I found this part of the assignment quite challenging. Partly due to having to try write about Typography, and partly due to the issue of layout (I didn’t feel particularly sure what would work).
I looked at a couple of other students approaches to this to help me see what might work/be appropriate for assignment. I found these two students blog’s helpful:
I then set about jotting down possible ideas/angles for writing the articles:
I decided that I could describe what makes a typeface interesting by using an example. I looked into the typeface ‘Playbill’ earlier in the unit and am fond of ‘Slab Serif’ typefaces so this seemed like a good choice. I felt like this might be a more effective way for me to express what I’ve learnt in the unit on typography.
I liked the way student Elizabeth Vessey had broken down the construction of a typeface into different steps. I wanted to do a similar thing but with the emphasis I had or felt was important. I also admired her approach to the Question mark section. I initially thought I could go a different route and show Question marks in Graphic Design. The site ‘Print Mag’ had an interesting article with a visual history of the use of Exclamation marks and question marks:
But I felt this was looking at question marks from the wrong perspective, it wasn’t really about typography. So my idea was to display ‘Slab Serif’ font question marks in keeping with the theme of the main article.
With a rough starting point for the articles I drew some thumbnails of possible layouts:
I then set about trying to write the article and play around with layout using Indesign. At first I focussed on looking purely at the main article ‘what makes a typeface interesting?’:
The circle and the image in the circle were an attempt to reference the circles on the front cover of the magazine, whilst also providing a visual which had an old, print feel which fitted with the history of Slab Serifs. In my first version the circle is too prominent, it leads you away from the text rather than helping add depth or interest.
I tried to incorporate the circle in a more subtle way by placing it behind the columns of text and decreasing it’s opacity. I think this is more effective but I wasn’t sure about the size of the font within the columns, compared to the text on the right hand page which is much smaller. I tired using a Slab Serif (Playbill) for the article heading and a Serif font for the body of the text (Georgia). I tried to create a sense of flow by using Georgian as the typeface for the body of text on both pages. I used Georgia Bold for the Heading and Subheadings of the ‘How to construct a typeface’ article, this was an attempt to add variety in the fonts. I’m not sure it works next to the big Slab heading on the left hand page.
I wasn’t sure about the circle behind the text on the left hand page so tried another layout. I decided to take the photo and make it a rectangle and the backdrop for a larger heading. I spread the body of the article out over three columns which I think looks more balanced. I had a bit of trouble with how to best align the paragraphs but settled on aligned them to the left.
I moved on to experimenting with the typefaces and layout of the right hand page in version four. I decide to try using another Slab like typeface for the heading ‘How to construct a typeface in 6 steps’, except this font was Sans Serif. I like the contrast between the two main headings. I also liked the way the grey strip with the question mark broke up the page and added some movement. But when you look at it as a whole it does draw the eye to itself.
For version five I tried to create a new layout for the left hand page, by reducing the text to one column and including lots of pictures. But I struggled to figure out how best to arrange the photos alongside the text, so I ended up moving on.
In my final spread experiment I tried to balance the layout by having everything sitting landscape. I thought this might work but it still feels like there’s too much empty space underneath the question mark section. Maybe a different coloured strip than grey would help things look more dynamic? I also tried experimenting with placing a photo within the body of the main article. I don’t think it was very effective as it caused several words to become hyphenated, which made the text harder to read
Final Cover & Magazine Spread
I feel like the final cover and magazine spread work well together, largely due to similar colour schemes and the tie of the ‘slab serif’ theme throughout. I think there’s plenty of room for more experimentation and improvement of layout and also with using different typefaces across the spread. I think my experimentation with typefaces was limited here, perhaps I became too concerned with addressing the issue of layout. It would also be fair to say I gave more time to the cover than the magazine articles. Again I felt more comfortable working on the cover than the article as I was unsure of how to articulate what I’d learnt about typography. I think a way to improve the articles could be by using more in-depth or technical analysis of typefaces.