Alternate layouts: efficient artworking for the financial industry

All-the-same but-alternative-breeds-of-dogs-running-towards-you

Scott West

Studio Manager

Posted on March 26, 2018

Being in the financial marketing industry we are often creating literature which can include pages upon pages of legal copy or terms and conditions. That in itself can be quite challenging to keep up-to-date with constant amends and changes.

But think how challenging it becomes when you have the same legal content across various versions of similar literature. These versions could be different sizes used in other countries or preferred formats, such as US Letter, Tabloid or Legal. Not to mention creating landscape versions for use on something like a tablet or other mobile devices. How do we keep the content on all of these different formats consistent without having to create and amend individual artwork files one by one?

InDesign’s Alternative Layout feature is the key and what our internal studio use to keep everything consistent and in one place to eliminate any manual errors that could occur. The Alternative Layout feature is nothing new, in fact it’s been around for a few years when it was introduced into Adobe InDesign CS6 but it’s something still worth shouting about when it comes to keeping on top of these ever changing documents.

We delve into the alternate layout method we follow to ensure our artworking processes are as efficient as possible:

1. To start with you will need to create your original parent layout (the one which everything else will be based on) as well as having all of your content in place.

2. It’s important to get this parent layout signed off before continuing to create your alternative child layouts to avoid going back and forth with amendments.

3. Once your parent layout is signed off, simply select ‘Create Alternate Layout’ from the menu and change the size of your first child layout, selecting the options which best suits.

4. Select the ‘Link Stories’ option as this will link the content throughout all of your various child layouts to the parent layout.

5. Next time you need to amend the content, update your parent version and then update the other child versions in the Links panel.

6. Finally, when updating the different child text frame links, review them one by one so not to leave paragraphs and columns running on and splitting the content awkwardly.

Content heavy documents like those used in the financial industry need to be accurate to the smallest detail. We find that the alternate layout process ensures that every detail is accurately carried across every version, every time. This suits our streamlined studio and benefits our clients with both cost and time savings.