Monday, 7 March 2011

InDesign workshop brief...

The Brief

You have been given a subject matter (a fellow classmate) and you are required to produce a visually considered double page spread based upon them. The content for the double page spread will be gathered from an interview with the subject matter and information they have posted about themselves on their blog.

The article must have 300 words and contain two images minimum.


Explore layout/type/image/colour and how they relate to each other.

What tone will the article take and who will the audience be? How will this visually affect your design(s)?

Legibility is to be considered carefully.

Practical considerations

Explore a range of visual outcomes before working digitally. Dont design while sitting at the computer.

Mandatory requirements

All work should be supported by a broad range of visual investigation in the form of design sheets and notebooks.

The final image double page spread

Landscape A3 stock 237x380 (2cm bleed)


One double page spread


Subject matter: Michael Mooney

Born in: Southall
Birthday: 17th June
Age: 19
Favourite colour: Green
Has a pet cat called Loui
When he was younger he wanted to be a chef
Ideal place to live would be either Madrid or Lisbon
Favourite animal: Cat
Favourite food: Anything mexican
Likes exploring and walking
Earliest memory: In year 2 he remembers being pushed into a wall and cracked his head open
Best memory: Being in Newquay with all his friends
Favourite music: he listens to pretty much anything
Favourite film: Shutter island
Favourite alcoholic drink: Desperado
The best thing he thinks about Leeds: It's friendly
Best personality trait: Honest
He plays the drums
Annoying habit: Taps
He doesn't like selfish people who always talk about themselves
If he wasn't doing Graphic Design right now he would have moved to Spain and worked
He would love to go travelling
The furthest he's been away from England is Italy
He would love to get a 1st on his degree
The thing he misses the most from home is all of his friends
Siblings: 1 older sister
Greatest fear: Getting old and not having done anything worth while, like having children
Phobias: Money spiders
Childrens TV programme: Pingu
Favourite cat: Red Burmese


InDesign workshop 2:

The above images are from the second InDesign workshop where we were given an article that we had to re-produce exactly using Indesign. At first it was really hard to get used to, but after learning the basics i found it a lot easier to arrange the layout using the original article as reference. After learning the basics to the program i then started to experiment with layouts for the brief.


From asking Michael Mooney questions and from seeing his work on his blog, i was able to create designs that reflected on his work and his personality. 

The above design is the first one i came up with for Mooney, it is a very boring layout that doesnt really work very well at all, i think this because its a pretty bog standard layout with nothing to exciting going on. It doesnt seem to have any structure either. The cat that is in the layout is an image that i drew and scanned in, Mooney likes cats so i felt it was an appropriate piece of imagery to use that would help to add playful elements to the layout. The green has been used because its his favourite colour. The speech bubble doesnt work in this layout, it looks like its placement is too random and the text above and below it looks as though its been placed there for the sake of it.

This design has some elements the same form the one above, but i have added a quote in a larger point size just to mix it up a bit, it also exaggerates the fact he likes cats and justifies the imagery. I dont think that the large block of text on the top left page looks right. There is too much of it, on the right page i think that the layout works a bit better because the second image box splits the text up making it easier to read.

I tried simplifying the design by just using imagery on the left page and leaving the text all on the right hand side with a few smaller images. The cat has been enlarged to fill the page along with the speech bubble that has been edited. I decided to add the text inside the bubble and lower it to the bottom, i think the negative space within the bubble actually helps his name to stand out more. After changing the left hand side, i think i now need to focus on how to make the right hand side more playful and interesting to look at.

I have moved the text on this layout to run down the right hand side, this will be the main bulk of text with info about michael, the other parts of text on the right page will be captions for images of his work. I have also added a small piece of text above the cat which would have Mooney's name and DOB in it.

Here i have been more daring with my layout and gone for something a lot more eye catching. The white squares underneath the text help break up the green space a bit and add angles to the layout which i can play with. I have added in the quote at an angle with drum sticks following the same line, im not sure if the piece of text at the bottom of the right page should be there, it could maybe be a bit smaller or go along side the column of text down the right hand side.

Everything is the same as the design above on this layout apart from i have made the outline of the cat black so it isnt lost in the background colour.

The left hand side works for me on this layout because it has still been kept simple, i have just moved the caption text and placed the drum sticks inside the speech bubble. The right hand side looks quite awkward, the white square separating the columns of texts sticks out like a sore thumb, i think there needs to be more text placed underneath it so it all links together.

I have changed both pages on this layout, the left page now has the majority of text, in a standard 3 column layout, i still have the speech bubble from the design above but i dont think it works well without the cat. The right page is very centralised, i think the cat sitting on the text adds interest, the only thing bad is the angle of the bottom square, i think it needs to be more angular as it sits in line with the text and just doesnt look right.

Again i have kept the left page the same as before and focused on the right page, i have mirrored the cats and placed the text in the centre, it is a very neat layout, but i dont feel it flows on very well from the left page.

I think on this one i have exaggerated the amount of text that will actually be on my final design, the right page is just text with a bold header and the left side has more text but the imagery and shapes at the bottom helps break up all the text.

There is a lot going on on the right page, i duplicated loads of cats to border the bulk of text, but it all just looks too much.

Going back to using the large cat again, i played around with laying out the actual text i am going to be using, it all just looks so random though.

This is the same as the above, apart from the cat is just an outline, i think i prefer it white with a dark outline, it stands out better.

I made the text larger and spread it down the page, but there is something that still doesnt look right.

I moved it around, placing the white squares into the middle of the page at an angle, the text is then right an left aligned, oppositely placed towards each other. The drums sticks point towards the centre of the layout which leads you eyes to the bold quote and the start of the lower paragraph.

I decided to steer away from the green background as i felt it was too much, i stripped back down to basics and had a white background, reversing out the squares to be green instead. Mooney has a pet cat called Loui so added an arrow pointing to the cat.

This layout has had the green squares removed and an arrow from the right hand paragraph point down and leads on to the second paragraph. I have also moved the drum sticks to the left hand side, they direct your eyes to the bold quote.

I decided to add a funny face to the cat as i felt this was very 'Michael Mooney', it keeps it light hearted and again interesting to look at. The layout above was the final one which i took to the crit in the type and grid session. I have bought back the green boxes but kept the straight, the quote has been placed in a  more random way but i think it works well.

A close up of the cat :)

Centralising the text on this layout looks very odd, and there is too much text in one place which makes it harder to read, also the drum sticks placed at the side make the page look un even.

I have enlarged the quote and kept all the text right aligned on the right hand side, it looks rubbish because it looks as though it has just been put anywhere. The drum sticks help to direct the eyes though into reading the top paragraph and then back down to the quote.

I added images of Michael to the layout to make it more obvious it was about him, it also stops it form being boring because there is more imagery. A smaller piece of text has been placed underneath his picture, and the other bulk text has stayed right aligned.


After the crit and seeing examples of layout that Lorenzo had put together, i felt that my layouts were a bit crap and boring. So i decided to have another go using inspiration from the examples i saw.

I took away the whole green background thing, as i thought it looked really tacky, and went to lovely clean white! i then stuck to the whole, less is more thing and tried to centralise the information on the page in an interesting way. I went onto Mooney's blog and picked out work that i liked and i thought were some of his best pieces and used them creatively  within the layout. I placed his work at angles on the left hand side because automatically it gives direction for the eye to follow and just makes it more visually exciting. I have used an enlarger letter to start of the text on the right side. The black line under the text on the left is another directional point which leads you onto the next page, straight onto his work.

After removing all the green, i thought it would work well if i had a snippet of green to emphasise one part, i felt it necessary to include the colour because it is Michael's favourite colour. I coloured the large M green as it emphasises it even more than before. This will be the only green in the layout.

With this one i have moved the text around on the right hand page, so that the smaller text block is left aligned and moved to the right more, both blocks of text are still centralised though.

I added a quote about Mooney, saying 'i like drums and cats', which he does. Again it just adds another visual aspect, and because its bold, your eye is drawn to it before other things.

With this layout i have moved the two text blocks on the right next to each other and then moved Mooneys work underneath the directional line. Not really sure if this one works too well, the right hand page looks to cramped together.

I have made the left hand side even simpler by taking the photo over to the right, which fills the space next to the text, i moved the piece of work over to where the photo was and enlarged it slightly. Again im not sure if theres too much going on on the right hand side, but the left is working well.

So i moved the photo again to the left hand page, at the bottom, making it slightly smaller, it helps to balance out the whole double page spread because this lowers the left page, and the heightened text block on the right hand side balances it out.

This layout doesnt work at all well, the moving of the work to the bottom of the right page makes the DPS really uneven and right side heavy, the composition of the images doesnt sit right.

I moved the larger piece of work over the left hand page, which directs your eyes into the centre of the left page and then the green M gets you reading the text. Im not sure if the photo should be smaller on the right page though.

I moved the text blocks right close to one another, but still with the same alignments, it just looks really confusing and messy though. The left page is a lot fuller, but because of its layout it still makes it easy to look at and read.

I used the black central line to separate the text blocks on the right and then moved the work image to the top of the page, but the mass amount of text still looks too overwhelming laid out like this.

I added some space between the text blocks which makes a huge difference, and changed the alignment so they were both the same. I think the right hand side really works on this design because of the changed vertical angle of the work. This is one of my favourite layout designs.

I kept the image vertical and played around with its placement, i dont think this layout works as well as the one above, it seems to make it a bit messy, and i have changed the alignment of the text blocks again.

I changed the image on the right back to horizontal and used its ends to align the text against, i think it could all be shifted to the left a bit though, to make the margin even, but then again maybe it doesnt have to be even?

With this one i have used the image to separate the text, but they still line up with one another. I have then enlarger the piece of work on the left and placed the photo inside its structure, but i think it looks a bit odd, just randomly sitting there. The quote runs along the angle of the piece of work, which works well.


This, i think, will be my final layout that i will take to print. I think it works the best out of all the designs i have produced, this because there is a nice balance between the information on both sides, the whole layout has been kept simple, and i really like the angles of the images, they help add direction. It also works because of the hierarchy of the images and quote.

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