Changing Faces – Improvements

I submitted my final piece ready for formative assessment and a week later I received the feedback for my piece. The tutor pointed out improvements that could be made:

  • The final 2 spreads could have a stronger balanced path for the eye yet could be more dynamic
  • The style of illustration on the final spread feels very different to the remaining spreads
  • Watch out for type detailing and use of grid system on spread 1
  • The kerning in the standfirst on the first spread feels very wide throughout
  • Rag needs more development
  • Reduce the point size of the body copy

With so much I felt I needed to improve on from the constructive and detailed feedback, I decided to create a new document. First I decided that I needed to change the construction of the editorial piece. Instead of using the 6 pages available as three double page spreads, I decided to switch to using two double page spreads with a back and front cover. This would make it easier for me to create constructive double page spreads while still keeping the illustrative elements of the piece and the important role they play in portraying the concept in the article.

I decided the title page didn’t fit together with the remaining pages. Instead of using the rectangular boxes to highlight the text on the title page, I decided to use chalk to create a blog of colour so that it would stand out from the background. This fit well with the fact that I used chalk in the ‘TRUTH vs TRUMP’ typography.

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For the first double page spread with the ‘TRUTH vs TRUMP’ typography, I decided to switch the colour of the background to white. With the name ‘TRUMP’, I therefore used the cherry red in that piece of text along with a white copy of that to see the clear different between ‘TRUTH’ and ‘TRUMP’. I enlarged the word ‘TRUTH’ to make the page look more dynamic, as well as adding bark and dead blossom which I drew with a black ink pen to demonstrate the lead onto the next double page. I used a shorter quote to the one I had previously used in this spread so I could make room to enlarge ‘TRUTH’ and include the root and blossom at the bottom.

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For the next double page I changed the background colour to white, got rid of the illustration from the previous design, and drew a dead tree in the style of the illustration on the front cover of this design. With the addition of the dead blossom I had drawn, this added to the effect of the tree looking dead. I had the tree facing to the left so it directed the reader to the left page. This made a better path for the eye. I kept the same quote as well.

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For the back cover I decided not to incorporate any images or illustrations into it. I decided to have one column of text on the left hand side of the page. On the right hand side is the last quote from President Trump that was featured in the final paragraph of the article. To add decoration to the final page I add a small flick of chalk to go underneath the quote. This made the page look minimalistic but rebellious which made the page look more interesting.

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I packaged the document ready for printing on A2 sheets. Unfortunately I had to go and reprint my pages because I didn’t make the correct calculations of the measurements of the double pages on single A2 sheets. I save money I decided to bring the measurements of the pages down from 315 x 315mm to 290 x 290mm. This saved me half the price I would have had to pay for A1 sheets. By decreasing the size slightly, it meant I had to decrease the point size of the body copy from 11pt to 10pt. This meant having to edit the type detailing again. I kept the same size of the margins and gutters.

After getting the pages professionally printed we folded the pages with a bone folder, used a scalpel to cut the edges according to the crop marks shown on the page, and used spray adhesive glue to stick the pages back to back. This involved using a great deal of judging the accuracy of cutting and lining up pages.

What I thought I could improved on in my final piece was exploring the use of more dynamic layouts that I could have used. I also would have liked to experiment with screen print and letterpress to make even more interesting typography for the entire piece. Unfortunately I didn’t make time to make screen prints and interesting typographic work. I felt strongly that I had ignored typography in this project. I struggled very much with type detailing in this project, although I think this was mainly down to the vast amount of lengthy words the author had used in the article. It took up a surprising amount of time to fix the type detailing for working with this article in my design. I also found it difficult to produce a front cover for the very final design. At some points I considered getting rid of the original cherry tree illustration because of how difficult it was to make it look prominent on the title page as well as including the title. However, I am particularly proud of the amount of effort and of how successful the illustrations were in portraying the key concept presented by the author in the article.

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Changing Faces – Final Development

Based on feedback from the tutor, I created a new document under the same square dimensions as I had with the previous design; 315 x 315 mm.

I knew I wanted to keep the illustrations and typography I had created to portray the concept presented in the article from the previous design. Small improvements I first made were making the body copy smaller to 12pt and changing the typeface used from Euphemia UCAS to Adobe Caslon Pro. This allowed me more room to experiment with other layouts I had in mind. I kept with the same layout design for the first double page, only I made the cherry tree illustration smaller to allow more room for the title to stand out. I had to add the ‘Outer Glow’ effect to the title so it wasn’t as illegible with the illustration behind.

By taking the circular shape away from the illustration and adding roots below the tree, this made the space seem a lot more open and welcoming into inviting the reader to delve deeper into the concept I wanted to portray from the article.

The tutor had also pointed out that I could make use of the strong colour of the cherry tree to use in the background of one of the pages to make them seem collaborative. I experimented with various swatches to use from the colour theme tool to pick one that best suited the colours used in the illustration.

From the previous design I also wanted to experiment with typography for this page. I wanted to make the ‘TRUTH vs TRUMP’ concept spread across the two pages making it as large as possible. I experimented with various effects I could add to the layers, such as adding a shadow behind the text and using various layer effects on ‘TRUMP’.

I looked at making use of physical materials, such as acrylic paint and chalk. I ended up using chalk because of the effect it had on the paper and the design itself. It was gritty and rebellious which was an element I wanted to show in the overall design. I inverted image I took of the chalk so that the white would stand out from the cherry red background.

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For the final double page spread, I decided to use a similar layout as I had with the previous design. By using the same illustration, which I had edited in Adobe Illustrator to make into shapes and invert the colours, I then looked at picking out a quote from the fable of President Trump which the author had created in the article, which had pivotal importance in the concept I wanted to bring forward in the article to influence my illustrations. I wanted the quote to spread over the two pages to make the layout more interesting and allow room for the pull quote. I had also taken out a large amount of text, which amounted to just over the minimum word count required for the project. I kept the colour of the background black to portray the ‘dark, divisive and pessimistic’ reality of Trump that the author had discussed in the article. By changing the colour of the text to the same colour used in the background in the previous spread, this further portrayed the concept of the cherry tree fables.


I presented my development of the piece to the group and received constructive feedback from them. Simple improvements I could have made to the piece was developing the rag and type detailing of the body copy, making all the pull quotes lower case, changing the brightness, vibrancy and saturation of the cherry tree illustration on the first page to fit more with the red colours used on the next two spreads, and also increasing the scale of that cherry tree given the importance of the concept I wanted to reference to.

 

Changing Faces – Putting things together

My next step in the making of the editorial design for the ‘Changing Faces’ project was putting the content into an InDesign document. For now I will be working with the minimum dimensions specified in the brief, 315mm x 225mm. With these sizes it would make my layout designs in those dimensions more flexible, allowing me to experiment with other sizes. I first placed the illustration of the cherry blossom tree into InDesign on the first page of the document and worked towards working with a few sketches of layouts I had designed. This allowed me to look at what type settings and grid layouts I could use with the picture, and what would best suit the tone of the article. Below are the sketches of the layouts I designed.

For the headings I used the typeface ‘Bebas Neue’, which I found online. I liked using it because of its strength within the double page spread and informing the tone of the article. I used Helvetica in regular for the content of the article. By setting a theme for the first double page, the theme would need to remain throughout the other two double page spreads. In the final layout design you can see, I added a callout to the right page of a quote from President Trump, stating ‘I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right.’ I liked this quote because of its short and bold tone, yet it reflected both his big ego and in what is some case to be true of him. I will now continue to experiment with using the sketches of layouts I have created and experimenting with the layouts I have taken inspiration from to create my own. This will help inform my ideas and help me come up with new designs as I delve further into making my designs work for the tone of the chosen article. I will also continue to experiment with my imagery and conceptual ideas to further investigate into possible layout designs, and experiment further with typography.


I printed out the final layout above and used it in a group tutorial so we could give feedback on each other’s work. I received many compliments on my illustration of the cherry tree, the use of negative space in the layout, and the use of colours of keywords in the quote on the right page. I received other useful feedback which included reducing the point size, exploring further with the dimensions of the page, looking at more layouts, and keeping the heading the main point of focus for the double page spread instead of keeping the attention of the callout.

I created a new document with the possibility of adding one or two more illustrations. Moving forward I looked back at my research of layout designs, focusing on what made them successful and what attracted my attention to them. The Creative Review was a key inspiration into the dimensions and the layout. I liked how negative space was used and how lines were put into the pages to separate columns, titles and pictures. Only did I realise when coming to designing interesting layouts for the square space, did I realise how difficult and constraining this was. By looking carefully into the design of the article pages in the Creative Review I began to grasp an idea. With the help of my illustrations and creative typography ideas, I managed to come up with a layout that was visually interesting as well as being able to show a clear path for the eye.

By experimenting further with typography I looked back into my research to find that some had featured handwritten or painted text. By using Adobe Illustrator I was able to create different brushes based on the tone of the article. I wanted to make the design look rebellious to show the concept portrayed by the author; that Trump wanted to replace the cherry tree which was symbolic of honesty. Another reason I wanted to include an element of handwritten text was that it showed a personal and unique trait and it looked interesting on the page.

I felt as if the title page was missing something in the background. To make the design look more personal I used Adobe Illustrator to paint the American flag in my own style. I used the brushes I had created to paint the typography for the title of the page. I placed the author’s name at the bottom of the page between two lines using the font DIN Condensed in Bold with a point size of 34. I placed the picture of the American flag into the document and applied a small drop shadow behind it so it would contrast from the flat text for the title. For the rest of the article I used the font ‘Euphemia UCAS’ for its simplicity. The pull quotes used DIN Condensed.

On the second page I applied colours I used for the stripes of the American flag on the title page into the pull quote telling the fable of the cherry tree based on Trump. I also added an illustration I modified from a drawing in Adobe Illustrator. I placed it in a circle so it differed from the rectangular shapes I used for the overall layout design. The illustration represented the quote on the third page which I pulled out from the text.

In the final two pages I wanted to keep it simple but I also wanted to include an artistic typographic element to one of the pages. Originally I had the word ‘TRUTH’ in the same font used in the pull quotes and the name ‘TRUMP’ in front of it. Instead I decided to use a bristle brush in Illustrator, linking it to the title page of the document. This made the three pages fit together nicely as a set, keeping the style relatively consistent throughout.


Another idea I took into consideration was inverting the colour of the background from white to black. With keeping the same dimensions as the white square shaped design, I adjusted the layout design and imagery slightly. I decided to include my first illustration of the red and pink coloured cherry tree. On the final double page, I also included the concept I wanted to take from the fable of President Trump that the author had written about.

On the second double page, however, I wanted to make the colour theme less patriotic to keeping similar colours used in the American flag. By using the ‘TRUTH’ and ‘TRUMP’ idea I had in the previous design, I instead decided to use the same text. By making use of effects on layers in Photoshop (initially), this made the ‘TRUMP’ on ‘TRUTH’ look more sophisticated. I applied the ‘Hard Light’ effect to the layer of the ‘TRUMP’ text, over the solid white ‘TRUTH’.

 

 

Changing Faces – Imagery

After focusing predominantly on type detailing and layout for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to focus on what imagery ideas I had in mind and deciding on what concept would work best to interpret the article. To start I had collated several illustrations of significance which had influenced many peoples minds from what they had heard on certain topics/issues. Here are a few images I have collected:

The day before our tutorial on interpretation through imagery, I had sketched out a few images that I had annotated on the article and in my mind maps, many of which ideas were influenced by illustrations I had collated from Pinterest. I thought strongly about creating juxtapositions and illustrating symbols that represented certain morals, topics and elements mentioned in the article I had chosen. Because I wanted to focus on type as well for this project, I also looked at what images I could create with text and incorporate with them in a creative manner. This included calligraphy and block type. With the block type I will need to consider whether to use letterpress or screenprint. With the calligraphy I could use Illustrator with the calligraphic brush tool, or even the bristle tool to create rough text which resembles type usually seen in protest posters and banners, as I have discussed in my recent post when analysing the magazine layouts I chose as research. Here are my sketches below:

As you can see I decided to keep to a very predominant red and blue scheme. I chose this scheme because of the colours featured in the American flag, and how the Democratic Party chose a blue scheme for their campaign, whereas the Republican Party chose a red scheme for theirs.


At the tutorial the tutor discussed the difference between translation and interpretation to try and highlight how we should best take on the text to create concepts and imagery alongside the article. I was quite disappointed with how I didn’t quite get the depth of feedback I was expecting because it was a group tutorial where we looked at each others’ ideas. However, from the tutor discussing interpretation I felt maybe it was best that I focused not on creating caricatures and images of Donald Trump, but instead focusing on symbolism and subtle meaning. This would make the reader curious by speculating the images in depth to encourage them to read deeper into the text. For example, in the second idea I had with the large question mark, I used a blue ink pen to illustrate an image of a cherry tree which largely related to the George Washington fable and would make a nice feature with the heading. It would be nice to keep this theme throughout the layout design to show consistency in my efforts to interpret the article.

Next I will need to consider what materials and tools would be best to use to create the imagery alongside this article as a stepping stone to create elements of the type and design the layout of the double pages.


I had started to illustrate the concept I had with the fable of George Washington and the cherry tree. I know I wanted to illustrate the cherry tree in an unusual but minimalistic way to prove that it was a simple yet important, and highly influential moral featured in the fable. I looked at several images of cherry trees online and the most common photos that came up were of cherry blossoms. It made me wonder whether the author of the fable was referring to cherry blossoms. I looked at the nature of the way the branches were twisted and gnarled, and the contrast between the dark wood of the bark, trunk and branches and the bright pink cherry blossoms with hints of white. The shades of the blossom slightly changed from image to image.

To start the illustration I drew out a circle with a compass and pencil to set a frame for the tree to sit in. What I liked about using a circular crop was its peculiarity, and with it being unfamiliarly used in editorial designs and within rectangular spaces it would make for an interesting layout. As well as encouraging me to think more openly about my type setting and overall design of the double pages together, it would also set an open tone and it would welcome the reader because of its attractiveness. After sketching out the trunk, roots and branches of the tree I used diluted red watercolour paint to create the pink blossom colour. After drying I used a red fine liner pen to create impressions of the bark, and a dark pink felt tip marker to make the blossoms pinker. To darken certain places in the trunk and branches I used a blue finaliser which darkened the red which was less intense as an effect I would have with using a black fine liner pen.

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On Tuesday 2nd May, the same tutor as with the tutorial and conducted an editorial image workshop for the class. We had been put into groups of three to analyse an individual article for each group. By reading the article we picked out descriptive sentences which we could create images from. My group had received an article titled ‘Am I a fool to expect more than corporate greenwashing?’ Within the piece of writing H&M and Fashion Revolution were mentioned to evaluate a point of the excessive waste produced from the fashion industry. We quickly came up with ideas so we could focus on creating the image within the 40 mins we were given to produce at least one picture.

We decided that the strongest and easiest idea we could work with was where the two companies were fighting for the highest coverage on their recycling campaigns.

We initially created a flat line drawing of a bag using the rectangular tool and the arc tool to create the handle. On the front was a rough impression of the H&M logo for which we created a short rigid bristle brush. Then we added the muscular arms with the bulging biceps. The tutor came round to suggest that we could use digital photographs of bags to make the picture look more sophisticated instead of just keeping it as a flat image. As you can see, the picture on the right is the original flat image we created in illustrator, and the picture on the left is one we used from online.

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For the second bag with Fashion Revolution, we first had a quick look at the design of their website and the logo. We put together a brief logo to put on the bag and created teardrop shapes to create the impression that the bag was sweating our of vulnerability and anxiousness for H&M stealing it’s ‘thunder’. We attempted to make the logo fit on the bag as if it were part of it. The smaller bag gave the impression that it had less power and strength than the larger H&M bag with handles.

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After showing the pictures to the class, one girl suggested that we could have created personified human bodies out of the bags, however I explained we wanted to keep the concept bold and simple which meant no more than simple line drawings, shapes and marks made with a brush or felt-tip pen.

This was an extremely insightful workshop into how we could work under a very limited timeframe. If encouraged us to be bolder with our fast paced creative thinking, being more efficient. It also turned out that usually even the best pictures made for articles or pieces of writing are quickly made because of the bold and simple nature of the images which gives it it’s effectiveness in terms of enticing the the audience into reading further into the piece of writing, whether it be implicit or explicit. This workshop had in fact changed several of my ideas on the style I wanted to use to illustrate the concept. I didn’t particularly feel as if I wanted to change any of the concepts I came up with, however, by using Adobe Illustrator I could create simple pictures and drawings to create a more focused and a bolder insight into the concept I had in mind for my article.

Changing Faces – Type and Layout

With starting the new editorial project we were given a refresh and presentation on type detailing and layout, which included line lengths, what made a tidy piece of text, the path for the eye, and grid systems. To start the workshop we looked at various well designed magazines and ephemera spread across some tables. It gave us inspiration for what we were going to be getting up to in the next task that was set.

We were briefed with setting a piece of text from ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens into a B5 sized page created on InDesign. The benefit with using InDesign is that you can set columns, margins and gutters to your preferences meaning your grid system can remain consistent over the document. In pairs we put the text into an InDesign document to find as many possibilities of what would look like a professionally designed editorial piece on a single page.

Here are the outcomes me and my friend came up with:

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We both felt that the final design which you see above was the best out of the three. The type detailing was fairly strong and it reflected on the piece of text from the traditional novel by a well respected author. With the first paragraph, we decided to treat it like a stand-first. A stand-first is an introductory paragraph in an article in larger or bolder capitals, summarising the piece of text. We were commended at the end of the workshop on our strong choice of layout for the piece of text, with the underlining of the heading and sub-heading acting as a small break so the reader could clearly see where the heading ended and the text started. We also thought it made the design of the layout look more interesting and engaging.

Before the workshop I looked at various double page magazine and newspaper spreads online and on Pinterest. I put a board together for the project for possible ideas and designs I could take inspiration from to inform my own creative thinking and development of ideas and outcomes. I looked at 5 double page layouts and designs, each of which were unique in their layouts.

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The first magazine layout caught my eye because of the simplicity of the design and the negative space which created a sense of breathing space for the reader. The speech marks were prominent in making the double page more interesting, yet not a distraction from the piece of text on the right page. I also like how lines were used to break the subheading at the top from the article below.

The next layout I chose differed to first one I chose. The designer has decided to make use of positive space in this layout. You might think that what looks like painted text in the background is the title of the article, however it didn’t specify exactly what the manifesto was about. As you can see it was a ‘Water Manifesto’, which is of course the title of the piece. Although the text in the background was the first thing that grabbed my attention, it summarised the near conclusion of the manifesto. There are various other callouts in the design, however they don’t gain as much attraction as ‘THINK & ACT’ in the background. Usually you would not encounter handwritten text in an article or piece of writing because of its frequent illegibility, informality, and how word processing is a much faster method to use to process text. This was likely created in illustrator with a think point bristle brush, digitally created with the aid of a graphics tablet. I love the nature of the handwritten text in this piece, making it not just personal for the designer or typographer, but also for the reader. It reminds me of protest posters and handwritten text on cardboard used in public protests. In terms of the layout, I like how the text is divided up nicely, which gives the sense of the reader being able to take it in short paragraphs. I like how the photo is aligned in the centre of the page below the text.

For the third one I chose, I liked the balance of space. As with the first layout I looked at, this design also made use of lines to break up the text which made the piece look modern and contemporary and also assisted in balancing the space over the two pages. I like the clear definition between bold, semibold and regular text. What grabbed my attention the most was reading the callout stretching over the first page and onto the first half of the second page. This worked well in encouraging the reader to move onto the second page and served as balancing the use of space, especially with the use of bold text.

With the fourth layout design I chose. what caught my attention was the way the text surrounded the callout creating an interesting shape for the gutters of the columns. I like how the photo on the first page took up all the space, leaving the attention seeking to the second page. What I found interesting was how the designer highlighted the heading in black with the text being white. It was extremely eye-catching and made it differ to the rest of the text on the page. I didn’t particularly see any black background layouts, which is why it was interesting to see this element of colour choice.

The final layout I chose for its originality. The really likes how the photo was edited so the darks were changed to reds, and how the same red used in that picture was used in the handwritten text on the right page. I liked how text overlapped the photo and the overlapped callouts on the right page. As I was saying about handwritten text, its personal for not just the designer but it has significance on how you can change the readers perspective, feelings, and emotions on a topic. Red is a persuasive colour but I loved how the red had a warmer orange tone to it to make it seem like a less serious topic. An example of where a serious red would be used would be in the Labour Party campaigning for the UK Government. As with the third layout I chose, I like how the space has been balanced by chaining the ligature of pieces of text in the design. Negative space in this piece is used very creatively due to the shapes created by the text.

I liked all the designs in different ways. What I notices with the layouts I chose was that the majority only use a two column hierarchy. This makes it easy to create negative space, keeping the reader engaged.

Changing Faces

With a start to a new project, titled ‘Changing Faces’, we were given the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills we have gained throughout our first year through designing an editorial piece. By using typography, image making, conceptual development and story-telling, we were tasked with crafting the editorial piece based around an ongoing topic/issue within the world today. We had one article to choose from out of ten, interpreting it through type and image. The design, concept and images within the piece would have to be our own original work, spreading across six pages. These six pages could either be made up of 3 double pages OR 2 double page spreads and 2 single pages.

Below are what key points I have to consider in the development of this project.

After reading through the ten articles, I narrowed my choices down to three articles to choose from. I based my choices around which articles I could quickly create ideas from, and which most interested and engaged me into researching more about the topic/issue. I created a mind map out of the three articles.

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From noticing which article had the most stems leading onto ideas, I chose the article ‘Can President Trump Handle the Truth?’ I also made another mind map looking at what imagery and typography ideas I could go forward with. I also annotated the article itself with other quick ideas after I read through it a few times.

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By narrowing down my choices of concepts to use in the editorial piece, it would also help in me being able to fit just over half of the article into four pages at most, which would allow plenty of room for me to experiment with typography and imagery.