Brief (Part 1)
Choose a magazine, newspaper or journal and work out the grid or grids they have used.
Measure the size of the pages, the margins, the text columns and the gutters. Is it the same on every page? Can I identify the fonts? To they use images? How much white space is there?
I chose to look at the reviews section of SFX magazine.
My version, using the same grid:
Whilst setting up my page, I found that the grids weren’t as complicated as I thought, although due to the varying sizes in the gutters, I had to create the columns individually. I’m still relatively new to InDesign, so this was a bit of a challenge, and I needed to refer to forums to establish the best way to achieve what I wanted.
I matched the fonts by eye, because the identifont results were nothing like the fonts used in the article.
I’m pleased with the outcome.
The brief then asked if I could develop the grid further. I played around with removing the spacers in the middle of the pages, widening the columns, adding/removing the number of images. The adjustments just seem to make the page look cluttered and overall it was harder to read.
Brief (Part 2)
Select a title and images and see how many variations you can come up with. What happens when you change the headline or body fonts? Do different images change the ‘feel’ of the publication? Would the audience for each version be the same? Does the image suggest a different design? Which works best and why?
I wanted to chose a title that was positive, light hearted and gave a bright/colourful feel.
“How to be Happy”
I wrote down my initial thoughts on this title, and what I felt I needed to address, including colours and what kind of images would fit different audiences/designs.
I also referred to some other articles with different layouts to see possible variations.
Whilst I was looking, I found an article with the same title, by Peter Jones. I included it in my research, even though I feel that given the subject, it looks a little dull. It easy to read, because it’s broken into ‘bite sized’ sections, but the imagery and colours are limited.
I also found this info graphic/instructions. I included it because my initial brainstorm focused on the word ‘happy’ this acknowledges the word ‘how’.
My How to be Happy articles
I wanted my choices of images and typefaces to appeal to audiences of different age groups and demographics.
Women in their 20s/30s
I found this quite easy, because this is a category I fall into. I chose a bright colour and a ‘natural’ looking image to give a warm, laid back feel to the article. The grid is pretty basic, but is broken up be quotes and subheadings.
Women with families
I chose to have more images on this article as a variation on the article above, with a typeface that flows a little easier. The main images are predominantly green giving a natural, wholesome feel.
Women in their 40s/50s/60s
My choices for this article are similar to the ones above, but I used a different grid/layout.
I wanted these articles to be pretty basic and easy to read. Looking back over them, they are probably the least appealing to read (the second one more so) because of the bulk of text. I’m happy with my choice of images, but overall I’d say that these would not appeal to the intended audience.
Men in their 30s/40s
I found this one difficult, but based on the article by Peter Jones (above) I used a simple image and small sections of text.
Out of all of the articles, I am most pleased with the first and last ones. The first article was bright and has the feel I was aiming for, and the last one’s lack of colour was a conscious decision. I’m confident that they would appeal to the intended audiences.
I think that I was focusing on the grids/layouts and therefore neglected to consider colour in the other articles, which was something I felt was an important part of my initial brainstorm.