Launching soon: Instructional courses!


Nearly two years ago, I had an idea that I wanted to start making YouTube videos with tips and instructions primarily related to InDesign. I saw the value of some cool new features hardly anyone was using just yet that I wanted more people to learn. Also by that time, I had seen many files from other designers cross my desk during my career while I was still taking on freelance clients. The design itself might be good, but I was routinely surprised by how often things were poorly structured on the technical end. For example: page numbers typed and manually placed on every single page of a book. Sorry for the callout, whoever you were! I decided I had things to offer the design community.

Over a year and a half ago, my approval contract with Adobe was signed, granting me permissions to create videos showing their program interfaces. Score! I continued planning various topics I wanted to cover on my Trello board; fun ideas going through my head.

Fast forward to this year, guess how far I got with the actual making of those? About zero far. The planning of content was fun for me. The execution, not fun. I would need to research screen recording and video editing software and a microphone, and . . . a big mental list of other things I felt had to be done first. There wasn’t any real incentive to fit it into my schedule. I’m impressed by people who make time to contribute to open source software. That’s dedication!

At some point last year, Jason Zook (SurfrApp), whose interior book layout I did (at Round Table Companies), co-launched a course platform named Teachery. I thought it was nice, I heard about how successful others have been with their course offerings there and on other sites, I took a course as a student on it, but otherwise didn’t think much about it.

Side note here, I have a history of jumping into ideas and businesses when I get excited to do something, frequently resulting in less-than-successful outcomes. (I can design and manufacture furniture! Databases! Apparel! The list goes on. This is an entire storyline itself.) These days, I’m slightly more reserved with things I might look back on one day as a waste of energy that I would rather have expelled at Zumba.

After a decent amount of processing time, these planted seeds of opportunity, and the surge of personal growth I’ve gone through in the past year, it started to occur to me that I’ve been using InDesign on a routine basis for twelve or thirteen years. That I’ve accumulated knowledge that’s worth something. The wheels slowly started spinning, contemplating how I could change the format and expand these brief video ideas into larger-scale learning opportunities.

I started doing the research, working on my lessons, and looking into a number of learning platforms that I didn’t realize existed, ultimately deciding to support Teachery.

So here we are today, many nights and weekends later, with my first course ready to launch soon! What was intended to be a very quick and easy course about setting up the structure of a cover file, one I could create and get into the world as a trial of sorts while I worked on my main course, has now evolved into a substantial course itself. This doesn’t surprise me. I don’t do basic. If you know any book designers who might be interested in cover setup options, send them this-a-way to get on the notification list :).