Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Assignment 4 Part 2

I've done some fiddling since last night
I'm not sure I'm happy with it but I think this is a bit better. What do you think?
Then magazines tend not to ptint articles on white paper so would this be better?
Amongst other things my tutor thinks the question mark graphic could be improved so
I did a bit of fiddling and I think this does look a lot better
 I wondered if a few lines make it easier to understand?

 and I did some experiments
but ultimately I think this is the best version
Whilst researching Type magazine I came across this title sequence for a film. Her Type magazine is good too.
Examples of typography and design magazines are difficult to find here in leafy Hertfordshire but I came across the website of Baseline Magazine

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Assignment 4 - Show me

I started this project by messing around with font ideas in my sketchbook
 Starting with the idea of typewriter font
 and then just trying random ideas wherever they took me

 I'm thinking that the font at the bottom of the above page is the one I'll run with but more of that later.

These websites gave me some good information for my article


The brief is a bit random. I have no problem with linking what makes a typeface interesting and how it is constructed but how to include question marks in a way that flows within the article? I decided to use them as an example and maybe put them in a box of their own.

My research didn't come up with much specifically about question marks although I like the idea that they developed from the latin quaestio which was abbreviated to qo and then;
I decided to focus on the differences in question marks in different typefaces as an example of how text can vary and found a selection of different styles
I tried layering them to show the differences better
Fun but not very clear or informative

"The question mark can also be quite difficult to make, because it requires you to balance an open curve over the dot below". This website  has a lot of detail about creating new designs, the quote (and some of the only information I could find about question mark design) was about halfway down.
I went back to my sketchbook

Which lead me to;
I'm worried that my font won't work large size on a magazine cover
I tried to make it bigger then fiddled with it on the computer
It needs a background. I though about printing blocks but I don't have any and it seems to be cheating to steal someone else's so I cut lots of letters out of the paper

 I used the negative feature to get this
 and tried playing with distortion

Don't like this its too busy so I went back to my sketchbook
 I quite like the idea of doing some simple drawings of printing blocks. There is an artist who does flowing line drawings very successfully but I can't find who they are at the moment or I would credit them. Alternatively I took some photos of my keyboard which is a bit disgusting until I hid it by trying different effects,

 I like this one best

with the font over the top you get
 Or better still
There is plenty of room to add this months features. I would like to do something more interesting with the title but if it is to stand out in a magazine rack it needs to be at the top.
For my font I drew it out on an A3 sheet of paper in pencil at 2 different sizes

 Which I traced over with different sized pens
 and laid out the headline for my article
Which I have put in a greeny blue 
This is the article
I think my layout isn't great but I'm struggling to get Publisher to not put hyphens in words in odd places so this was my best compromise.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Exercise Hierarcy part 3 A book review in a weekend newspaper

For research I bought the Times and the Telegraph. For layout I think the Telegraph looked better more space between articles made it look cleaner and clearer. Both the header and the body text were serif and sub headings were italic in the Telegraph and in bold red in the Times.

For my first attempt I tried Times New Roman and Bernard MT Condensed.
Then Elephant and Microsoft Himalaya
and with Bodoni MT Condensed and Traditional Arabic
I was looking for something clear and simple and easy to read I think Elephant and Microsoft Himalaya work best. I didn't use italics as there are limited availability in my software and I didn't use colour because when I tried it looked cheap and distracted from the overall layout. I think colour could work better when the article is imbedded in a page where there is other colour from photos and adverts.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Exercise Hierarchy Part 2 A review in a computer magazine

Magazines I looked at had a picture of the product reviewed plus text, a box with main features/highlights and a star rating. Body text was sans serif but headers were with serifs.
I used a photo of my elderly but now broken A3 printer and built my review around it
 Initially using Arial as my body text and Gill Sans Bold as the header but it looked like something from a comic book so I tried Aharoni. The headline is in black for boldness and the subheadings in dark blue which doesn't have much "punch" also I don't like the way Aharoni deals with numbers .

Sticking with Arial as the body text I tried Arial Rounded MT Bold for the header and subheadings and purple for the subheadings.
 This is better but not quite right so I went for Lucida Console as the header and subheading text as it has a modern computerish feel and Mangal for the body text which I feel is complementary. I like this but the burgundy red doesn't feel right for a computer magazine and red (used in some of my researched examples) looks cheap to me. This takes up more than one page but maybe that would make the article feel "looser"  as it blends into the next page. I guess the use of this would depend on the type of advertising commonly displayed in the magazine and whether there were a series of reviews which could be blended together hence encouraging the reader to read reviews they may not have originally chosen. Text that takes up more space is good if you want a thick magazine with less content but costs more to produce.
 I prefer dark green for the header and a lighter green for the subheadings which speaks quality to me.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Exercise Hierarchy Part 1 An interview in a listings magazine

The magazines I researched used clear text and bold colours. The body text according to Identifont was interval sans but it failed to identify the headline text.

I tried Eras Light and Bold, Arial and Arial Black, and Gill Sans initially with Aharoni for the header which I changed to Eras Bold
 All the articles I researched were dependent on accompanying photos, not knowing anyone who would stand in for Sheila I used my dog looking troubled.  To make the text readable I changed it to white where it was over the dark photo but I think this would interrupt the readers flow so I lightened the bottom edge of the photo and lay the black text over it.
Having a predominantly black and white photo made it difficult to select an appropriate overlying header text colour. A lot of the magazines put some very subtle shadow around the photo to make the text stand out but I can't work out how to do this. I think I like the raspberry pink ( I'm assuming that most of the readers who are interested in Sheila are female - maybe this is a mistake?)
My copy of Publisher doesn't have the facility to have a black line around the text so I exported the page and used Paintshop to create the header text. This looked a bit distorted to me at full size but  above, smaller,  it doesn't look much  different. I think I prefer the darker pink too.