[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content_no_spaces” bg_type=”image” parallax_style=”vcpb-default” bg_image_new=”id^1026|url^https://designwithwaypoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/How-To-Lay-Out-A-Document-With-InDesign-Cover.jpg|caption^null|alt^A publication designed with InDesign laying on a desk beside a cup of coffee.|title^How To Lay Out A Document With InDesign Cover|description^null” bg_image_repeat=”no-repeat”][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”300″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset=”vc_col-lg-offset-2 vc_col-lg-8 vc_col-md-offset-2 vc_col-md-8 vc_col-sm-offset-3″][vc_column_text]

A publication designed with InDesign laying on a desk with a cup of coffee.

Anyone can type out a document in Word, but the savvy up their game with Adobe’s InDesign. It’s desktop publishing and typesetting software that allows you to create pages with edge-to-edge colour and type, like you’d find in a magazine.

Using InDesign to lay out your document will give you more territory on the page and more flexibility with your copy and images, facilitating a better quality print.

I’ve created a video tutorial on Skillshare to walk you through creating a centrefold, but before you get started, let’s review some basic terms:

An infographic explaining margins, bleeds, and gutters.Bleed

In printing, bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of where the sheet will be trimmed. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Wikipedia


The margin does not go as close to the edge of the page as the bleed. It is the blank border on each side of the print on a page and protects the print from being trimmed off during production.


The gutter refers to the inside margins closest to the spine of a book or the blank space between two facing pages in the centre of a book. The term gutters is also used to describe the white space between two columns.


As you know, books and magazines are often created by stacking paper and folding it. When printing, all the other pages are not continuous – the other half of the page is in the other half of the book. Right at the centre of the book, there will be one complete page. The centrefold gives you a full page of real estate smack dab in the middle of the book.

Rules for laying out a basic page:

  1. Set your page up properly for print: make sure it has ⅛” bleed  on all sides and set up margins to be ¼” on all sides.
  2. Remember we’ve trained our eyes to read top left to bottom right and your content should flow the same way.
  3. I like to use at least two columns for longer copy with a ¼” gutter.
  4. The smallest font size we can comfortably read is 8pt but in some cases, smaller is doable. Your body copy should be no bigger than 11pt to best use the page. (More on typography here.)
  5. Print copy headings don’t follow the same rules as online copy, which are usually optimized for search engines. However, they do provide visual interest and keep the reader’s attention. Use headers at regular intervals to identify main ideas or lane changes/segues in the copy.

When laying out a centrefold spread, you now have twice the page area to work with. This gives you a bit more flexibility for images, as they can flow right through the fold. However, you should still maintain proper gutters, along the spine to avoid losing copy in the natural curve of the book.

To learn more about laying out your page in InDesign, walk through the process with me in my video tutorial on Skillshare:

For more help laying out your document, contact us directly or post your questions in the comments below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]