Formative feedback – 10/05

After presenting my work to the group, I was given a few things to improve on. More work needs to be done on the body text, particular on page 4 because the quote sites awkwardly against the text and would look better in the middle of the article. One of the ways I can help correct the text is by increasing the column size. On pages 2 and 3, the orange illustrative quote is still lost on the image so I need to try other ways to make it read well on the page; suggested ways I could do this were to try placing some of the words going along the arm of the person in the photo. If that didn’t work, I could try making the image orange and having the text overlay in black or white. Another suggestion was for pages 4 and 5, to try and see what it would look like if I were to have an image and blank background next to each with the quote on one part and the article text on the other. For example, I could have the photo of the feet on one half with the body text placed on this image and then on the other half it would be a white page with the illustrative quote placed on top in orange.

Improvements:

I tried all of what was suggested to me within the feedback but I found that none of it was working. The first I did was look at the illustrative quotes on each spread. I took the ‘Genderbread person’ quote and placed it on a white background, moved the photos and adjusted the body text to be in alignment with it all. It did work in a way but I didn’t like how separate the white background made the page look. It change the pace of it a lot and I preferred it with the photograph as the whole background because it felt like it was all one piece rather than the photo being separate to the illustrative typography. However, I did like the way the quote was placed on the right hand image; I like the effect of having the smaller white box on top of the image, I just don’t think it looks right having it for the quote because it would look odd placing the body text next to it – but this could be an idea for how I present my body text.

Body text

I was told to use more columns to help refine my text on the page so I increased the columns from 3 to 8. I wanted there to be plenty of space around the text so by having more columns means that I could position them more central and have more blocks of text in a row if I wanted to. In the previous experiment, I had put the quote inside a white box which was placed on top of the image; I really liked how this looked because I felt like even though it was placed in a box so it’s separate from the image, you can still see the image around the article so it felt like all one piece of work. One of the things I found I was struggling with when creating the article was hierarchy between the image, body text and illustrative typography. Using a white box to place my text in, I think will help balance out the hierarchy so you see the text is just as important as the illustrative type and image. So far, I think that it has done just that and I like that there’s a certain part of the article specifically for the story and I think it’s an aesthetic I could easily use throughout the piece of work.

I began changing the composition of the ‘I’ve finally reached…’ but no matter where I put it there was always one point on the page where you couldn’t see the orange writing properly. Instead of having the black and white image, I tried putting an orange filter to it on Photoshop so that I could overlay with white text which might help it read better. Having tried the orange filter before on a previous experiment I wasn’t hopeful that this was going to work and it didn’t. I don’t like the look of it I find that it makes it look far too bright and is quite distracting when on a page.

Since that the other illustrative quotes I had drawn were working on the article, I came to the conclusion that I should just redraw the quote because it’s clearly not working. I think the problem with the one I’ve got is that there’s too many different kinds of writing which are all really different from each other and some of the writing is also very thin, so it’s a struggle to try and sit all the words on the page so that they align properly and can all be seen. When drawing it out again, I had these things in mind and drew the words as thick letters so they would read well off the page. I was also mindful of the composition too because I knew how I wanted it to sit on the page.

Once I’d placed it onto the article, I could already see a huge difference with what I had previously. It’s a lot more easily read and sits nicer on the page because it flows more.

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Next:

My next point now is that I will continue to work on the body text, placing them inside the white boxes and continue to refine the rag.

Formative feedback – 08/05

Article presented: transgendersurgery

Feedback from tutorial/things to improve:

  • change the typeface
    • change to something more modern/geometric
  • improve body text
    • have a stand first to show beginning of article
    • break up the text with quotes
    • currently using 3 columns, increase the amount of colour to change the composition of the text
  • try changing the composition of the illustrative type on both double paged spreads
    • ‘The Genderbread Person’ – have it spanning across two pages rather than on 1
    • ‘I’ve finally reached…’ – the orange is lost on the image, change so it isn’t
  • front cover:
    • instead of typing out the heading etc, hand write it instead
    • take out the orange lines
    • try an orange filter on the image

Improvements

Front Cover:

There was only a few things to adjust on the front cover. I took out the orange lines and removed the text in the right-hand corner; I then replaced it having written it in my handwriting and scanned it in. Just making the simple changes I have done has improved it so much; it looks far more contemporary now.

I was also suggested to try and change the colour of the image to an orange filter rather than black and white and then have white text overlaying it. I tried this but because of the contrast of tone within the photograph the colour orange was coming out far too dark and as I tried to adjust there was too much of a contrast of lighter and darker tones. I compared it to the original use of black and white and I much preferred that look to the orange.

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Final look of front cover:

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2x Double Page Spreads:

1)

I was told that the block of text to the right needed more work; so to add a stand first to mark that it’s the beginning of the article and then add quotes to break it up. Also the illustrative type was getting lost in the image so I spent a lot of time changing the composition of the type until I was sure that it was in a place that it could be read. Another part I need to change was the typeface I used. Originally I was using Kohinoor Bangla which looked dated so I changed it to Avenir; I like the geometric look to it and it has loads of weight options which is good when placing quotes. The first paragraph I used as a stand first and chose to write it in white text and have it bolder so it was clear that you read that piece of text first. I composed the stand first separate to the rest of the text but I still wanted it to be clearer it was a part of the same thing so I used orange lines at the top of the stand first and beneath the body text so there was a clear start and end indication. I pulled out a quote and had it placed in the centre of the text.

Final composition:

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 14.24.34

2)

On this spread the body text needed the typeface changing to Avenir and needed to be edited more. With the illustrative type, I was suggested to try different compositions, perhaps spread it across the two pages so there was different space for the body text to sit. I tried this, experimenting with a variety of different compositions but none of them work as well as the original because it interrupted the pace of how the quote should have been read so I kept it to how I had it before and spent more time working on the body text. I broke it up more so used 3 columns rather than 2 so that the text was spread out more. I included a quote which I was finding awkward to place but chose to have it at the bottom of the body text, joined with an orange line and then an orange line at the top to create a box-shaped composition. I felt that compared to what I had created before the pace of this text was working a lot better.

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Back page:

There wasn’t much work I needed to do on this one other than improve the body text; so spend more time on it, include a quote and change the typeface. I wasn’t sure whether to include another illustration but as I’d said before I didn’t think it needed it since it was the final page. I did ask if there was anything more I could do with it and I was suggested to include a big full stop to mark the end of the article or an ellipse to show the story is continuing. I tried both of these ideas along with an explanation mark but my favourite one was the use of 3 dots to mark the story continuing because I liked how it was a simple way to illustrate that part of the article.

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So far:

Overall, I’m really pleased will how it looks so far. When I hit a brick wall last week I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to come up with a good idea to keep it rolling. My progression has worked well and I’m pleased will all the feedback I’ve received so far because it’s helped to push and develop my article to the best it can be. I still feel there is a lot of improvement needing for the body text; I’m working with 3000 words which is a huge article to try and put into 6 pages. This is one of the reasons I have chosen to use such big paper so I am able to include the whole article rather than cut parts out; I felt that there was a lot of important parts to the story and overall its a really interesting read so I didn’t want to take any of that out in worry that I’d lose some of the emotion in the article.

Learning Group Tutorial Feedback

In the tutorial, I presented 3 double paged spreads that were printed just a bit smaller than the actual size and were in black and white; I also showed the digital copy on my laptop so they could see it in colour. Overall, the feedback was positive, they liked the images I used and the way I approached the article. They offered some really good feedback in how I can improve it. They like the illustrative typography and they said it’s something I should continue with throughout the article. For the front cover they said I should use illustrative type but change the title of the from ‘Transgender Surgery at 16’ because they said it seemed too obvious and didn’t match the playfulness that I was going for within the article. I mentioned a quote where the boy in the article describes himself and they said to use that as the title because then it will make it less obvious what the article is about and make it a more interesting cover. Another thing they said was they liked the images in black and white and said to try using black and white images with orange text on top – also to play around with the transparency of the images. One last thing they said to improve was the body text; the paragraphs were too close together and there are a few problems with rag and orphans so I need to spend a lot of time breaking that up.

Improvements:

Front cover

BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS:

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The first thing I did was create an illustration for the front cover. I took the title from the quote: “I identify as a transman, a faggy queen, a homosexual, a queer, a nerdfighter, a writer, an artist, and a guy who needs a haircut.” I think that using “I identify as a transman, a faggy queen and a guy who needs a haircut” as the front cover, is a really quirky start to an article and feel like because it’s quite humorous, it’s inviting to open and read the article. I completed the same process as what I did for the ‘Genderbread Person’ illustration; drew it out by hand, scanned it in and then added it onto the article. One thing I needed to do first was change the colour of the image, so I went onto Photoshop and converted it to black and white. Placing this back onto the article along with the illustrative typography, began to already create a stronger looking front cover. I tried using orange for the typography like suggested in the tutorial but I much preferred it in white so instead I put orange lines on the page (like I had on other pages in the article) and then in the corner I wrote the heading, sub-heading and author of the article in orange.

AFTER IMPROVEMENTS:

Below is the current look of the front cover. I’m really happy with the improvements that the group suggested because it looks so much stronger than the original front cover I presented them with.

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First double page spread

BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS:

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With this spread, I started out by changing the colour of the photo to black and white and then spent some time breaking up the paragraphs so that it wasn’t such a big chunk of text. One thing said in the tutorial was I shouldn’t have any white space in the article and that I should increase the size of all images to fill the pages. Once doing this I then picked out a quote from the text and drew it out. I chose “I’ve finally reached a point where my transition is not consuming my life” because since this is the first page of the article with text on it, I wanted there to be a good opening quote to show the start of a conversation. After choosing to use white for the front cover’s quote, I wanted to use orange for this one. I spent a lot of time with the composition of the quote on the page because I found that though orange is a bright cover on top of a black and white background, you were losing it among the photograph. I did eventually come to a point that I was happy with how the typography sat on the page.

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AFTER IMPROVEMENTS:

The image in black and white and orange text works so much better than the original. Having the paragraphs of text broken up also looks so much better because it sets a better pace to the article.

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Second double paged spread

BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS:

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I actually really liked this page with the image in colour and the writing in white but I understood what they meant by changing it to have the image spanning the whole page because the composition of it wasn’t quite right. The photograph I used originally is portrait so I wasn’t able to enlarge it to fill the whole page so I used the photo that I had on the final page because of it being landscape. I changed the image to black and white and had it spread out in full on the spread. The good thing about the image I was now using was that there was plenty of blank space around it which meant I had plenty of room to place the body text. I broke up the text by having a space between each paragraph and correcting the rag and orphans. I was able to have the illustrative type in the colour orange and worked really well stood on top of the image I had now chosen to use because they are both quite quirky pieces of imagery.

AFTER IMPROVEMENTS:

I like the combination of this image and typography; I feel that it’s a lot more contextualised and is a more interesting piece of work to look at.

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Final page

BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS:

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This page, I had spend the least amount of work on so it was looking really dull and uninteresting compared to the other pages. The first thing I needed to do was change the image; I used the one I had originally chosen for the 2nd double page spread. After making it black and white, I had it cover the whole page, keeping the orange line running through and the body text to the left hand side. In the tutorial they had suggested I should do an illustrative quote on this page as well but I felt that because it was the final page at the back it didn’t need as much detail as the other pages.

AFTER IMPROVEMENTS:

There’s a huge improvement in look on this page just by changing a few things. I am unsure whether it needs anything else or to just leave it as it is so in the next tutorial I will ask what else I should do with it.

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Print out

After making the changes, I printed out the article to see what it was like in actual size. I did not print in it the actual size it was, I shrunk it slightly to save paper but after printing it and seeing how big it is, I’m happy with the size it is and would not want it any bigger so I will change the size of the article on InDesign so I work on the actual size I want it to be printed in.

Illustrative Typography

Within the second double page spread, I wanted to use the quote describing what ‘The Genderbread Man’ was as the main part of the page. Since just writing it out on the computer wasn’t giving the effect I wanted, I decided that to draw it out would be a better idea. Over the past few weeks, I’d spent a lot of my free time developing my hand drawn typography so this was the perfect way to develop my technique further. Process below:

I tried to lay out the quote as best as I could, having the area of the body to the left and what it represented to the right so that there was a clear pace with how to read it. After I had finished drawing it, I scanned it in and then traced it on Illustrator so that I could use it within my article. I tried to stick with using orange as the colour as I liked the original pieces of work I was doing that had used orange text.

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The next thing to do was add it onto the article. I tried various compositions and ways of displaying it with the image. Sometimes you can struggle to see what a piece of work looks like on screen and whether the colours work so as I continued to change elements on the page, I printed these out to see what they looked like. I liked the overlay of the typography on top of the photography however this did not seem to work with orange text as the colour of the image blended with the colour orange – using white for the typography did work being placed on top of the image. I tried to change the colour of the image to black and white but at that point, I still wanted to use colour for my other images so I didn’t want to make the decision to change the image to b&w when all the other photographs were staying in colour. A composition that seemed to work best was having the photograph to the right and then the typography on a separate page in white and orange.

Since I had made the decision to have a cover page, it meant I needed to include all of my body text on the other two spreads and single page on the back. In the above paragraph I said that the composition that worked best was having the image and typography separate, however, this would mean having to put some body text onto the image in order to fit all of the article onto the pages. The image is a combination of dark and light colours and I found it was an awkward background to place text onto. I decided that for this spread to work I would need to change the image I was using. I also took a second look at the illustrated typography and realised that it didn’t flow well and there was too many words used which is what made it confusing to read. I edited the piece on Illustrator and changed the words in the middle so that it was clear what you were reading and at which order. See changes below:

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I began experimenting with different images to use and I found that this illustration worked much better with the photographs I had take of the male. Unfortunately the orange wasn’t working on the pages because it was getting lost within the colour of the photo. You’ll see below the photographs of my experiments.

The first image: I like how the body text sits to the side of the image however it does need more work because it’s such a long piece of text to try and read. With the quote, it would need to be placed as the second spread within the article because it is placed more towards the end so I decided to use a different image because I felt that this particular one worked better an introductory image; he has open body language with the way he is sat so it invites you to read the conversation that is written in the article.

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The second image: I used a portrait image and cut out half of his profile so that you still identify who it was. The illustrative typography sat really well on image, and I cropped the image so that I could have the body text to the left of it. I still wanted to include the colour orange so I decided to do this by using orange lines creating a box around the text.

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After creating the above spread and deciding to use the image of the male sat on the chair as the first of the 2 double page spreads, I continued with the other pages. I wanted the article to be really fun and playful throughout so since all of the photography I have used for this article is exactly that (e.g. image of socks and sliders; topless woman), using illustrative typography would add to that. I decided that I wanted to use more illustrative typography, definitely on the first spread as well as what is already on the second spread. I placed the image of the topless woman on the front cover because I thought that it was a really bold and probably quite questionable image. Also, I think that it would question the reader into wondering what the article is about so meaning they want to open it up and read it. Below is a PDF file of the article I have so. Tomorrow (05/05) there is group tutorials with other students so I plan to get some feedback from the current direction I am heading – so confirmation on whether they like the illustrative typography and the pace of the article.

Current look of article: transgendersurgery3

Front page

The first thing I began to do is redevelop the front page to make it more interesting since it is the first thing you see within the article. I first tried to have the title behind the image, but as I did that, the title became lost and didn’t sit as well as I had thought it would. I like the orange text used on the second spread so I tried changing the colour of the text but again, it was lost on the image and using yellow text as the heading worked far better. I tried a mixture of these colours which wasn’t working so I then looked to my research for inspiration. The pages in the magazine ‘YOHO!Girl’ had borders around some of the images and often had a heading written on top in handwriting style. I took inspiration from this particular style which I liked but it didn’t work with this article because it made it look quite grunge and didn’t give the sense of positivity that I wanted it too.

I was also struggling to change the layout and colour of the body text so that it stood out more on the page so I decided to change the cover page to just one front cover instead of the double page spread. I changed the photo to a portrait image rather than the original landscape one so it sat better on the page. I wanted to use this purely as a cover page with just the title on it. I played around with a more minimalist approach of writing the title, still keeping with using yellow, however this turned out more to look like the National Geographic logo which was not what I had originally intended. I do like the idea of having it as just a cover page so I will stick to this page layout from now on – so 2 single pages and 2 double-paged spreads – but will continue to experiment with more ideas for how to display it.

What’s next?

After experimenting with several ideas, I decided that all of what I was doing wasn’t working and I needed to take a different direction. I printed of the article that I had so far and made notes around it to decide what’s to do next.

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I like this image as the front cover because I like the composition of it and theres loads of space around the image for text. The pace of it works well because you’ve got a clear heading and then body text to the left, however, the body text is lost and it’s not easy to read at all. It needs to be broken up more and considering it’s the front cover it needs to stand out more. Perhaps with quotes and there needs to be more of an indication that this is the start of the article.

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In the above spread, I liked how the image and text sat separate and the colour orange as the text colour compliments the image. I explained in a previous post that I wanted this particular quote from the article to be on it’s own page. After seeing it printed out on the page, I want to try other ways to make the quote stand out on the page and an idea for this is to illustrate it. I’ve been practicing a lot of illustrated type recently so the idea would be is to illustrate this quote and have it sit in on top or next to the image. One thing both of the above spreads have in common is that they’re boring to look at. I’m really happy with the images and I think they’re really strong but I don’t think they’re enough to make the pages stand out so I want to be more experimental with the typography as I think that will make the pages a lot more interesting.

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This page does not excite me at all; it’s contemporary and I think the pace of it works with the body text to the side and a quote in the middle, but the colours used are dull and I feel that this spread is designed more as a middle page rather than the end of the article. I also think that the quote used sets a more negative tone and since I want the article to be shown in a positive light, I feel that I need to use a different quote to show this. Reducing the body text size so that it fits onto the whole of the image and then increasing the image size so that it fills the whole page, I think, will look a lot better than what it is now.

To do:

  • change the front cover:
    • stand out more
    • different colours?
    • change body text – difficult to read
    • change title
  • illustrate ‘The Genderbread Person’ quote
  • finishing page:
    • change quote
    • larger image
    • small body text

Re-think

After creating ‘The Genderbread Person’ spread, I liked the visual that the white space created. I went back to the other page I had created (below) and moved some text around.Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 20.10.42.png

I like the quote on here, I didn’t want to remove the quote but I thought about using a different quote. Also, seeing the leg began to annoy me to cropped the image more. I kept the body text as it was because I like how it is shifted to the side. With the quote, instead of having it in the box, I looked other ways I could show it.

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I liked the idea of having part of the text going of the image and being written in tow different colours. However, I tried this and I felt it made it look a bit hostile. I want the photos to have a personal touch and looking at the above image, it just doesn’t for me. I do like the blank space below though, but it could look better by just expanding the image so that it fills the page.

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I continued to experiment with text on the page and though I like the composition above, I think that it doesn’t set the right tone for the article. The colours and the way it’s all placed seems very serious and feels really cold. I’ve put this page as the last page so I think that it doesn’t end on a positive point like I want it to – as the end of the written article is very positive. The first two spreads of the article are bright pieces of work, so I think I need to go back and look at my initial ideas and research some more so I can position this piece of work in the right direction.

Current look of article: transgendersurgery