Grids: Final Designs

Karl Gerstner’s 58 unit grid as spread – 6×6 grid

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions

Text with: 3-5 medium sized images including captions

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions

My three final refined designs for the grids project. Minor changes have been made since my previous posts to make sure that all of the elements are properly aligned to the grid and that the textual information is formatted correctly.

In previous projects it has been made aware to me that I have a tendency to make my designs too big and loud so this time I have tried to keep my designs simple and sophisticated. With my three designs I think I have achieved creating visually pleasing designs with very little, as well as learning a lot about grid systems.

Grids: Design Refinement

Original design

Above is my chosen design for the specification ‘Text with: 1-2 large images including captions’. I have chosen this design for my final outcome however it still needs refinement, on the right hand side there is a large amount of negative space which needs balancing. Below are a series of screenshots where I am experimenting with how I can best use the negative space.

Stepping the heading from the body text

Moving the elements to a more central position on the grid to balance the negative space

Balancing the body text in the bottom left with the heading in the top right

Balancing the heading and body text in the bottom left with a grey block of colour in the top right, however the block of colour ends up being distracting

Attempting to balance the body text in the bottom left with the heading in the top right however the layout is more awkward than balance

Using a small grey solid block of colour in the top right containing the folio to balance the heading and body text in the bottom left, once again the solid block of colour is distracting

Mimicking the tones in the photograph on the left with the heading and body text on the right, through altering the orientation of the heading

Below is my chosen design from my above experimentations. In this design I have moved the body text and caption from the bottom right to the bottom centre, helping to close up the negative space. I have also moved the heading to the top right, in line with the statues head on the left, in an attempt to balance the composition on the right sheet with the composition on the left sheet. Furthermore I changed the title in order to make it longer and add more tonal colour to the page. Finally I added a block of colour to the right hand sheet to reduce the harshness of the bright white paper, the colour I choose was selected from the photograph on the right and then reduced to 40% opacity to mute the colour so that it did not compete with the photograph on the left.

Grids: Development

After creating my 10 thumbnails sketches on both the Muller Brockman grid and the Karl Gerstner’s 58 unit grid I decided that the grid I preferred using was the one created by Karl Gernster as the grid allows for alot of creativity and freedom. From my 10 drawn thumbnails for this grid, I began to develop these designs digitally within the grid template.

For my layout designs I used content based around an article I found on It’s Nice That, the article is about a new series of work being produced by the photographer Catherine Hyland. From this article I took the main body text as well as the information on the author of the article and when the article was wrote.

‘Photographer Catherine Hyland has been travelling the mountainous landscapes of China and Mongolia to capture its vast, yet eerily empty tourist destinations. In her ongoing series Universal Experience, which she will continue to add to, she explores scenes of epic beauty that have been developed to become tourist destinations. Tackling themes of nostalgia and abandonment, she hopes to capture the intertwining of natural beauty and the artificially engineered viewpoints from which people choose to remember it by.

“The aim is to shine a light on both the strange and sublime nature of these spaces,” Catherine says. “Giant Buddhas that exist in small desolate villages in rural China, and expansive mountainscapes with barely any visitors. Whether it’s sites of historical importance or natural splendour each is approached with a heightened awareness of its significance as a place of beauty and grandeur. Landscape is seen primarily as a cultural construct and only secondarily as a natural phenomenon.”

Catherine’s large-format photographs, shot on film, show the awesome landscapes together with their barren tourist-targeting additions, contrasting the natural and man-made elements. The dusty mountainous shots are particularly striking, with their gradated colours and uniformly dusty tones.

Words by Jenny Brewer,

I then went on to the photographers own website and saved all of the photographs from the series mentioned in the article, this gave me a wide range of imagery to work with in my layout designs. When deciding upon what content to use for my layout designs I specifically choose to focus on photography, this is because the final spreads will be printed at A3, therefore I wanted access to high resolution imagery that would still maintain their quality when increased in size.

For our layout designs we had to produce 3 final outcomes each with different specifications:

  • Text (body copy) with: 1 – 2 large images including captions
  • Text (body copy) with: 3 – 5 medium sized images including captions
  • Text (body copy) with: 3 – 5 small sized images including captions

The text must also include a major title to the spread plus main headings and subheadings, as well as page numbers. Graphic devices such as typographic rules, shapes and symbols could also be included.

Below are my 12 digital developed designs (4 per specification)

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 1

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 2

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 3

Text with: 1-2 large images including captions: Design 4

Text with: 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 1

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 2

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 3

Text with 3-5 medium sized images including captions: Design 4

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 1

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 2

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 3

Text with 3-5 small sized images including captions: Design 4

Despite me basing my layout designs on the article wrote by It’s Nice That, in some of my designs I did choose to use dummy text. In some of my layouts I wanted to include larger amounts of body text however the original article is quite short, therefore I replaced the article text with placeholder text generated by Adobe InDesign.

From my 4 developed designs for each specification I believe that the most successful was design 1 for the large sized images, design 1 for the medium sized images and design 3 for the small sized images, however I do believe further refinements could be made. Design 1 for the large sized images the right side of the spread is too empty, therefore the addition of another image, graphic devices or altering the layout on the right could aid the design.

Semiotics: The Language, Symbols & Signs of…

Semiotics

Semiotics is the theory of signs, taken from the Greek word semeiotikos which means ‘an interpreter of signs’. Signing is vital to human existence as it underlies all forms of human communication.

Icon

The signifier (denotation) is perceived as resembling or imitating the signified (connotation). A pictorial representation, a photograph, an architect’s model of a building, or a star chart are all icons because they imitate or copy an aspect of their subject.

Index

An index has a factual or casual connection that points towards its object. Wet streets are a sign that it has rained recently. Smoke signifies fire. A nest image is an icon of a nest but an index of a bird.

Symbol

A symbol has an arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified. The interpreter understands the symbol through previous knowledge and experience – it must be learned and agreed upon. Spoken or written words are symbols. There is no reason that the word ‘cat’ should represent a cat instead of a tree.

Metasymbol

A symbol whose meaning transcends the tangible realm of simple one-to-one relationships. History, culture, and tradition all play a role in creating metasymbols, such as a dove with an olive branch as a symbol for peace. For certain audiences, religious and magical signs and symbols take on these properties.

The Language, Symbols & Signs of…

Brief: To research, visually explore and investigate a form of communication. In this project you should explore visual language and how personal/collective visual signifiers are communicated in relation to meaning and audience (e.g. semiotics). You should also develop an awareness of content and visual hierarchies, and develop research and self-evaluation skills.

The language of…

  • Language is a system of communication both written and visual which when used in various ways conveys a message. Some languages are read consciously or subconsciously. There are many examples of visual systems/matter that utilise a language of their own such as smoke signals and flowers. The messages communicated can be life-saving when denoting ‘friend or foe’ or as everyday as a team affiliation.

The Signs of…

  • A sign is an object, quality or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A gesture of action used to convey information or an instruction. We scrutinise each other’s faces all the time consciously and subconsciously looking for signs of agreement, affection, mistrust, interest, etc.
  • When a comet shoots across the sky ancient people saw this as a sign of doom, whilst others interpreted it as a prophecy of a forthcoming Saviour King. More mundane signs guide us every day and help us navigate ur journeys from A to B. There are universal signs (signage) and personally significant signs whether linked to relationships, profession or belief systems.

The Symbol of…

  • A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating links between otherwise very different concepts and experiences. Symbols are people, objects, events, designs, places and are at the pinnacle of communication, what is associated with them carries the impact of the idea. An example of fast evolving symbols are emojis, being refined and expanded on all the time.

On the brief a list of 30 forms of communication were provided, 10 examples each for language, signs and symbols. From this list I have chosen to investigate the option ‘body language: posture; attraction; flirting; tattoos and/or body modifications’ found within the section ‘the language of…’