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Et Dollman
05-06-2013, 11:31 AM
Hello! I've got a huge doubt: do you think it would be possible to use Indesign instead of Illustrator for lettering?

A graphic designer friend of mine suggested that Indesign could be more than suitable for lettering. His suggestion is to create a master page in ID with all the font and balloons, same as the template page used on illustrator, place everything (art, text, balloons, sfx) on separated levels, and shape and place the text and balloons directly in ID, maybe using AI only to create SFXs. This method could be a time saver: suppose you want to change the font for all the pages, or the balloons color, or something else, you can select all the objects of the book in ID and apply a style or just pick another color or font, instead of doing it for each Illustrator file. It sounds like a good solution to me, but then why nobody is doing it? What am I missing? What do you think?
Thanks!

Marco

Piekos
05-06-2013, 11:43 AM
You're over-simplifying the ability to change fonts, etc.

Let's say you change from one font to another -- even at the same point size, they won't take up the identical amount of space. Some fonts are wider than others.

This means, all your balloons would have to change.

Even if you select all the balloons and reduce or enlarge proportionately, you just changed all your placements. You may have created some tangents, you may have misaligned some balloons that butt against a panel border, and you certainly have just misaligned all the balloon tails which will have to be re-adjusted for every case.

~N

Et Dollman
05-06-2013, 07:18 PM
Thanks Nate! On another forum has been also suggested that Indesign can't manage vectors as well as Illustrator, resulting in a more mechanical and unexpressive lettering... which is a shame because Indesign would make a lot of things easier!

Ace Corona
05-06-2013, 08:47 PM
The guy who draws Axe Cop uses InDesign to do his lettering, but all attempts to get him to make a tutorial have fallen on deaf ears. You might have better luck getting a hold of him than I did. He did a tutorial on using Manga Studio about a year ago, and I e-mailed him then and he responded, but when I asked him about InDesign he didn't respond.

JimCampbell
05-07-2013, 11:06 AM
Thanks Nate! On another forum has been also suggested that Indesign can't manage vectors as well as Illustrator, resulting in a more mechanical and unexpressive lettering... which is a shame because Indesign would make a lot of things easier!

There are some circumstances where InDesign can make life easier, though. If you save your AI docs with the PDF-Compatible option checked, you can place the live AI docs in InDesign as images. Which wouldn't be much use, except that you can control the visibility of the AI layers from within InDesign.

What this means is that if you have a book with different languages, or different scripts (Classical Comics do two versions of their adaptations of classic literature; a straight adaptation and a simplified version) you can have both sets of text and balloons on layers in the same AI page.

You then lay the ID doc up with all the Version1 AI lettering layers showing, save it, then save as to give you a second version, then go through and change the layer visibility in ID so that the Verson2 AI lettering layers are showing. Although this sounds like an amazing pain, what it actually means is that you only need to work on one AI doc per page, and your changes will propagate to both ID documents, each of which will automatically display the correct pages.

Cheers

Jim

adityab
05-09-2013, 04:30 AM
Hi Jim,

I have an question somewhat tangentially related to this. I've been using your method for a little while now, and the people I do this for tell me that while importing AI files directly to InDesign might make MY life easier, PDF files exported from this file don't print properly, and if I want them to print properly, I'll need to basically import the artwork and EPS files into InDesign on different layers (which is what I've had to do recently). Do you have any experience with this? Because if I can convince them to let me work AI -> InDesign directly, my life would be much easier.

Piekos
05-09-2013, 09:32 AM
Letterer Simon Bowland uses InDesign, I believe.

~N

JimCampbell
05-09-2013, 10:31 AM
the people I do this for tell me that while importing AI files directly to InDesign might make MY life easier, PDF files exported from this file don't print properly, and if I want them to print properly, I'll need to basically import the artwork and EPS files into InDesign on different layers (which is what I've had to do recently).

Sorry, but I think that's rubbish. If the artwork on your AI file is the full-res then there shouldn't be any difference. I've done the whole of the run of Hoax Hunters for Image using this method, and haven't had any problems.

Can you get them to explain what it is that isn't "printing properly"…?

Cheers

Jim

JimCampbell
05-09-2013, 10:33 AM
Letterer Simon Bowland uses InDesign, I believe

Simon's fellow 2000AD letterers Annie Parkhouse and Ellie DeVille both work directly into InDesign. Last conversation I had with Simon, he was steadfastly clinging on to his copy of Freehand MX…!

Cheers

Jim

Piekos
05-09-2013, 10:59 AM
Freehand! That's what it was!

~N

adityab
05-10-2013, 11:39 AM
Sorry, but I think that's rubbish. If the artwork on your AI file is the full-res then there shouldn't be any difference. I've done the whole of the run of Hoax Hunters for Image using this method, and haven't had any problems.

Thanks, Jim! I'll figure out what problems they have with it, but at least now I know it's not an innately unworkable method.

JimCampbell
05-10-2013, 11:58 AM
Thanks, Jim! I'll figure out what problems they have with it, but at least now I know it's not an innately unworkable method.

I should mention that I communicate with the Image production folk on every issue, just to make sure everything's fine and they've been at pains to let me know they're very happy with how the files come in, so it's not as though there are problems that they're just fixing at their end…

If there is a specific issue your clients are experiencing, let me know here and I'll see if I can replicate it and work out a fix.

Cheers

Jim