16 5 / 2011

This is how the final XML document looks. A fine example of design mastery, don’t you think? What follows is the instructions we were given. If you really feel like trying this out for your self, I can upload the files somewhere convenient.

Hello everybody,

Thanks for your attention this afternoon, under difficult conditions – high room temperature, little ventilation and mind-numbing XML complexity.

I appreciate that you stuck with me as best you could. Let me re-cap those points with which you will need to engage:

PDFs of the slides, lesson templates, pictures, graphics and the XML document are all available for download from Blackboard – just right-click to save each document to your hard-disk.

1.    For your Reflective Journal, you are required to produce an A4 leaflet which prints two sides;

2.    the leaflet folding format will be determined by you, but must use one of the seven folding methods shown;

3.    you must import the XML text to your chosen leaflet format and ensure the text-flow follows the correct reading order for that format;

4.    you must use all the photographs supplied – optimized, colour-managed white-point no less than 5%/ total ink 300% and converted to CMYK profile (Uncoated FOGRA29);

5.    you must use all the logo graphics (available on Blackboard).


The deadline for this leaflet is according to the requirements of your brief – you aren’t required to produce this leaflet by the end of my three Professional Practice sessions. The purpose of these sessions is to alert you to:

1.    the changing working practices within graphic design;

2.    the increasing trend towards template artwork (using databases, XML, etc);

3.    the complexity and high level of detail required in your skill-base;

4.    increasing trends towards digital print (using Web to Print, Variable-data Print and Print on Demand).


These sessions are not intended to be workshops or technical demonstrations which teach you step-by-step, rather they are ‘alert’ sessions to reveal information you need to know in order to prepare yourself for the professional world of commercial graphic design. You are encouraged to view the video tutorials I sent to you until you understand enough to engage with this project. 

The session today was full of complex information. Therefore, as requested, I’ve listed below a summary of the procedure:

1.    The XML document is very simple XML – it has no database links, nor pictures, nor graphics, nor embedded style-sheets, nor any DTDs. The purpose is to get you started on the road to working with XML;

2.    Open the XML document in any Text Editor and identify the ‘Parent’ tags <parentTag>Published text</parentTag> and the embedded or ‘child’ tags <parentTag>Published text </childTag>bold published text</childTag> more published text</parentTag>. Close but DO NOT SAVE the XML document after you have familiarised yourself with it;

3.    Parent tags are mapped to InDesign Paragraph Styles, embedded/child tags are mapped to InDesign Character Styles;

4.    Download, unzip/unstuff and install the Fonts supplied via Blackboard to your computer system;

5.    Open the InDesign document ‘FernhillLeaflet(BAGC3-PP)’ either the .inx (CS3) or the .indd (CS4) version;

6.    Ensure the ITC Garamond Condensed and News Gothic BT fonts are active;

7.    Go to View > Structure > Show Structure;

8.    In the left-hand Structure window, click the arrow to the left of ADG310ProfessionalPractice and study the list of Parent tags which appears;

9.    Click the arrow to the left of the bodyText and the contactList parent tags and study the list of embedded/child tags which appear;

10. Go to Window > Tags;

11. In the Tags floating palette, note the same list of parent and embedded/child tags;

12. Select the Paragraph Styles palette and note that the list of names which form Paragraph Styles are the same as parent Tags;

13. Select the Character Styles palette and note that the list of names which form Character Styles are the same as embedded/child Tags.


Spend time studying this document:
Note the text-flow reading order from the front ‘cover’ - to each folded page - and to the back ‘cover’.
Note the coloured square brackets at the beginning and end of the text – these correspond to the same Tag colours in the floating Tag palette.
Note the typographic formats (typefaces, fonts, point sizes, leading etc) in the Paragraph and Character styles.

When the structure of this InDesign document makes sense to you, try working with XML yourself using the InDesign document ‘FernhillLeaflet(MASTER).

Here is the procedure:

1.    Go to View > Structure > Show Structure (note the ‘Root’ element);

2.    Go to Window > Tags (note the ‘Root’ element);

3.    In the left-hand Structure window, click the options icon (top-right alongside the word Structure), select Import XML…;

4.    Browse to the document ‘FernhillText(BAGC3).xml’, click Open;

5.    In the XML Options dialogue window, tick ONLY the ‘Create link’ option (no other option should be ticked), click OK;

6.    XML is imported, the Structure window ‘Root’ element is now renamed ‘ADG310ProfessionalPractice’;

7.    In the Tags palette, located the ‘Root’ element, click on its name and delete it (it’s now redundant because ‘ADG310ProfessionalPractice’ has replaced it);

8.    From the Structure window, drag the name ‘ADG310ProfessionalPractice’ and drop it onto page 1 of your InDesign  document page;

9.    Drag the text frame to the right-hand fold page (remember that the folded page 1 is the extreme right-hand panel on document page 1);

10. Reduce the depth of that text frame so only Fernhill is Flying shows in the text frame. Note how bottom-right of that frame the red ‘overset text’ icon now shows;

11. Choose the black-arrow selection tool from the InDesign Tool palette, click on that red ‘overset text’ icon and create a new text frame just below the Fernhill is Flying text frame;

12. A new text frame appears, reduce its depth so only the Intro text shows;

13. Follow the procedure above to select the red ‘overset text’ and create new text frames page to page, until all six fold pages have text on them. (Use the ‘FernhillLeaflet(BAGC3-PP)’ to guide you for the text-frame-breaks and page-breaks);

14. From the Tags palette, click its options icon to select ‘Map Tags to Styles’;

15. Because the Paragraph Styles have exactly the same names as the XML Tag names, you can click the button ‘Map by Name’;

16. Note that three tags remain [Not Mapped], these are the embedded/child tags (ASG310ProfessionalPractice is the XML title and will not be mapped);

17. The three remaining [Not Mapped] tags relate to InDesign Character Styles. You are required to create Character Styles for these three yourself;

18. Using the other InDesign document ‘FernhillLeaflet(BAGC3-PP)’ to guide you, note the typographic formats for the three Character Styles;

19. Return to the ‘FernhillLeaflet(MASTER)’ and recreate these Character Styles;

20. From the Tags palette, click its options icon to select ‘Map Tags to Styles’;

21. Click each of the [Not Mapped] styles and select the same-named Character style from the pop-up list which appears - to map each embedded/child Tag to its Character Style (be careful, make sure you select the exact same-named Character Style as the XML tag).


You have now engaged with a simple InDesign XML document. Practice changing Paragraph and Character Styles typography to discover which typefaces you would prefer to map to the XML tags for your own finished leaflet.

When you have sufficient confidence, create your own A4 leaflet according to the folding pattern you prefer. Create your own Paragraph and Character style typography BUT make sure you name each style exactly the same as the XML tag names.

Congratulate yourselves on the success of your newly-acquired commercial artwork skills.

  1. designinateacup posted this