One Photo, Many Frames: Adobe InDesign

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August 3, 2017

One Photo, Many Frames: Adobe InDesign

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Summer is the perfect time to brush up on your design skills, learn some new tips and tricks, and give you that notorious designer’s edge. We’ve shown you how to create seamless patterns, animate adorable GIFs, and most recently how to conjure up eerie nostalgia with a VHS glitch effect. It’s time to add another feather to your design cap with this trendy tutorial that will teach you how to create multiple frames for one image in Adobe InDesign.

The multiple framing effect is simplistic, bright, and timeless—making it a great design option for unique marketing or branded materials. Not to mention, you can transform any image with this design in a number of different ways. So go grab one of royalty-free stock images for inspiration and let’s get to it.

Getting Started

1. Open up InDesign and create a New Document. Your Page Size should be set as A3, Portrait Orientation and Facing Pages deselected.

2. Expand your Layers Panel by going to Window > Layers. Double click on Layers 1 and rename it Guides.

3. Click the Make a New Layer icon at the bottom of your workspace. Drag the new layer so that it sits above Guides. Name this new layer Images and Lock the layer.

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Pick Your Image

For this design, it’s best to go with a portrait or a close-up shot—plus, having an interesting background makes for an even more crisp design. There’s plenty of high-resolution stock photos to choose from in our library, so it was easy to pick out this unique and playful portrait.

Download this Creative Portrait here.

Creating Your Frames

We’re going to create a windowpane framing effect. Once you’ve mastered the basic steps, you’ll be able to knock things up a notch with more complex patterns and shapes.

4. Using the Rectangle Tool, create a shape that matches the orientation of your photo. Ours is more landscape, so we matched that as closely as possible.

Center the shape on the document. Rename this layer

5. Lock your Guides layer, while keeping Images unlocked.

6. Use your creative intuition to use the Rectangle Tool again to make your first frame in the left-hand corner.

7. Go to File > Place to grab your photo.

8. Double-click inside the image and hold down Shift to size it appropriately and to capture the area of your image that you want in that corner.

9. File > Copy, File > Paste to create your next frame. Adjust the image position again to sit correctly in the guidelines.

10. Continue to do this until you see your full image take shape and–framed beautifully.

There you have it! Not only is this an easy way to freshen up your design work this summer, but this effect will give your branded materials the attention they deserve. Ready to test out your framing creativity? There’s thousands of images in our library ready for your next project.

Start Creating

Alex Reffie

Freelance Writer

Alex is a freelance writer for Storyblocks, as well as a student in the University of Florida’s telecom program. When she’s not scouring the web for the best memes, she’s catching up on social media trends, watching design tutorials or looking for new LinkedIn connections.