Desktop publishing software was conceived as a jack of all trades and master of none: not somewhere you created content, merely somewhere you brought it together. You’d prepare your photos in Photoshop, illustrations in Illustrator and words in Word, then import them into your pages.
These days, though, it’s increasingly feasible to do it all in InDesign. A decent text editor is built in, and although modifications to photos still require external software, the donkey work of converting RGB to CMYK can be left to the PDF export stage, workflow permitting.
Perhaps more often overlooked is the fact that InDesign now provides enough drawing, editing and effects functions to let you construct logos, page furniture and diagrams to a high standard without leaving the application. While many designers still habitually fire up Illustrator for these tasks, more layout-focused users, to whom Illustrator is a closed book, may not realise how straightforward it can be to draw their own graphics within InDesign, rather than reaching for the clip art.
Here we’ll use an example logo to tour the path drawing and editing functions in InDesign CS4, seeing how complex shapes can be built up using basic Bézier pen skills and simple polygons; how Adobe’s Pathfinder tools combine objects; and how type can be integrated and customised.