Project: Magazines and Books – Magazine Pages

I began this exercise by researching the grids used in different magazine articles. Here are some of the magazine’s I looked at/examples of articles:

Boris Article - Time Magazine 2nd Feb 2015

Boris Article – Time Magazine 2nd Feb 2015

Louise Walker Article - Mollie Makes p.30 Issue 47

Louise Walker Article – Mollie Makes p.30 Issue 47

Giant Steps Article - Vogue Magazine p.126 Issue November 2014

Giant Steps Article – Vogue Magazine p.126 Issue November 2014

I was the other woman - Red Magazine p.97 Issue August 2014

I was the other woman – Red Magazine p.97 Issue August 2014

I then set about finding out the grids behind the articles by using Illustrator to create lines to reveal possible grid structures. I found this a little harder than expected and it didn’t always seem a straight forward structure:

Time Magazine Boris Article

Boris article possible grid structure.

The Time Magazine Boris article above is a good example of a grid with lots of white space. There’s generous white space before the name ‘Boris’ and then a gap between the heading and body text, even after the main text there’s a gap! I think it makes the name ‘Boris’ seem even more dominant but if I’m honest it makes the body of the article feel very small! They’ve used the title as a substitute for an image and I think it works because the font is such a bold bulky font.  There are three columns for the text, which I suppose is necessary due to the volume of the article.

Mollie Makes article grid

Louise Walker article possible grid structure

In the Louise Walker article much more space on the grid is given to images, the text sits around it which adds to the feel of things being orientated around the central image. There is a large portion of white space after the main body of text. Here three columns are used and the style is around a Q & A with Louise Walker so the text is ranged left.

I then chose an Article to mimic the grid layout of, as my template for a fake article:

Red Taboo article grid

Red Taboo article grid

I liked the simplicity and sense of balance in this grid. There’s not lots of different things in multiple boxes but clear division of elements. I was also interested in how the image sat wider than the text columns. They’ve left white space in the bottom half of the page I presume for the readers fingers to hold the page. I made a note of the size of columns, gutter, inside and outside margins, top and bottom margins and then used these to replicate the structure.

I started with the idea for a title ‘Exploring the English landscape’ I guess my main reason for this is I’ve got a lot of photos of travels around England (from Holidays). So it seemed like a good choice to be able to use images without any problems. The first three version are very clearly fitted to the tile, they are idyllic photos of the English landscape in fine weather. An audience might be a walking magazine or national trust readership.

Magazine Page v.1

Magazine Page v.1

Magazine Page v.2

Magazine Page v.2

Magazine Page v.3

Magazine Page v.3

I found the photo below, of a fenced derelict area on Holiday. I felt this might be a nice juxtaposition again the title, and the font which suggests an more ideal landscape, or natural photo. It makes the piece seem like it might be ironic or even looking at the state of England as a country not just geographical points of interest or beauty.

Magazine Page v.4

Magazine Page v.4

I then tried using an illustration I’d created of an imaginary forest. It gives a different feel to the article again, making it feel more catered to children or to the notion of exploring or adventure, as it has a more playful feel.

Magazine Page v.5

Magazine Page v.5




Exercise: Magazine pages pt.2

I realised that in the previous post on this exercise I gave examples of working within the set grid structure, but keeping the positioning of text/images within the grid very similar. I wanted to try moving elements around the grid structure without changing the grid, so I experimented a bit further.

Here’s the results of my experimentation:

Magazine page v.8

Magazine page v.8

In version 8 I moved the Headline text from sitting on top of the left hand side of the main image to sitting directly below the image. It reduces some of the white space in the page which is okay, it doesn’t feel overcrowded. I chose a new font which had a handwritten feel but that remained legible/clean. I think this creates a more fun approach, looks like it could be an article in a children’s magazine or a national trust campaign.

Magazine page v.9

Magazine page v.9

For version 9 I kept the font used in version 8 but moved the Heading to above the image. I feel it looks a little lost above the image, as the image is so large. Placing the subheading underneath the image away from the main heading is perhaps confusing/to large a distance it begins to look like the two texts aren’t meant to be associated with each other. I did try to keep some continuity between the heading and the subheading by using the same font for both just at different sizes.

Magazine page v.10

Magazine page v.10

Version 10 is very similar to version 8. I’ve simply adjusted how far the subheading goes across the page. I think this helps keep a sense of grid shape, as in the line across the page rather than making the page look left side heavy (if that makes any sense!).


Magazine page v.11

Magazine page v.11

For my final version I decided to try and incorporate multiple images into the page. I made the main heading sit in the top left hand side of the grid, which I think makes it a bit more dynamic. I then scanned in some real leaves I’d collected on a walk and used these as objects to place around the heading text. I’m not sure if the colours work together but the general idea seems good. I wanted to see if I could mix up illustrations with photo’s, so added in some drawings of acorns alongside the body text of the article. I tried to keep things cohesive by using an font which has an illustrated feel for the main heading. I think this does help, but that in the end having all the images on the page makes it feel too busy. The illustrations beside the body text distract the eye, rather than drawing in the eye to the text.

Even though I could experiment further I feel now is a good point to  be moving on to the next exercise…

Research: Publishing Houses

Although there are literally hundreds of book publishing houses I thought I’d research a sample starting from books that I already have in my home.

I’m looking at:

Laurence King, Harper Collins, Chronicle Books, Penguin, Puffin and Big Picture Press.

1. Laurence King

Spines of a collection of Laurence King books

Spines of a collection of Laurence King books

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Research: Puffin Books Design

I have a selection of ‘100 Hundred Puffin Covers’ I received as a gift, which provides me with a good selection of covers to analyse.

Puffin was founded in 1940, five years after Penguin Books began. It started out as ‘Puffin Picture Books’ aimed at stories for little ones but grew into vast array of literature aimed at children.

As I have a large collection of the covers I decided to group covers by design and therefore analyse them in that manner. Here’s the first set:

Front cover postcards of: 'ABC a baby puffin book by D.M.Chapman' & '1 2 3  a baby puffin book by D.M.Chapman'

Front cover postcards of: ‘ABC a baby puffin book by D.M.Chapman’ & ‘1 2 3 a baby puffin book by D.M.Chapman’

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Project: Information graphics

Information graphics seem to be an recent design trend, that’s growing in popularity. After doing a little bit of research into the area, it’s clear that many big company’s are utilising Infographics as part of their advertising campaign.

I collated some examples of Infographics on my Graphic Design board in Pinterest:

I was surprised by the breadth of different styles and approaches to infographics. A good example of this breadth of styles and approaches to creating infographics can be seen in the work of ‘Collumn Five’:

Their info-graphics range from traditional approaches, like pie charts or graphs to photography, illustrations of inside buildings using food etc. They seem to create all of their content on their website in infographic form.

Examples of Column Five Infographics:

spices visual storytelling

Inside the mind of anthony weiner infographic

Well Balanced Blog Infographic

Childrens Classroom Info graphic

A couple of other websites which had a strong emphasis on Infographic designs were:

Visual News have a dedicated category within their site for addressing data visualisation:

I then moved onto looking at the first exercise within this project…

Exercise: Giving information

This exercise required me to describe my immediate surroundings, or my routine, or an area in my house as an Infographic. The graphic needed to be either an aerial or front facing view of the subject. I was free to make use of typography, numbers and colours to help describe/enhance the Infographic…

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Exercise: Birthday list

This exercise was all about creating a poster list, detailing the birthdays of my friends and family. It’s intended for display (on a notice board), so a good aesthetic was required. I was required to come up with information or data for the following areas:

1. Birthdays of friends and family.

2. Whether or not to buy them presents, card or send a text…

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Exercise: Poster and flyer

This exercise required us to work in two different spaces to create an A3 Poster and double sided A6 flyer to promote a singing course run by a group called SingOut.

The point of the exercise is to work with a tight/limited budget – printing in black and white (no colour), and using a photocopier.

This required a design which grabbed attention and kept clarity after photocopying rather than distorting. The information for the poster and flyer was included in the brief.

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Exercise: Chance Housing Association

This exercise involved producing a package of graphics including; a logo, letterhead, business card & newspaper advert for a Housing association. The Housing association had a specific aim/slant they wanted to be seen as “different from other local housing associations – more modern, more helpful…welcoming to young people”.

This gave me an focus or core to my designs, something to keep coming back to when looking at the work. Asking myself does this suit young people, is it still professional looking, does it look inviting?

One phrase from the brief stood out and ended up being pivotal to the logo design, “Chance Housing Association has been set up to try and help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder”.

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Exercise: The French Hen

This project required the design of a logo for a wine bar/cafe called The French Hen. It also stipulated producing examples of the logo placed on products namely; a T-shirt for staff, shop sign, window sticker, beer matt, food/cocktail menu and a napkin.

The brief made an emphasis of the aim of the client being to attract the “young sophisticated drinker” and dispel any reputation of binge drinking or bad behaviour that might normally be associated with a younger drinker (as in still a legal drinker!).

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Assignment 5: Your Choice – pt.1

This final assignment gave me three options to choose from, I chose the first brief. Brief 1- Book Design – the brief asked me to create a ‘new house style’ for a series of books on design aimed at Children and young people. I then had to create a front cover, back cover and spine design for three books called/on; Colour, Typography and Photographs.

The final element of the brief was to create an introductory chapter called ‘A is for…’ for the book on ‘Typography’. The chapter needed to be at least 4 pages long and interesting enough to capture the attention of young readers…

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Assignment 5: Your choice – pt.2

I wanted to create a two part post about this assignment because it felt like a two stage process. The first stage was creating all covers for the book series. The second stage involved creating an introductory chapter for the book based on typography.

The brief stipulated that it needed to be referred to as ‘A is for…’ and didn’t need to be a conventional test book. It had to be at least 4 pages long and visually appealing to attract young people into wanting to buy the book…

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Critiquing Assignment 5: Your choice

I realise that earlier in the module I asked people to come and comment on my work whilst it was in progress. This was to help bring a form of constructive criticism to help shape my work and give stronger outcomes.

I realise that this critique was missing for my final assignment of the module and wanted to ask a group of friends/creative people to comment on my final assignment…

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Assignment 5: Your Choice pt.3

Following my tutors report and some feedback from a friend on my critique page (see link to post below) I wanted to make some changes to my book cover designs before sending them off for formal assessment.


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