Summer Spread Evaluation

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

The brief for the summer spreads was not very specific when it came to how the pieces should communicate although I decided due to them being for Tatler Magazine and as they were travel magazines that I would base the communication decisions upon good research that I conducted. I focused on the typography and layout of the piece in the initial stages to insure that the communication was strong and that it was cohesive and professional in line with other Tatler spreads.

The typeface I chose was a Serif typeface called Athletas. I chose this due to it being extremely similar to the Tatler typeface. I found that through my other research into magazines this was the most traditional type form used.
Through my focus on layout I research Golden Section and found that this was the most effective for drawing the eye to the part of the page that was important to communicate the message you wanted, Lots of the images used in my spread (Especially the Explore Oz spread and the Travel Thailand spread) are very focused on using variations of the golden section ratio and also used hanging line techniques to draw the eye to titles and straplines or quotes.

 

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I feel the main strength of the visual communication of the spreads is the communication of the photography. As you can see throughout this project I have been lucky enough to travel a lot this summer therefore collected some really interesting photography. I find that the strongest device for selling or informing about travel is visual, I find that when I see a picture of a holiday then that is where I want to go so I focused a lot throughout on choosing images appropriately to insure the best communication of the photographs. I was also very careful not to flood the spreads with text as after my research of Tatler as a magazine I was keen to replicate the mainly visual effect of the pieces.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

I feel although the designs are successful visually there is weaknesses in the crowding of the pieces. When it came to the Travel Essentials spread this is something I had to be very careful with,Although I created digital thumbnails to insure I did not go into the design with no clue of the layout it was very hard to utilise the space effectively and I do feel as if the right hand page on this spread suffers as a result of this, I think having a second column to the object list does make it look slightly crowded but throughout design process copy is something that has to be placed into text whether you like it or not and occasionally you would even have more that this to place on a page.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

If I had more time or the opportunity for a brief like this again I would have created more space on each page. Such as with the Thailand spread I would have probably had this across 2 spread such as I would had included the image and the body of text spread across one page and utilised the space clearly and effectively and then would have had the top days out in another spread and perhaps included a few more.

How was my time keeping?

My time keeping for this project was good, I worked on the pieces one at a time having conducted clear and concise research before completing the imagery for the spreads I had already conducted my research and had a vision for what they would look like which helped me to produce images that I knew would work for the spreads.

How was my analysis of the brief?

The brief was very loose and did not give an awful lot of guidance therefore I focused primarily on this quote – “You should use mostly your own imagery and wording, but can supplement this with found images and texts. Please make sure that you reference this clearly in your sketchbook or within the spreads as appropriate.”

Which stated that it would be preferred to use your own imagery therefore I insured all imagery and wording was my own which I think makes for a stronger and more unique portfolio piece.

You should get your format for the page measurements from a magazine of your choice and then present the spreads as mock ups within the magazine. No A sizes will be accepted!

This is also something I took literally and insured that I used the sizing provided through Tatlers advertising requirements.

How was my research?

I researched a lot for this particular project. I started of with broad research into general topics and general spreads firstly to get inspiration of more creative magazines and just to get some background on how I should be thinking when starting this project. I think my research into layout design was very successful and helped me to form opinions about the other designs I looked at after this point. When researching other travel magazines I was then more aware of the layout techniques being used throughout which helped me to analyse and draw conclusions.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

In two of my spreads I did my best to use the Golden Section Technique as I found this effective in the spreads I looked at although I did break this mould for the last 2 spreads. Having looked at this now I actually think that the ones that I used golden section on where possible more easy on the eye and more successful so this is something I can consider for editorial design in the future.

 

How did I use experimentation during the project?

For this project I experimented with different typefaces to start with I thought this was the best way to start to insure that I had a format for all the different spreads. I also experimented with the placement of imagery and type around the page as I think this is the most difficult thing to make look good in a spread as the placement needs to be balanced.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

Below I have highlighted the Learning Outcomes I believe I have covered and a explanation as to why I think this.

Specific Outcomes

1) An increased awareness of the constraints of a design brief.

I think that my evaluative and analytical skills of briefs throughout this project have been good having constantly considered the brief through out and referred back to it throughout the project for guidance to Typography, Layout and Measurement requirements.

(2) Developed a deeper understanding and evaluation of solutions to a design brief that encompass set criteria.

As above, I think I have been evaluative throughout this project and insured that the brief specifications have been met through my imagery sourcing, Typography investigation and measurement research.

(3) Increased awareness of the history of typography including traditional typographic terminology and how it has been adapted to modern technology.

This is something that I have considered a lot through out previous projects so feel I have a good understanding of this. I used typographic terminology through out my blog specifically in my blog post “typeface choice”/

(4) Developed a greater awareness of the connotations of typeface choice and be able to justify decisions across a wide range of applications.

Again, this is something I put a lot of consideration into when completing a design brief and think that my research into the existing typeface choices throughout Tatler Magazine and other magazine research helped me to complete a successful final typeface choice throughout and even in some cases using unique typeface combinations to provide balance to a piece.

(5) Developed an increasing awareness of contemporary typographic trends and innovative developments.

Through my research I looked into different styles of type through contemporary design and also apposing design styles. I understood the trends and insured that my designs would not be considered dated or un nesserery through typeface choice.

Generic

(1) Developed their ability to solve design problems within the structure of a design brief.

I feel at every stage of research and development of the pieces I have created I have solved problems that have arisen. Throughout my blog I justified why I made changes that I did to fit the design brief effectively. 

(2) Developed awareness of the concepts and practice of graphic design needed to underpin the creative process.

My creative process is clear throughout my blog and this is always something I contribute to a strong final piece. My design process has always been very simple. Analysis of the brief, Research into subject field, Research for inspiration, Sketching or thumbnails, Design and Development, Refinement, Final, I think this process is shown clearly throughout the blog. 

(3) Applied the practice of thorough and relevant research as an aid to the development of individual creativity.

My research started of broad in this project and as I got nearer to deciding the direction of the design I then refined the research into looking at research as inspiration for my final pieces. 

(4) Begun to understand and use skill, and critical judgement when choosing and using type, which will allow creative freedom in their design solutions

Throughout the design I would insure that all the typography was clean and worked well, In any design if type does not sit well or look right I manually adjust to insure that the lines sit in a formatted and clean way. I also tried and testing many typefaces and made comparisons with works already out there to insure I came to a unique yet uniform final design decision. 

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I enjoyed the photography and the typography of this project. I felt although I decided to follow traditional magazine spread techniques and choices I have a lot freedom when it can to photographing and also thought it worked well to research and give myself a vision before completing photography so that I could do this accordingly.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

Although this is something that I have mentioned in previous projects I always find it increasingly difficult to stay focused and driven through the middle of a project. I tend to be very excited and driven towards the beginning and research lots and nearing the deadline I get very driven to finish the pieces and always have a slight dip towards the middle although this was not the case for this project, I think this was because the project lent itself to being separated into 8 clear parts. Photography for Spread, Layout of spread and this was the case 4 times over with each spread which was nice as it felt like 4 separate projects therefore equally exciting.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case?

Looking at real life magazines was a lot more inspiring for me that looking on Pinterest of bechance at other designers takes on this. It made it more apparent what is out there in the real world and showed how these differ which I think I forget to do quite often.

What areas were challenging or difficult?  Why was this the case?

I think the typography colour stage was the most difficult part of this project due to the fact the images contrasted in colour therefore I had to insure I chose the right colours when having the vision of the text being laid over the image rather than underneath or around the image but this is something I managed to solve in some cases such as the Find France spread.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

I could develop these ideas by spreading the information across different pages to insure that there are minimal and clean. This is something I really like in design and that using space effectively is very professional and modern therefore this is something I would task for next time.

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