Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Review: InDesign Production Cookbook

Authors: Alistair Dabbs, Anne-Marie Concepcion, Ken McMahon, Keith Martin
Published by: O'Reilly
Published: 2005
Print ISBN: 978-0-596-10048-3
ISBN-10: 0-596-10048-5
# of Pages: 224
Reviewed by: Kelly Vaughn / Document Geek
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I love this book because it is task-based, rather than project based. This is important because oftentimes, InDesign users will know the type of task they want to accomplish, but not necessarily know the correct terminology used by the program. So with this book, readers can simply go to the correct chapter, and quickly find the pictures that correspond to the task they want to accomplish. This type of organization makes it an excellent reference book.

The different types of InDesign tasks are categorized according to the following chapters:

  • Text
  • Pictures
  • Drawing
  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Pages and documents
  • Interactivity
  • Output
  • InDesign for QuarkXPress users
The book is full color, and the many hundreds of screenshots are clearly labeled and explained. The book has a detailed index.

Though this book was published in 2005 (for InDesign CS2), it is still completely valid information. With each new version of InDesign, features are added and improved upon, but never removed. The production techniques discussed in this book are still excellent practices that every good designer should follow. The page design is a little dated, but that's understandable, considering this book was published in 2005. This is a technical book, rather than a coffee table book.

I would highly recommend this book to any InDesign user who wants to have a better understanding of InDesign production. This would also be a great addition to the reference library of any print shop. Much of the book is available for previewing on the O'Reilly site, via Google Preview.


  1. Thank you Kelly! I contributed just a few chapters to that book. People may be able to spot photos of my dogs. :D

  2. You love your doggies, We love your doggies too!

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing all of Anne-Marie at PePcon (not just her doggies).