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Adobe Illustrator and InDesign for Scientific Purposes

Writing your Master’s thesis is one thing, but how to make it attract attention? If you want to stand out in science, you may as well look good while doing it. This course has what you need.

This course is a package deal, focusing on the needs of Master students or early PhD students. You will learn to work in both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, to create scientific illustrations and lay-outs.

Starting at the very basics, you will be guided through the steps to use the software in a hands-on and practical format. You will learn to design high-quality and understandable figures you can include in all kinds of publications, both online and printed. You will learn how to lay out a page or poster and how to use InDesign’s features to make creating a multi-page document easy.

In a casual and easy flow, you will master all the tools necessary to lift your figures and publication beyond the restrictions of Word, Biorender, Paint.net, and PowerPoint.

More than practice

It’s not just practice. You will learn about typography, colour and composition, and how to use those elements effectively in your work. How to draw and retain attention, how to focus on your figure’s central message. Get your point across in a concise and professional way.

All knowledge and skills are offered with a focus on use in a scientific environment. The atmosphere during the sessions is open and casual, and your input is more than welcome. The course is set up with Masters students in mind, preferably those who have started writing their Master’s thesis.

Available both offline and on.


Quick facts

  • for Master students or early PhD students in (exact) science
  • 9 sessions of 1.5 hours each (including a break), two sessions per week
  • assignments to exercise with between the sessions
  • total time investment 26 ~ 30 hours
  • no prior experience needed, this course is entry-level
  • online: individual or groups of up to 12 participants
  • offline (in-company): groups of 4 to 16 participants
  • bring a laptop with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign installed
  • slides and practical summary provided in .pdf after each session
  • no other materials necessary
  • available in English or Dutch

This course is available as a part of the Master’s program of the Graduate School of Life Sciences of Utrecht University. If you are a student at the UU, you may be eligible to follow this course there, and score study credit for it, too!