Grids: Feedback and Improvements

In this group crit my designs were received well and I was praised for my bravery in attempting minimalist designs which are often hard to do well. The feedback I was give consisted a few minor changes. The text throughout all three designs needed to be reduced in size as the leading was very tight. Furthermore my first design (1-2 large images) needed a drop cap or another graphic device added to the right hand side page of the spread in order to add some visual interest. One major change that I did have to make was to redo my last design (3-5 small images), this was because the images were too small on the page and got lost in the empty space. For this design it was recommended that I looked at large scale photo books for inspiration.

To begin improving my designs I visited the library and collated a large body of research into layout design by photographing spread layouts from large scale photography magazines. The magazines pictured below include Foam, Source magazine, Parkett magazine, Art Review and American Destiny.

   I then revisited some of my previous designs for my 3-5 small images design.

The text handing down from the text creates an interesting layout on the left however the page on the right is too similar to the design for 3-5 medium images (seen above)

Breaking the grid on the right gives a refreshing break from the previous designs which all work within the confines of the grid, the image on the left page however may be too large for the 3-5 small images design

Final 1-2 large images design: A drop cap has been added to the body text, the body text has been reduced in size and the background colour has been made stronger to show up when printed as previously it was not visible when printed

Final design for 3-5 medium images: A faint colour has been added to the background to make the paper off white as the paper before was a very bright white

Final design for 3-5 small images: This layout is a combination of the two previous designs I was looking at. By breaking the grid on the right it ensure that the design is not too similar to my 3-5 medium images design, therefore giving the spreads flow and diversity. I have also included the text hanging from the image on the left which creates an interesting composition.

 

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.

Kerning Exercise

Brief: Use Adobe InDesign to format 4 landscape A4 sheets, each sheet will have a single word in 4 different styles and all will be kerned. On each sheet the chosen word will be in a serif typeface and a sans serif typeface, and will have an uppercase and lowercase version of each. The words notoriously difficult to kern are: railway, predictability, woodland and masquerade. 

For my kerning exercise I chose the font Baskerville for my serif font, and Helvetica for my sans serif font. Below are my final kerned outcomes.

I found this exercise quite challenging, however this was not due to not understanding the brief or how to kern but because I found it hard to know when to stop kerning the words. I became too precious with the exercise and spent a lot of time readjusting my kerning, however after a discussion with the tutors I finally settled on the above outcomes which I believe are resolved.

 

Hierarchy

29/11/2016 – 9/01/2017

Brief: To use given content to produce a successful design solution for the KULI-KALA production. This design solution has to then also be formatted to four different specification sizes. The aim of this project is to improve my understanding of design hierarchies through the use of font size, weight and spatial arrangement. As well as to develop a sensitivity towards composition, balance and harmony, and finally to apply the knowledge I have gained through the production of my typographic archive.

I began by researching posters that display a confident understanding of hierarchy through the use of typography and limited graphic rules. Below are some examples that I found to be successful, especially due to their of rules and the alignment and spacing of the text fields, and all of which I have gone on to include within my typographic archive.

prelude-music-festival-poster-by-mercedes-bazan

Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan

prelude-music-festival-poster-by-mercedes-bazan-2

Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan

montreal-international-black-film-festival-by-sarah-dufour

Montreal International Black Film Festival by Sarah Dufour

japanase-architecture-a-history-by-sabrina-scott

Japanese Architecture A History by Sabrina Scott

After concluding my research I took the content that we were given to include in the design and split it into text fields, then I assigned these fields a hierarchy; primary, secondary or tertiary. These fields and hierarchies were not permanent but acted as a rough guide to follow when producing my hand drawn thumbnails of various design solutions. Once I had some ideas sketched out I digitally rendered four which I thought were the most successful in order to see how they worked within a digital space. I judged my most successful thumbnails on how well the use text size, weight, spatial arrangement.

untitled-1

Above I am using graphic rules to frame the text, however the brief states we may incorporate minimal use of graphic rules and my use in this image may be too decorative.

untitled-2

A reduction in the amount of graphic rules present and the introduction of inverted rules with type.

untitled-3

Experimenting wth the orientation of type and the use of dynamic rules. Although this is a technical project and not conceptual, the use of dynamic rules could be seen to represent swords or slashing, which relates to the samurai storyline of the production.

untitled-3-v2

A variation on the previous design however with the addition of another rule to represent clashing swords. The additional rule however creates an awkward interception with the inverted rule on the left, despite the reduced opacity of that rule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the above images I decided to further develop the 2nd design. In comparison to the other designs it is less cluttered and there is a clearer hierarchy. Before going onto develop my design I did have to resolve an issue that I encountered once digitally rendering some of my designs. In the brief states it states that we are restricted to two typefaces, these are the serif font Garamond and the sans serif font Meta, both of which I did not have available on my device. I was able to find Garamond available online and install it onto my device, however I was unable to find Meta for free therefore I substituted it for the san serif font Arial which is readily available.

untitled-2-v2-kerned

Developed Design

In the above image I have gone on to develop my design by changing the tertiary text fields from Garamond to Arial. The serifs on Garamond reduces readability of the text when the text is set to a small font size, especially on screen, therefore a sans serif font would help to increase readability. Furthermore the use of a serif and sans serif font in one design creates a contrast between the two.

I have further developed the design by kerning the characters in the main heading. I reduced the space between the K and U in the first inverted rule, and the K, A and L in the second inverted rule. I did this to reduce the negative space between the letters cause by the diagonals present in the letter K and A.

Final 210 x 210mm Design

Above is my final design for the 210 x 210mm format. It has been developed from my initial design by making the tertiary text at the top of the image fit onto one line, this is because by having the text on two lines like it was before it created an unbalanced composition at the top of the image. Furthermore I’ve adjusted the length of the inverted rule for the date to be aligned on the left with the text and the inverted rules of the main headline. I also adjusted the length of the tertiary text below the inverted date rule to be shorter, this is so that the text frame height would matches the tertiary text on the right, and so that there is space between the left and right text fields. Finally a graphic rule was added above the text field in the bottom at 40% opacity in line with the bottom of the date inverted graphic rule. This was to fill in the negative space and balance the composition.

90 x 125mm

100 x 210mm

297 x 105mm

Above is my design transferred to the three other formats; 90 x 125mm, 100 x 210mm and 297 x 105mm. Throughout the various formats I have made sure to maintain the inverted rules and graphic rules, as well as making sure the layout remains consistent where possible. Furthermore I ensured that the elements in each image remained consistent in their ratios.

Digital Presentation Board

In InDesign I assembled created an A2 document and assembled all of my formats on that document to scale. This digital document acted as a mock up for my physical presentation board for my final outcome. It also allowed me to view all of my formats against one another to check to make sure all of my formats had a consistent design.

I believe that my final outcome was successful as they all contain a consistent design as can easily be recognised as being part of the same series. All of the same main elements of the design are present in each format, for example the inverted rules, graphic rules, layout etc. Similar layout and font sizes are also maintained where possible. As well as aiming to maintain consistency I also aimed for the designs to successfully work on their own, therefore each design has a clear hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary information, all the text is legible, and I have employed techniques such as scale to put emphasis on the important design elements. Initially I did struggle with this project as my existing knowledge of typography was limited, however as I developed my typographic archive and worked on my typographic emphasis exercise I furthered my knowledge of typography and was able to cement this knowledge by putting it into practice through this project.

Critique

During my critique I was informed of many areas I had to improve within my design. My design was praised as being super clear and easy to read, but it was too formal without enough drama and dynamism. To combat this I was advised to give it a stylistic twist. Other feedback specific to the elements of the design was that there was not enough empty space, the serif font is hard to read in inverted rules and a sans serif font would be more legible, and that the use of the large rule at the top was distracting.

Post Critique Amendments

To rework my design I went back to one of my earlier thumbnail sketches and began to digitally render some compositions based upon that, keeping in mind the feedback I received as well as the feedback given to others during the group critique. Below are some of the designs I produced and sought out additional feedback on.

Text fields in the bottom left abruptly disrupt the flow of the piece

Very flat, dynamism is lost without the cuts in the title

Text extending down disrupts the balance of the piece

Larger title helps to balance the composition more despite the text still extending downwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My personal favourite design, and the design my tutor agreed upon as the best, was the design below. We agreed that it was more dynamic, however small adjustments could be made. The large black diagonals on on top left and bottom right corner could be removed from the design, the bottom left text field about the composer and writer / director could be wider or altered slightly to remove the thin section caused by the “action by” line, finally the alignment of the text fields in the top right should be more precise.

Initial design

Design after feedback

Below is my final reworked design applied to all of the formats. Overall I am very pleased with the final outcome. At the beginning of this project I researched many good examples of visual hierarchy with type in graphic design and began implementing those stylistic approaches within my thumbnails however during the designing process I believe I sacrificed too many of these features in favour of making an easy to read and understand design. Therefore for my final design I revisited some of my earlier thumbnails and brought some of those stylistic approaches back (e.g. dynamic cut through the lettering and stepped text fields), which ended up producing an easy to read and understand design that is also dynamic and visually appealing.

210 x 210mm

297 x 105mm

100 x 210mm

90 x 125mm

Introduction to InDesign

11/11/2016

Adobe InDesign is important in graphic design and illustration for producing publications and other printed material. This workshop not only equips me for producing my own publications and printed material in the future but also helps me in producing the  ‘Learning the Ropes’ typography archive that I am currently working on and which has to be produced in Adobe InDesign.

We started by setting up a new document and becoming familiar with the different options that can be adjusted; intent, facing pages, columns, gutter, margins, bleed and slug. Once the document was set up we became familiar with the pasteboard and adding, moving pages and placing images. To add content to the pages we first looked at type which has many different options available, more than the other Adobe softwares. For producing typography you have control over the font, font size, colour etc. like most design software however you also have control over the leading, tracking, kerning, vertical scale, baseline shift, skew, overrunning text and paragraph formatting.

Colours are another important part of the software as you can mix and add colours to the swatches palette , however for more accurate colours you can use the Pantone system which is mainly for text or large blocks of text. To use the system you can purchase different swatches books from Pantone for different stocks of paper, you can then select the colour you want from the book and enter the Pantone number into InDesign which will then select that exact colour on screen. This ensures that when you print your work it will be the same colour as it was in the Pantone colour swatch book.

Out of all the software introductions I have been to so far I have found this one to be the most useful. I started this introduction with no knowledge of the software, where as with the other introductions I was already familiar with them to some degree, and left feeling confident with using the software independently to produce work which is essential considering its importance to my course.