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Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 1
Martin Perhiniak on Mon, May 27th 1 comments
Become an InDesign and Photoshop ninja with this 3-part tutorial by Martin Perhiniak that shows you how to create a beautiful trifold brochure. Watch out for Part 2 tomorrow.

In this three part tutorial, we are going to design a trifold brochure for a fictional travel agency specialized in tours to the beautiful island of Bali. In the first part of the tutorial we are going to focus on the title design, which will be created in Photoshop using one of my photos I took of a Balinese monastery. In the second part, we will incorporate this title design into our brochure design in InDesign, and in the 3rd part we will create a 3d looking mock-up in Photoshop which will look like this:

Bali brochure

First things first, we have to focus on the title design, which will look like this:

Bali title

Step 1 - Opening the photo in Photoshop

You can download my photo below to follow along the tutorial:


Once you downloaded it, it would be advisable to create a project folder and create a folder inside it called Links. This will be useful when we start working with InDesign as we will need to link to images and it is important to keep them organized.

Once you have everything in place you can open the photo in Photoshop where we are going to create the title design from it.

Step 2 - Add the text for the title design

First of all we have to add the text for our title design. Select the Type tool and click anywhere on the photo. This will automatically create a new Type layer above the photo's layer. You can type '˜bali' with all lowercase characters and then select the whole word and press Control/Command-Shift-K to turn them into All Capitals. This is the better way to use all caps because with the same keyboard shortcut you can always turn it back to lowercase without rewriting it. I used Impact font for the text and black as foreground color while typing.

Pic 1

Step 3 - Position and resize text

You can always resize the text easily with the Free Transform tool (Command/Control-T) and reposition with the Move tool. You will have to move it roughly in the middle of the image, adjusting the top of the text to the tall roofs of the monastery. You can use kerning to horizontally adjust the characters (Alt/Option-Left/Right arrows while the cursor is active between two characters). This is how I placed my text and I also recolored it to white so it is easier to see it on the image (the color won't be visible in the end, so it is not necessary to change it):

Pic 2

Step 4 - Clipping the image onto the text

To be able to use the text as a container for the image you need to create a clipping mask. You need to duplicate the photo layer (select it and press Command/Control-J) and place it on top of the text layer and then while having the photo layer on the top selected press Command/Control-Option/Alt-G. This will clip the photo on the top to the text, which means the image will only be visible inside the text. To be able to see this effect, you will have to delete the other version of the layer at the bottom of the layer structure. This is what you should see:

Pic 3

Step 5 - Creating a white background

To be able to see our design properly let's create a white background layer. For this you have to make sure that none of layers are set to be a Background layer. Because we deleted the original photo layer in the previous step you should have two normal layers and see transparency in the background. You can quickly create a white background layer by selecting the bottom layer and hold down Command/Control while clicking on the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Once the new layer has been created, you can select it and press '˜D' first to set the swatches back to default (Black and White) and then press Command/Control-Backspace to fill the selected layer with white (Fill with Background swatch color).

Pic 4

Step 6 - Adding the rooftops to the text

For this step, we will need another duplicate of the photo layer (select it and press Command/Control-J). Making the duplicate will show again the whole image. Now we can use the Quick Selection tool (W is the keyboard shortcut for it and the red arrow shows it in the toolbar on the image below) and draw over the sky until the whole blue sky is selected. Try to also select the green trees between the towers, like this:

Pic 5

The way I could show the deselected parts in red is by using the Quick Mask mode. To activate it you can press Q and pressing Q again will switch back to normal selection view. You can also click on the encircled icon at the bottom of the toolbar. When your selection is ready you can click on the mask icon in the bottom of the Layers panel to turn your selection into a Layer mask. First, it won't look good because we have to invert the mask to show the buildings and not the sky. For this all you need to do is pressing Command/Control-I (Invert colors adjustment, which will invert the colors of the mask). You should be able to see this result:

Pic 6

We are still not ready though because we only want to see the rooftops above the text. To get rid of the unnecessary parts make a rectangular selection like this:

Pic 7

Make sure you have the layer with the mask selected and then press Command/Control-G to create a Layer Group from it and then click on the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a second mask affecting the same photo layer.

Pic 8

Step 7 - Finalizing the mask

To get rid of all the unnecessary remaining parts around the roofs, you can use the Brush tool and set the foreground color to Black. Make sure you have one of the masks selected in the Layers panel and then start drawing over the unwanted parts with a small brush size. You can be very precise if you have a digital tablet, but you can achieve good results with a mouse as well. This is what you should reach for:

Bali title

We will continue from this step next time, but till then let's have a look at the final design of the brochure:

Final brochure

Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 1  (You're reading it)

Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 2

Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 3

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Comments (1)

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  • Paul
    cant seem to be able to download picture
    • 8 years ago
    • By: Paul
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