Friday Freebies Finds Font Fun! “Zebrazil”


Check out Zebrazil at


How’d They Do That? Insert an Image into Text with InDesign


Hi Everyone!

Today, I’m going to show how to place an image into text using InDesign.  This is an easy trick that will give your layouts a design forward appeal and it looks super professional!

So, what we’re going to do is to transform your typography into picture frames.

This effect is often used in high-end publications to add impact to the headline, while showcasing an image in an eye-catching way.  It’s a great technique to add drama to your design.

To watch a video version of this tutorial, please visit Dina’s Desktop YouTube Channel.

Let’s do this!

  1. Our first step is to set up a magazine spread.

  • We’ll start by opening InDesign.
  • Let’s choose Create New>Document from the start menu.
  • Let’s keep intent set to Print, with the number of pages increased to 3, and facing pages checked.
  • In the page size drop down, we’ll set up a new custom page size as US Magazine. Set the width to 213 mm and the height to 276.5 mm.  Click Add, then OK, and we return to the document window.
  • Further down, let’s adjust the margins. Here, we’ll unlink the chain icon and set the Top Margin to 14 mm, Bottom to 18 mm, Inside to 14 mm and Outside to 12 mm.
  • Now to set the Bleed, select More Options. We can set the value to 3 mm on all sides except the Inside Bleed, we should set that to 0 mm.  Unlink the chain icon here to change the Inside Bleed.
  • Click OK.


  1. Our second step is to choose the right typeface. We’ll do this step in two parts.

(Part 1)

  • Now it’s important to choose the right typeface for this effect. We need to consider the font’s weight, shape and simplicity.  The breakdown is like this:
    • The Weight of a typeface is about the thickness. We’ll need sufficient space to reveal the image below. So, Display and Slab fonts will work well for this purpose.
    • The design and shape of the text will be amplified because we are going to enlarge it significantly for this effect. So, here we will want to use something attractive, perhaps with elegant serifs or italics, even.
    • We also want to use a typeface that has clean edges and is completely filled. Sketchy brush strokes and outlined text can get a bit messy.

(Part 2)

  • I’m going to work with this lovely script font called “Bready”, which answers all of our considerations. This font can be downloaded for free from many font sites if you would like to use it to follow along.  I found it at


  1. Our third step is to make a picture frame from the text. We’ll do this step in three parts.

(Part 1)

  • Let’s return to our InDesign document, and click onto Page 2.
  • We’ll select the Type Tool (T) from the Tools panel and drag to create a large text frame that extends across the entire page, from the left margin to the right margin.
  • Type a letter into into the frame, and set the Font to Bready Regular, with the Size at 692 pt.  I’m using the letter “F” for my example.
  • We will leave the text color set to the default [Black] for now.

(Part 2)

  • Select the text frame using the Selection Tool, click on the Type drop down menu, and select Create Outlines.  The text frame will change slightly; the text characters have now been converted into a vector shape.

(Part 3)

  • With the text outlines still selected, we’ll now click on File> Place.
  • Now here we will experiment with filling our text with images. We’ll want a photo that’s going to provide enough contrast depending if we’re setting the text on a light or dark background.
  • I’ve experimented with an image of some lovely Fall foliage, before finally deciding on a beautiful mountain scene.
  • We can adjust the size of the image inside the text by double-clicking to select the image directly, and then hold Shift and drag one of the corners to resize it as necessary. To fit as much of the image as possible in the text, we can click the Fill Frame Proportionally button from the workspace control panel.
  • One last touch to ensure that no color bleeds through on the edges of the letters, we will want to set the Fill of the shape to [None], Window > Color > Swatches.



And that is all there is to it! A very easy way to add a touch of visual drama to your typography layouts!

Use this simple technique to build up dynamic, professional-standard design layouts, just like the example magazine spread below.

Thanks for stopping by Dina’s Desktop!  Come back again soon.

#dinasdesktop  Source:


How’d they do that? Photoshop Halftone


Create a halftone effect in 6 quick and easy steps using Photoshop’s built-in halftone filter. Of course, there are a variety of ways to make this effect using many different graphic design applications. But, for the sake of expediency and illustration savvy, Photoshop is sweet and to the point. This effect can add a groovy retro vibe to any of your design layouts.

#1 Create a new document.

For this example, we made the document 800PX x 800PX.

#2 Apply a black to white gradient.

Using a simple black to white gradient, apply it to the document from the bottom up evenly spaced between the image edges.

#3 Apply the color halftone filter.

Select the drop down menu for filter, select pixelate, and then color halftone. Adjust the settings as indicated.


#4 Rotate the halftone layer.

For great effect, rotate the halftone layer counter-clockwise by 45 degrees.


#5 Crop the image.

Tidy up the the image by cropping it tight. For this example, we trimmed it down to 325PX x 625PX.


#6 Add a gradient layer.

And to really make it pop, add a color gradient either above or below the halftone layer. Adjust the opacity for the gradient layer if you opt above or adjust the opacity of the halftone layer if you opt below. The color gradient layer was added above the halftone for this example and adjusted to 85%.


and TADA!



Design Know How – Budget Brochures


A brochure is second only to business cards. Every business needs to showcase their goods and services in a well crafted brochure. Even if you are on a tight budget, the brochure is an important part of your marketing collateral.

Now, the local print shop can put one together for you at a fair cost and there are an abundance of qualified freelance graphic designers available at great rates. Myself being one, and I’d love your business, but I also understand that sometimes there is just no room in the marketing allowance to hire out.

So, with no further adieu, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you put together a brochure template in Microsoft Word. I hope you have fun with it!BrochureMSWordBrochureMSWord2

Or try a template – there are many freebies available.

NOTE: It is always recommended to also save the document as a PDF (Portable Document Format) for printing and email. The PDF is recognized by most email clients and printers.

#brochuredesign #dinasdesktop

Ask The Designer… Perfect Design Tool?

Graphic by Domism @ DesignYourWay.Net


What is the Perfect Design Tool?

Making the human connection resonates with me. Too often we are caught up in the fast paced world and today’s advanced gadgetry, not to mention the ever looming deadline.  There is also the drama in the news headlines to distract us.  We forget to focus on the reality behind the human story.

We are all people, after all.  Individual persons with hopes and aspirations, with fears and dissappointments.  The client is a person.  The client’s customer is a person.  And the graphic designer is a person, too.

I came across the following post titled, “The Perfect Design Tool.”  It reminds me to put the focus on service for people.  I hope you enjoy the read, too.

#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop



Design Know-How: Before Photoshop


How did they do that?

I came across this video “Before Photoshop” recently and it reminded me of one of my first summer jobs at a local newspaper. I dreamed of designing for print after watching the cut and paste process. Little did I know then how things would change with the digital age.

Take note of just how involved it was. This is exactly why the programming techies were enlisted to develop programs like Photoshop. And today, the presses are completely digitized requiring so much more than mechanic know-how to operate. Cut and paste is still the best way to learn.  But, software savvy truly takes publishing to a new level.

Enjoy the show presented by Sean Adams of

#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop

It’s All Relative: So, Reinvent Yourself.


I’ve found some great inspiration for those of us who are reinventing themselves after the age of 40.

I’ve always had a knack for design, photography and doodles.  But, the cost of living kept me busy in well paying administrative positions for real estate developers.  After the housing crash of 2008, I decided to take the plunge into a new direction at the spry age of 45.  I went back to school to complete my studies in desktop publishing.

With the onset of the digital age and smart devices, I found design to be so much more than the printed page.  And now I am a skilled multimedia design specialist fluent in motion graphics and web design, as well as the printed page. The future is looking brighter than ever.  And, I’m not gonna turn back now!

Here are a few links to others for inspiration. Enjoy!

Rocker turned graphic designer and movie maker – Hillman Curtis (video)

10 Designers who became successful after age 40

The psychology of reinventing yourself


#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop