35 things you can design for your business using Adobe InDesign



Small business owners these days wear a lot of hats. We tend to be our own assistants, accountants, advisors, marketers, copywriters, and now even our own designers. When it comes to designing for your business, you’ve probably quickly learned that there are...

1 — there are tons of things that need designing within your business, and
2 — there are tons of software options to make those designs


As a professional designer myself, I obviously am going to suggest the most professional option — the Adobe Creative Cloud — if you’re going to be doing a lot of design work and you want it to look it’s best. If you prefer some free / cheaper options that are more simplified, but also more limiting in what you can design, you could use a service like Canva or PicMonkey.

Today, I’m going to talk about Adobe InDesign, and all the versatility it has to offer you as a small business owner. While InDesign is a robust program and can be overwhelming, once you know the basics, there’s a wide array of things you can design for your business. The main strength of InDesign is designing anything with a lot of text or a lot of pages. With that in mind, here’s a huge list of ideas for business-related things you can design using Adobe InDesign:


physical collateral / promotions:

  • business cards
  • flyers
  • postcards
  • notecards
  • letterhead
  • envelopes
  • large format signs or banners

online collateral:

  • web banners / graphics
  • social media profile graphics
  • promo images for social media
  • blog post graphics
  • email headers

digital products or free incentives:

  • ebooks or printed books
  • PDF guides / workbooks
  • planners
  • PDF opt-ins
  • cheatsheets
  • worksheets
  • printables
  • content upgrades for blog posts
  • charts / tables
  • templates

internal business documents:

  • forms
  • catalogs
  • sales sheets
  • gift certificates
  • invoices
  • contracts
  • quote templates
  • terms statements
  • pricing guides
  • questionnaires
  • media kits
  • portfolios / lookbooks
  • resumes

So to wrap this up, for almost any type of business, it can be super beneficial to know your way around a design program in order to create collateral and promotional materials on a moment’s notice. By knowing the basics of InDesign, you can create just about any type of graphic needed for your business. The design + branding you put out for your business is how you communicate your story and offerings to your customers. If you’re not at a place in your business to invest to hire a well-rounded designer, learning the ins and outs of a design program yourself can be the best way to DIY this facet of your business.

But, a super long list like this is intimidating. Be cool, I get it. 

I’ve got a solution for how you can learn to use InDesign like a pro (and NOT feel totally overwhelmed). My online course — The InDesign Field Guide — is the perfect solution for you to learn how to design all this stuff yourself, and not rely on a designer for every little thing. The course reopens for new students on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats

Don't want to wait til then? No worries, I've got something just for you. I recently put together a brand new free email series, and I'm calling it the InDesign Cliff Notes. In this quick 1-week series, you’ll get an introductory look at Adobe InDesign, and you’ll walk away with a great first look at the program (plus some free resources to get your feet wet!). Here’s what I’ll be covering in the series...

  • what types of projects InDesign is best used for (what it’s NOT used for)
  • we’ll crack the code on some common InDesign lingo to help you get the lay of the land
  • a video tour showing you the 4 most important elements of using InDesign (errrr…. it’s 25 minutes 😬)
  • my secret sauce to working smarter + faster in InDesign
  • the opportunity to go even deeper learning InDesign if at the end of all this, you’ve decided that it’s a program you need to know, liiiiiike yesterday

Did I mention these cliff notes are F-R-E-E? Yep. I created the InDesign Cliff Notes email series with YOU in mind, and I think you'll quickly see how not-scary InDesign really is.😉 Drop your email in below to start on the free series today!


What types of projects for your business are you struggling to design? Are you convinced that InDesign is for way more than just PDF's?! Please say yes.


Kelsey Baldwin

Graphic designer + blogger providing design resources to help creative entrepreneurs navigate the world of design + branding for digital products so they can share what they know.

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