Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Grids, type and stuff...

When becoming a Graphic Designer i need to know everything about type from make up of type to grids and layout.

- Components, weights, sizes and style.
- The two most frequently used styles are Roman and Italic.

- Leading:

Leading first came about when lead letter press blocks were used, the blocks would have letters on them and would then we aligned into words and then pressed.

When looking at a newspaper for example, you have the point size, which is the size of the type from the ascender to descender, and then you have the leading which is measured from baseline to baseline.

For example:

10pt + 4pt leading= 10 on 4pt
(the 10pt is the size of the type and the 4pt is the gap between each line).

- Pica:

A pica is the length of a line of text, is it a constant measurement of 12pts

- Em's:

Em's are a variable measurement, they are measured by the width of the letter M in any given point size.

- X- height:

The X height is the height of the type, not including the descenders or ascenders.

- Body copy:

Body copy is the bulk parts of text that we read in articles and publications, it is the main part of reading. Body copy is normally between 8 to 10pt, and there is normally no more than 10 to 12 words per line, as to make it easier reading.

- Point size:

Point size is a measurement of a typeface from the acsender to the descender.

- Ligatures:

A ligature is a pair of letters that interfere with one another.

- Using type:

- All capitals is harder to read because there is no shape to the words, our eyes recognise words by shape.

- We often use certain fonts to represent something else, its character is similar to the word we are using.

- Motorway signs have been designed to all be the same font and point size in order to make it easier to read, they have also been produced in lower case, so that from a longer distance we can make out the shape of the word and have a quicker indication of where we need to go.

- Tracking: Tracking is the letter spacing between a group of letters.

- Kerning: Kerning is the spacing between a pair of letters.

- Halation: Halations is the reversing out of type, for example black on white or white on black.

- The use of half tone, colour and heirachy depends on what you want people to read first.

- Folio: A folio is the page number.

The grid:

- The grid is your friend!

- You will find grids in almost every magazine and newspaper you read, it is the hidden, underlining help that puts a publication in order.

- The grid is a guide line only and is only there to help.


I learnt how to find the grid in a newspaper (The Guardian), and also use a measuring tool, to find the point size and leading of the body copy, the titles and sub titles.

I created my own grid for a magazine double page spread and re designed the layout. I chose to look at Cosmopolitan as this is a magazine i regularly read, its grid consists of 6 columns.

My 8 column grid.

I started by completely re arranging the layout, i wanted to see how many different layout variations i could design. The possibilities are endless so i have re designed 12. The elements of this one that are successful i would say is the enlarged circle photograph, it just adds some curves to the page which i think makes it a little easier on the eye.

This design is very simple and a bit boring. The images have been kept squared off. I think that this style of layout would suite a more formal piece of publication. For a magazine like Cosmo, it needs to have a fun and friendly vibe.

I think that the side with the cameras on is the more successful page from these two. I think the directional lines of the camera and angle of the photograph makes it more visually interesting. The writing is layout in a way that doesnt overwhelm the reader with text.

This one doesnt work well at all after looking at it again. Theres too many angles and it looks confusing and disorganised.

Because the cameras were very colourful i thought it would look good if they were spread across the double page. It brightens the page up, it was just hard to organise everything around them in a successful way as they are pretty much in the centre of the whole layout.

This layout looks too spaced out and slightly empty. I think that the curve that the cameras create works well as it softens the top left hand corner, which is where we normally start to read from.

I like how the body copy layout of this has been done, it looks a lot bulkier but in a way it makes the text look less daunting. Some people probably like it when theres alot of text in a publication, rather than pictures. I prefer the pictures with minimal text.

This is one of the most successful, it has taken some elements from the enlarged cameras across the frame and the slight curve. The text needs to be more organised but the layout works in terms of imagery.

Another successful layout, there is a good balance of space between the text and imagery, theres a mixture between wide spread body copy and one column text, which adds a nice variation.

I like how the larger image on the left page balances out with the large amount of body copy on the right. Again it makes it easy on the eye.

The way in which the text has been centralised with the imagery on the outside is another way of lay out. I think that the title on the right hand side under the midway line looks good as it cuts into the body copy.

I like how the text and body copy fits in and around the imagery, its much like a puzzle and has a connected look to it. It looks comfortable and easy to look at.

I then did a "final" design ( when i say final i mean for now, there are 100s of design ideas for this double page spread). This design was a combination of elements that worked well out of the 12 smaller designs.

This is a very successful DPS, the left hand side features all the Canon promotions, with the slightly angled photograph. The cameras run down along the left side with the text running along side that. The sub body copy overlaps the photo which stops the image becoming too dominant. The right hand side contains a lot of body copy text but i like the enlarged square and circle at the top, it helps break it up and the text flows underneath.

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