Thursday, 29 January 2015

Free Magazines

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Layouts: Essential Information and Work To Do

By the end of the week you are expected to have completed your flat plan drawings for your double page spread. A succesful flat plan will be based around the basics (and not so basics) of 'page harmony'. Harmony is essential if your work is going to look 'real', to help you achieve a 'real' looking product follow the steps below to create a template which will push you towards the top band.

Tick off the success criteria as you complete them

Success criteria:
  • A3 landscape created
  • Page numbers placed on both pages
  • Magazine name placed on both pages
  • Drop capital used to start article
  • Minimum of two photo’s on double page spread
  • Basic page layout followed
  • Basic page layout improved using intermediary page layout

STEP 1 - Basic page layout

Before embarking on your design get a feel for sketching by trying to copy some of the designs above onto A3 (you can squeeze at least 3x3 onto A3) and then upload an image of these to your blog.

STEP 2 - Intermediate page layout (aka how to draw rectangles)

Minimum – 2 columns per page within rectangle.
Article within rectangle
CVI of image within rectangle

How to draw rectangles harmoniously (if aiming for a band 4 you MUST ensure ALL designs have these template lines visible)

Using these 'guide' lines try and ensure all of your flat plan 'design' fits within these areas

If you'd like a more thorough explanation then visit the excellent memonic page

Alternative page layout The Grid System

The grid system is an elegant yet simple way of designing your page. It too builds on the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc

Try dividing your page into columns as seen here, then you can decide how many columns will suit  your page

This site has a very simple explanation:

Monday, 26 January 2015

AS: Work To Do 26th-30th January

Complete any tasks left over from the first section of the schedule.

  • Finish a drawn flat plan of your cover, contents page and double page spread.
  • Take photos of the people you are going to use in your magazine (test shots)
  • Begin a draft version of your cover, contents and double page spread.
  • Continue to gather feedback from your audience. You could use  Survey Monkey (or any similar site) to make a questionnaire if you wish.
  • Write a draft article, interview or other written element (this depends on what you are including on your double page spread).
  • Continue with general research.
  • If you are working on a PC and would like a font that is not installed, send me the link to the page that the font is on and i will have it installed for you. This site is good for font ideas.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Design Layouts: Gutenberg Diagram, Z Pattern & F Pattern

Several layout patterns are often recommended to take advantage of how people scan or read through a design. 3 of the more common are the Gutenberg diagram, the z-pattern layout, and the f-pattern layout.

The pattern applies to text-heavy content. Think pages in a novel or a newspaper. The pattern isn’t meant to describe every possible design.

The Gutenberg diagram describes a general pattern the eyes move through when looking at evenly distributed, homogenous information. Read that last part again.
The pattern applies to text-heavy content. Think pages in a novel or a newspaper. The pattern isn’t meant o describe every possible design.
The Gutenberg diagram divides the layout into 4 quadrants.
  • Primary optical area located in the top/left
  • Strong fallow area located in the top/right
  • Weak fallow area located in the bottom/left
  • Terminal area located in the bottom/right
The pattern suggests that the eye will sweep across and down the page in a series of horizontal movements called axes of orientation. Each sweep starts a little further from the left edge and moves a little closer to the right edge. The overall movement is for the eye to travel from the primary area to the terminal area and this path is referred to as reading gravity.
Naturally this is for left to right reading languages and would be reversed for right to left reading languages.
The Gutenberg diagram suggests that the strong and weak fallow areas fall outside this reading gravity path and receive minimal attention unless emphasized visually in some way.
Important elements should be placed along the reading gravity path. For example placing logo or headline in the top/left, an image or some important content in the middle, and a call-to-action or contact information in the bottom right.
Designs that follow Gutenberg are said to be in harmony with natural reading gravity.
The claim is these designs improve reading rhythm, by being in harmony with the natural reading rhythm, as well as improving reading comprehension, but there’s little empirical evidence to support the claim.
Again Gutenberg describes large blocks of text with little typographic hierarchy. As soon as you create a visual hierarchy the diagram no longer applies. Keep this in mind with the other patterns described here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Examples of flatplans that show it's a valid way to begin the whole design process. Brainstorm ideas for your cover, contents and double page spread. Get them down on paper and then move on to PhotoShop.

 If you've started on PhotoShop then that's fine too, just make sure you save jpegs of your initial mock up.

See also Know Your Onions pages 9-11 by Drew de Soto (we have a copy in H2). He explains the point of working out the initial idea on paper.

Monday, 5 January 2015

AS Foundation Portfolio Brief


Preliminary exercise: using DTP and an image manipulation program, produce the front page of a new school/college magazine, featuring a photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. 

Additionally candidates must produce a DTP mock-up of the layout of the contents page to demonstrate their grasp of the program.

Main task: the front page, contents and double page spread of a new music magazine.

All images and text used must be original, produced by the candidate, minimum of FOUR images per candidate.