Skip to main content

art & design

Create an Online Portfolio

Lesson 2 of 11

Getting Started and Best Practices

Erica Gamet

Create an Online Portfolio

Erica Gamet

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

2. Getting Started and Best Practices

Lesson Info

Getting Started and Best Practices

Alright, well we're gonna go ahead and jump into InDesign and start with a blank document, but I don't like to just jump in and see a blank page, right? So I just sort of have a layout here, and this is sort of, this is something that you actually will have access too as well, and Ken will tell you about that later, but this is something that we're going to put together. We're going to put together this sort of portfolio of this wonderful trip to Iceland. Now, I'd like to say that I actually took these. My time in Iceland is been about a cumulative two hours on two layovers, so that's all I've seen of Iceland. But these photos actually come from Adobe stock, so just so you know, all these photos that we see are Adobe stock. And I'm gonna talk about how we put those images in there and how they come from Adobe, and how that kind of works within the Adobe environment. Easy ways to update it, things like that. So I just want to jump through the pages, just really quick, just to kind of sh...

ow you what it is we're creating here. And then we're going to actually start from scratch, and I'm gonna talk about some of the settings that we need to have. So I'm just gonna scroll through, and we're just gonna look at... (clicking) ... that. So it's just, in this case, it's just a book that maybe we're talking about Iceland, right? So we've got some information about it. Maybe this is going to make it's way to be a coffee table book in print, but also, we want sort of that same look and feel in a digital output. And if you notice, I've laid it out in wide, in landscape format. And because that is kind of really lends itself well to photography, that may or may not be something you want to do. Sometimes, because I'm from a print background, I automatically think in letter, in portrait, and start laying it out that way. And I realize, with tablets, I'm more comfortable reading it in a landscape format. So again, how will this be consumed, and who will be consuming it? I think for looking at photos, doing it in a wide landscape layout is a lot nicer. So I'm just doing that and this layout here, so we're just looking at the sample that we're going to be working with. So, how did we get to this point? We started with a brand new document. So the first thing I'm gonna do is go up to file and choose new document. And your dialogue box might not look like this. I'm actually going to show you how I changed this. This is the old one. If you're using anything pre-20, the last update of 2017, and I'm using InDesign CC2018, just known as CC now, just to keep it confusing. But it is basically the 2018 update. But it does not normally look like this. I'm gonna show what it will look like to you. I just do that because I like the controls that are there, and also I noticed the new dialogue box is a little slow to come up. So, to change that, under your preferences, which is under InDesign on a Mac. It's under edit on a PC. I'm gonna come under preferences, and go to general, and one of the options that I have here is use legacy "new document" dialogue, so that's the old document dialogue box that we've had forever and ever. That's the one I'm using. If I turn that off, which is how it will come to you, when I create a new, so I'm gonna do command or ctrl+N to open up a new dialogue box. This is what we get. I just think that this can be a little overwhelming. There's a lot of stuff in here, and it's good stuff, but I just find it a bit overwhelming. So this might be what you see, you can turn it on or off. It basically has the same options available to you with just a lot more photos. The one thing that we do have, though, are these templates. So I can actually find a template on Adobe stock, and start with that. So there might be a portfolio one that we can look up, we can just type in portfolio here and we'll find the different items. We can download that, and that is an InDesign template that we can work from if we want to. I'm gonna close that for now. I'm gonna go back to my preferences, and I'm gonna set it back to the legacy document here, and I do want to open up one thing here, I wanna open up, zoom it, so that we can actually see when I need to zoom in on some items here, which I did not have open. Let's open that up. So now, if we want to see things up close and personal, we can actually see that. Alright, so let's go back to this. We're gonna create a new document. Command or ctrl+N for a new document, and again I'm working with the legacy new document dialogue box. And again there's a lot of information, but the things we're gonna worry about today are the orientation. Do we want to do it landscape, or do we want to do it portrait? And we'll see that when we get into the document, I was just showing you, it's actually done in portrait, with two pages side-by-side, but when I did the layout, I assumed that I was gonna have those two pages side-by-side in my finished layout. So again, I've set it up in portrait, but I'm gonna put them side-by-side so I get this nice landscape layout. How you choose to do it is entirely up to you. This just gives me the option to actually print it in 8 1/2 by 11 portrait if I'd like to. So I'm gonna keep the size that's here, letter. I'm gonna do the orientation as portrait. And then I'm gonna set things like margin. So the margin is just gonna let me know how far I can, close I can get to the edge of a page with my text to my images. And also bleed, if you are printing, you need to make sure that your images go past the page. If you're not printing, I wouldn't worry about it. I just, like I said, have been in printing for so long, I still have a bleed, and I make sure my images go out there, just in case they move even one pixel left or right, I don't want like a nice white strip down the side, I want my images to go as far as they can at the edge. So, those are a couple of the items that we're gonna set in this dialogue box. The other thing that we want to tell it, is what is the intent. Where are we going with this particular document? Now, I set it up for print, only because if I know I'm going to print and digital, I'm going to start with print, because print is a little more restrictive certain on things. And so, by telling it print, it's going to give me warnings when I've gone too far outside of the restrictions that are available for print. If I am never going to print, let's not even use print. We can use one of the other options, which is web or mobile. And the options in here are kind of limited, so choose either. Web gives you pixel layouts and it gives you some standard sizes. It doesn't, however, give you 1024 by 768 twice, which is your retina resolution for your, or not your resolution, your retina dimensions. So if you're going to say, an iPad that's retina, you want to double that, so 2048 by 1536. But, if there's not anything here, we can come in here, and we can just go ahead and insert the pixel sizes in here. So, I can also choose mobile, which will give me things like the iPad. But again, the iPad--oh, the iPad retina, ha ha! That one is actually here now. They finally added that. So the iPad gives you the 1024 and the retina gives you double that. And we've got some other tablets that are in here as well, and a couple different phone sizes. So if you know, again, that you're going only to an iPad, choose iPad. I tend to do iPad retina, so that I'm covered, and if it's on a non-retina display, it's just slightly bigger than it needs to be, and it just won't display the information. So the only loss, if you will, or the only downside is that your file is bigger than it probably needs to be for what it can actually display. So choose the size that works well. I'm gonna go back to my print size, because again, that's what we're working with in the sample that we're working with, is set up for print originally, and maybe it's something that you've taken from print and you want to make it digital. So sometimes you are working with print. The different things that happen if I choose web or mobile, it's gonna automatically assume that I'm working in an RGB workspace. And we're gonna talk about color in just a little while, but it does sort of know what color space you're working in. If you tell it web or mobile, it assumes RGB. If you tell it print, it assumes CMYK. You can also choose whether or not to use facing pages, and in this case, I did use facing pages. I want those pages when I add pages, it automatically puts them side-by-side for me. If you don't choose that, you can still put your pages side-by-side, so don't worry about that either. And we'll talk about that when we get into pages. So again, facing pages or not, choose what your intent is, which will choose your color mode for you, and set up the size that you need it to be, and any custom items that you need. And at the end, if you want to use it again, click this little icon and then you can save that preset so that next time, all you have to do is come over here and choose one of your presets that are set for you.

Class Description

The presentation is everything in an online portfolio, but creating one can be a daunting task. This beginner-friendly class will cover all the basics you need to create a portfolio. Erica Gamet is an Adobe Certified Expert.

In this class, Erica will walk you through the process for creating a layout from scratch. 

In this class you'll learn how to:

  • How to place, arrange, and manipulate photos in a layout
  • How to create a layout in InDesign and incorporate images and text
  • How to export that layout for digital consumption

This course is for you if you’re a DIYer, photographer, crafter, or a small business owner needing to put together a digital portfolio featuring images of your product. From real estate brochures to photo books to a small product catalog, you will have the knowledge to showcase your imagery in a logical and well-laid out manner.

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2018

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Create an Online Portfolio Bonus Files

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Sonya Messier

This course give great advice on how to work in In-Design. Erica does a great job on how to use some tools to achieve a portfolio. Thank you.

Carolyn Hicks

This course was so jam-packed with valuable and clear information. I had avoided InDesign as I found it very overwhelming learning it all on my own. Here, Erica explains perfectly how to do so much with this software, and how to do it easily. I am now excited to get back on InDesign. This course is really for a lot more than just creating a portfolio. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

A quick but comprehensive lesson on InDesign that is incidentally applied to creating a photo portfolio. This is general information for beginners, that can be applied to other online and print projects.