Layout, Hierarchy and The Grid

Fri 7th Oct

Layout – positioning of elements on the page to create a balance between positive space and design elements

Balance: between white space and design

Contrast: form, colour, direction, etc and area of contrast = design focus

Clear path for eye

Type Setting


  • formal and classical
  • breaks text for sense
  • elegant, organic shapes
  • simple way to place a type element
  • can look staid and mournful
  • broken into phrases
  • variety of long and short lines


  • clean shape
  • used for newspapers and books
  • text forced into lines
  • efficient use of space
  • ugly gaps can occur – use long enough line in relation to size of type
  • smaller type, more words on line

Rag: uneven margin for vertical column

  • Flush left/ragged right: left edge is hard; right edge is soft
  • Flush right/ragged left: right edge is hard; left edge is soft

Line spacing: variations

Line length: optimum 39-45 letters

Grids – create grids in layout programmes

Golden section: a:b=b:(a+b)

Surrounded by margins

Spreads: books and magazines designed in two facing pages

Multicolumn grid: flexible format

Hanglines: divide page horizontally

Detailing: line breaks

Hierarchy – typographic hierarchy

  • Expresses organisation of content
    • emphasises some elements, subordinating others
    • helps readers scan text
  • Emphasis:
    • Italic
    • Bold face
    • Small caps
    • Change in colour
    • Different fonts (adjust size so x-height align)

Six Word Story

Thurs 6th Oct


I printed out my chosen type in large then began to experiment with the word ‘WHIZZPOPPING’. I wanted it to be written in a way that was as crazy as the word itself so I’m using a combination of upper and lower case and having all the letters as hybrids.

The first thing I did was trace the letters to try out different letterforms and compositions of how it should be laid out. Once I was happy, I then cut out the letters and stuck it down as a collage. I like the outcome of it, how I think it should be a lot bigger – this can be easily change by enlarging it on the photocopier.

I wanted to experiment with enlarging some of the letters on the photocopier so I copied the word but dragged it whilst it was copying. It’s given it a nice effect but I don’t know if it is too much of an image – as it should only be letterforms.

I will continue to make the rest of the sentence in a similar way I have written ‘whizzpopping’.

Six Word Story

Thurs 6th Oct

Choosing the type

Using the website DaltonMaag, I began to research and select the two types I was going to use. DaltonMaag has a huge variety to choose from so there was a lot of choice when picking a serif and sans serif font. Some of the selections are shown in the images below.

Having my ideas (on my previous blog post) in mind, I selected the type I was going to use; ‘Blenny’ (serif) and ‘Soleto’ (sans serif). ‘Blenny’ has curled serifs and is quite fun/interesting which I think would fit well with the funny language of The BFG. ‘Soleto’ is a bold, straight type so would contrast well with the serif typeface.


Sketchbook page

Six Word Story

Tues 4th Oct

We had group tutorials where we all read out our six word stories and gave each other ideas on what we could say to make it better or how it could be written out.

I had quite a few ideas but in the end, I chose The BFG and to use: “Whizzpopping is forbidden among human beans?”. I think that out of all my ideas, this one captures the essence of The BFG the most and is actually based along the lines of a question he actually asks in the book. He’s always getting his words mixed up, refers to human beings as “beans” and uses a funny language saying words like ‘whizzpopping’. I could really play around with composition and hybrids with this story.

After deciding my story to use, I began brainstorming what I could do for each word and kinds of font I would want to use. For ‘whizzpopping’ the type and composition should be as whacky and fun as the word itself and the same for ‘beans’. I had an idea of having the type bendy and all squished together – maybe slightly confusing – so it really portrays it as a question. Whizzpopping, forbidden and human beans are the main words of the sentence so I will make these larger than the other 2 letters.

(Images below: ideas; sketching; experimenting; composition.)

Letterpress workshop

Wed 5th Oct

In the workshop we were shown how to use letterpress. I have used letterpress previously in college so was really looking forward to using it again.

We were shown how to lay out our type in the cages and the fit it onto the press to print. I love the qualities of letterpress and how it looks so it will definitely be a process I will continue to use.

(I only managed to do one print in this workshop as I was ill and had to leave half way through.)



Quentin Blake exhibition

Tues 4th Oct

We visited the Quentin Blake: Inside Stories exhibition at National Museum Cardiff. In this exhibition, it included some of his most famous work. It showed a lot his rough drawings and is design process to get to his final drawing. There was video’s of him describing his design process, how he plays with layout and tries to include as much description within his drawings without having to say anything. It was interesting to see how such a famous artist thinks and works.

We weren’t allowed to take any photographs of the exhibition but I did take a quote that was written on the wall and have also taken screenshots from the museum website.

“I discovered that a drawing can fulfil its purpose and still be scratchy and instinctive and badly–behaved” – Quentin Blake


History of the Poster

Mon 3rd Oct

In the same groups, our next task was to research a subject we were given. Ours was:

Between the World Wars: Modernism and Art Deco c. 1920

  • Constructivism / El Lissitsky
  • Rodchenko
  • Art Deco / A.M.

We had an hour to create a powerpoint presentation about the designers work. We researched a lot into who they were, what were their influences and who they’ve worked for. After presenting the power point, one thing that was picked up was that there was more description of context rather than the actual aesthetics of the poster. This is something for me to bare in mind when doing my artist research – to focus more on what I like about the work rather than the artist/designer.

(presentation below)