Adobe InDesign - from Dissertation Layout to Poster Design (course description)

This course will dive into the countless possibilities of layout documents. It is meant to teach you how to create attractive and functional layouts, such as thesis books, posters, resumés, presentations, figures, and more.
For: PhD candidates, postdocs, students and staff.

You will be introduced to the program's workspace, and with the help of tailor-made exercises, you will discover how to layout and edit your thesis, posters, etc. At the end of the course, you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to combine photos, illustrations, tables, and text with striking ease. No previous knowledge of the program is needed.

Learning objectives

In this course, we aim to teach you the main functionality and power of Adobe InDesign. You will start navigating through the different tools and functions to build a reliable workflow. You will learn how to format text, images/objects, and tables. You will understand the use of master pages (templates), paragraph & character styles, and you will discover how to use them to create complex layouts such as PhD dissertations. Finally, you will hear about the differences between print (CMYK) and screen colors (RGB) and exporting different sorts of files (e.g., jpeg, png, tiff, pdf) for your various needs.

For those who have being using Adobe Illustrator to layout their scientific artwork, InDesign will become the simpler and more obvious alternative. Remember that Adobe Illustrator is used to drawing illustrations and vector graphics, while Adobe InDesign is made to layout any file from a figure to a thesis book. If you want to learn to drawing illustrations, we advise you to follow the other course provided (Scientific Artwork - Data Visualisation and Infographics with Adobe Illustrator).

Instructional method

The course is split into four sessions. The first two sessions' focus is on a thesis book's layout and any multiple page documents. We will focus on different files such as a figure, a poster, a cv, or a brochure during the last two. There will be a theoretical part in all four sessions, followed by exercises done with the trainer's supervision and help. The exercises are given beforehand, but you can always bring your designing challenge to practice. The exercises are designed to train you in using the program's tools. You will realize the importance of print and screen colors, so you will never have to deal with unexpected results.


To follow the course you need a laptop, having Adobe Illustrator installed in the English language. You will receive a printed manual which is also written in English, so it makes it easier to follow the theory and practicals. Also, remember to have a mouse or a graphic tablet to work during the sessions since the mousepad of the laptop will make your work difficult. Since the course is online and the sessions are interactive, a mictophone and a camera are obligatory in the course's participation.


Iliana Boshoven-Gkini (1981) has completed two masters in Landscape architecture, Floriculture, and garden design, in the Agricultural University of Athens and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. After completing her studies, she started working independently (2012) (AgileColor design studio | and focused, among others, on helping PhD students with their thesis books and scientific artwork. From 2015 she started teaching Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign and Infographics courses in Wageningen and Utrecht Universities and gave guest lectures/training to numerous other occasions in the Netherlands and Switzerland. From 2019 she is a certified teacher in the Netherlands (CRKBO, Centraal Register Kort Beroepsonderwijs).

Group size: 8 to 15 participants