your file and check the document width and height in the Properties tab in InDesign. Your template might not be set up to exactly the right size for Newspaper Club so adjust this if necessary — for a tabloid newspaper, shown here, your document needs to be 289 x 380mm with 15mm margins:

properties

Next, open your InDesign template and adapt pre-configured Paragraph and Character Styles to fit your font choices. These blanket changes should immediately get the document closer to your intended style.

To replace fonts, just open the Styles pane (Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles) and double click on the style’s name:

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A new window will pop up with different parameters you can change. As you’re doing this, remember to keep the “Preview” box on the lower left checked so you can adjust size and spacing as you go.

If Paragraph and Character Styles have been properly applied across the board, a single change in e.g. “Title” should modify all instances. This is one of the key advantages of using a well-designed InDesign template to accelerate your work.

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Replace the template’s title with your newspaper’s own masthead. Start modifying your section titles and work your way through subsequent pages. Place images within placeholder boxes and modify their size to fit your graphics.

These simple edits took our newspaper below from the initial design on the left to the one on the right:

Final - before and after

Export and print your first issue

Once you’ve added your own text and images to each section, you’re ready to export the PDF file and send it to print!

Make sure you export as single pages (untick ‘spreads’ in the Export settings) and without any crop marks or other printers marks. Follow Newspaper Club’s export guide to make sure your file is ready to print.

After you've uploaded your file to Newspaper Club, their pre-flight check will flag up any technical issues. You can also get in touch with their support team at support@newspaperclub.com before sending your file to print — they'll be happy to take a look over it or answer any questions.

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After you've sent your file to Newspaper Club, your newspapers should be delivered within 2 - 5 working days (check Newspaper Club's delivery calculator for estimated delivery times). Then it's time to share them with the world — we'd love to see what you create, so tag us @newspaperclub and @creativemarket to show off your newspapers!


Make your own newspaper with Newspaper Club. Print runs start at 1 copy!

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