In a recent blog post, I outlined several ways of preparing Data Merges which are beyond “Stencil Letters”. One of which was in my way a tribute to my favourite band “Parkway Drive” by creating a Data Merge which would create unique street signs.
While the concept works, it is, well… boring. The background is a solid blue purely to mask the green street sign underneath. After some contemplation, I wasn’t satisfied and wanted to improve on the concept by making the same sign variable over a complicated background. It took a while of thinking until Mike Rankin (of InDesignSecrets.com) had the solution: Knockout Group.
Using the same template, the blue background was replaced and a more complicated image put into the master page. The blue “masks” were then made white with a fill set to multiply (they are outlined in red in the pic to see where they are).
The three strips in the background which made up the background of the street-sign were grouped. The text which contains the now “white multiply masks” was then grouped with the background of the street sign.
And all it took was one magic button in the effects panel to make the effect work: Knockout Group.
As usual, a PDF of the merge as well as InDesign file and links can be downloaded here.