How to make background ribbons with indesign

Updated July 20, 2017

Add flair to your next brochure or advertisement by creating background ribbons using the pen tool in Adobe InDesign. Ribbon designs can be used for a subtle background or added to an image or slogan to enhance the appearance. InDesign provides tools to create ribbons of all sizes and dimensions by adding your desired length and number of dips and swirls. Bevelling and embossing further embellishes the ribbon by giving it an elegant, three-dimensional appearance.

Open InDesign and go to "File" "New" "Document."

Select the "Rectangle Frame" tool from the toolbox. Drag a long, thin rectangle in the location reserved for your ribbon.

Add anchor points by using the "Anchor Point" tool listed under the pen tool. Place an anchor point where you would like the ribbon to curve. Mirror each anchor point with another point on the opposite side of the rectangle to maintain a consistent curve.

Select the "Convert Direction" tool, found below the pen tool. Click on the anchor points and drag the curve in your desired direction. Repeat these steps until the rectangle appears to be a ribbon.

Select the "Eyedropper" tool and choose a colour from "Swatches." Place the eyedropper cursor inside the ribbon and click the mouse to add colour.

Go to "Object" and choose "Effects" and "Bevel and Emboss." This will give your ribbon a three-dimensional appearance.

Repeat these steps to add more ribbons, or copy and paste to add duplicate ribbons to the background.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe InDesign
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About the Author

Laura Fernandez has been writing freelance articles and blogs since 2009. She specializes in agriculture and has published work in "Wallaces Farmer" and numerous websites including Fernandez has a bachelor's degree in agricultural education from Iowa State University.