Libre Graphics Club #4

Libre Graphics Magazine Remix in Scribus

LGC workshop screenshot Scribus interface

LGC workshop screenshot We’ll start by looking at Libre Graphics Magazine website. You can find more info here.

LGC workshop screenshot After you check out the Libre Graphics magazine website and browse through their publications, you’ll choose the issue and go to their GitLab archive by clicking on ‘Source files’ link on the Libre Graphics magazine website (right below the images of issues). On the Gitlab page you will select a .sla file (native Scribus files) from Layout folder which will enable us to study their design and learn about Scribus.

LGC workshop screenshot Before we dive into remixing Libre Graphics magazine, lets open a new file first. Start Scribus and when ready click on File > New. This will open a panel through which you can set up spread type (single, double, etc), size, number of pages, margins and bleeds (when using a full page colour or full age images).

LGC workshop screenshot After we finished setting up the file, we’ll go to Windows>Properties to open panel which will enable us to change colour, shapes, lines, etc.

LGC workshop screenshot The Windows drop down menu also offers access to Align&Distribute, Layers and other options. Please spend some time exploring this.

LGC workshop screenshot Once we explored all the Windows drop-down can offer, we’ll gp to Page>Insert to investigate how to change number of pages on the fly (so not all is lost if you need to increase or reduce number of pages from the starting document set-up).

LGC workshop screenshot Next thing we’ll look at is Edit>Colours & fills. Through this panel you’re able to manage colour sets and create custom colours for your designs.

LGC workshop screenshot My favourite bit, managing guides. Page>Manage guides: this is a very quick way to establish grid or individual pages and/or to apply grid to all pages. You can add gap (to create space between columns and rows) and apply this grid to either whole page or to the margins.

LGC workshop screenshot We will here have a little go with guides and create 4x4 grid with 3mm gaps, apply them to margins and click on Apply to all pages.

LGC workshop screenshot Like so.

LGC workshop screenshot We will now get a taste of Text frame tool. The tool can be accessed either through Main menu: Insert>Text frame or via Icon menu (a little rectangle with a letter A or T, depending on your version of Scribus) usually right next to Select tool (little arrow).

LGC workshop screenshot Once we selected Text frame tool, we cluck on the page where we would like our text to be and drag arccos the grid to the guide marking the end of the text frame. Then we right click on the frame and choose ‘Get text’ to select from our computer – this is of-course if we’ve prepared a text before hand.

LGC workshop screenshot If we do not have text prepared, Scribus offers ‘Sample text’ which will serve as a dummy text until you’re ready to add and external text file. Scribus allows use of .txt, .odt, .html files to be inserted here, and more.

LGC workshop screenshot Here’s sample text panel which allows you to choose form a range of different languages.

LGC workshop screenshot Once we inserted the text in the frame, we’ll attempt to link text frames – this is a great feature which enables text flow form frame, to another and can be great area of play and experimentation. Select the text frame, then click on Link Text Frames icon (as in the picture above) and then click on the page wherever you’re planning the next text frame to go.

LGC workshop screenshot Like so.

LGC workshop screenshot You can do this as many times as you may need. In this case we mage 4 text frames all connected and displaying Sample text.

LGC workshop screenshot Next, we’re going to try Image frame to get a sense of what and how it enables use of images in Scribus. Go to Insert>Image frame and click/drag on the page wherever you need an image to go.

LGC workshop screenshot A red frame with a cross will appear. Feel free to move it about till you’re happy with position of the frame.

LGC workshop screenshot We’ll right click on the frame and select ‘Get image’ form the panel.

LGC workshop screenshot This will lead us to file manager through which we select image to insert into the frame.

LGC workshop screenshot The inserted image then can be edited via Properties panel. You can change size, position, you can select that image automatically fits the frame, to apply scaling proportionately or not, etc.

LGC workshop screenshot We can also edit how image(s) and text interact. This is done via Shape in Properties. With image frame selected, go to shape and chose Use frame shape – this will enable text flow around the frame.

LGC workshop screenshot Now we feel little more familiar with Scribus, we’ll go and open that Libre Graphics Magazine file. File>Open and find where you saved the file from GitLab archive. Scroll up and down the document to see how Libre Graphics Magazine design team (Ana&Ricardo&ginger) established grid, where is text, how did guides help organise content, etc. It is likely that many of the images will not be downloaded, but you can see the final version if you download a corresponding pdf for the Libre Graphics magazine website.

LGC workshop screenshot First thing we’ll play with is background colour of the rectangular shape below title on right-hand side. Feel free to choose any other element.

LGC workshop screenshot We selected the rectangle by clicking directly on it and then selected Colour for Properties panel. Here we’ll access Fill tab and choose cyan (but any other will do too).

LGC workshop screenshot The next up for remix is text. If your computer does not have document fonts installed, it will replace them with available fonts. This can work, but also can really mess up the look of the magazine. Select a paragraph or two by double clicking on a text frame of choice. Then click and drag cursor over lines to select the text. When the text is highlighted blue we're ready to change text properties. Either in your Properties panel, or in a separate Text properties panel (depending on your operating system and version of Scribus), you can find info on font type and style, font size, linespace, alignment, colour and effect and a whole tot of other fine typographic tools.

LGC workshop screenshot In this case we’ll change font type, colour and background effect.

LGC workshop screenshot We’ll now open the corresponding Pdf file, to check the original layout, colour treatment, typography, use of images. Above, we’re looking and the Index page.

LGC workshop screenshot On page 25, we find a very interesting example of ‘type as image’ which we’ll use for another attempt at remixing the magazine.

LGC workshop screenshot In the original .sla file we copy the ‘SHOWCASE’ image (page 25/26) and paste it to Index page. We then right click on the image and choose Level, to lower image below Index page text. Whilst the ‘SHOWCASE’ image still selected, we change it’s background by experimenting with Properties>Colour>Fill. Next step, we change fonts and background colour by selecting text and experimenting with Properties>Text or Windows>Text properties.

LGC workshop screenshot Lastly, we’ll repeat experimentation with ‘SHOWCASE’ image by pasting it to page 19 in the Libre Graphics ISSUE 1.3and repeat experimentation with text. Hope you enjoyed exploring Scribus and will find time to check out all the Libre Graphics magazine issues – they’re fab!