Create an impactful slab-serif poster

Set up a suitable grid in InDesign; master kerning and leading with chunky slabs; work with bold, vibrant colours and shapes.

Slab-serif fonts have plenty of shout, and grab your attention like a slap in the face. Here, we've played on that concept, using the phrase ‘slab me in the face' as the basis for a vibrant, high-impact poster to contrast the classic serif design here.

Often used in newspaper headlines, slab-serif typefaces (also called mechanistic, square-serif or Egyptian) are distinctive for their thick, block-like serifs. Some consider slabs to be a subset of modern serif typefaces. Despite sometimes being referred to as ‘Egyptian' they have nothing to do with Egypt, and instead reflect the 19th century fascination – following Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, and publications such as Description de l'Égypt – with all things Egyptian. Slab-serifs gained popularity thanks partly to their resemblance to the chiseled lines of Egyptian hieroglyphs, and also to their use on posters – an essential way of communicating to the masses in the days of the Industrial Revolution.

In this tutorial we reveal some cool techniques for blending type and illustration in InDesign. While it's tempting to get straight to the creative aspects of arranging text and images, we need to get the basic parameters of the document set up first.

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