Above are images of the final print. Really happy with the final print, the colours have come out really well and so have the images; they’re good quality and contrast well with the illustrative text. The size of it is B3 which I was worried was too big but the having it that big works well because you can see more detail in the illustrative type. Unfortunately, on the first spread there is blue ink at the bottom which was a fault from the printer but other than that everything came out really well. I’ve made so many changes to this piece of work from when I started a couple months ago so I think even if I was given more time on this piece of work, I would not change anything because I’ve taken on everything piece of feedback I’ve been given and exhausted all of my ideas so I can’t think of anything I would do differently. I’m proud of the outcome I’ve produce because it’s been a long road of developing and changing all of what I’ve come up with and is such a huge improvement from where I originally started. I’ve learned a huge amount about type setting and how to lay out an article which has been a lot bigger challenge that I had originally given credit for. Type setting is definitely something I need to continuing improving on and a way I can do this is to continue to look at articles and learn from what practicing designers are creating. I’ve also learned what my strengths are too: I really like photography and it’s something I will definitely continue to try and use within my future projects; as well as illustrative type, I’m going to keep developing it and spend more of my time creating illustrative [typography] pieces of work.
- Grid systems:
- I hadn’t stuck to the grid systems so I changed all pages by to 3 columns so each page was using the same grid system
- I increased the margins around the page so that the text was more centred and made the gutters bigger so that there was more space between the paragraphs
- Body copy / leading:
- increased the point size to 9 / 11 allowing more space which made it easier to read
- changing the columns to 3 and increasing the margins so that the text wasn’t as close together
- Pace is repetitive
- add more colour: adding more colour was difficult because I didn’t want their to be too much orange because then it would be hard to read and don’t want anything to be too distracting on the page; I added as much colour as I could but tried to do it more subtly so it wouldn’t overpower the page too much
- to make the pace less repetitive, I kept the text in the white boxes as I’d done before to keep a visual theme throughout but added more orange in different ways to make each page slightly different
- CMYK / placed images
- converted the images into CMYK on photoshop
- placed the images onto InDesign rather that pasted – this significantly changed the quality of the photo which I had not notice before
Friday 19th May
Submission of article: transgendersurgery
From the point that I started this project, I have come a long way with how it looks now. I always stuck with the same principles – needs to be gender neutral, fun, positive, playful – but the way I’ve approached it has changed massively. I’d done a lot of research prior to designing my article which helped shaped what I wanted to do. Most of the articles I’d looked at used a lot of experimental typography along with photography so to begin with that was the point I wanted to focus my ideas on. At first, I wanted to focus on colours and print and to be playful in that way so I spent some time in the print studio and then edited my prints with colour to be added onto the article. However, the look of my article then took a completely different turn after I’d taken photos and realised I liked how they looked just as stand alone images with text overlaying. I’d seen other articles where the images had took centre stage and the text worked around it which I really liked so I turned my focus to creating that look. I then hit a wall because I was trying so many things that I was loosing track on what I liked and didn’t like so I turned back to my research, evaluated what I was doing and then came up with the idea of using illustrative type. It was at this point that I was happy with the outcomes I was producing and continued to use feedback to help develop my work further. What I’ve come up with now as my final piece, is a combination of illustrative typography, photography – all images taken by myself – and the text of the article that I’ve worked really hard to fit and work with the rest of the imagery. There were a couple of aspects within the article I was having problems with. The first being that I had had a lot of problems with. I was struggling with balancing the hierarchy between the imagery, typography and article text because the imagery and typography always stood out far more than the body text, which became difficult and uninteresting to read. It was a constant struggle to try and balance this out but I continued to persevere and use feedback to come up with an outcome I was happy with. The second aspect within my article was once I’d decided to use illustrative typography and black and white imagery, on the second double paged spread, I was struggling to find a place on the page the quote could be read properly. After trying various different combinations and even changing the colour of the image, I scrapped the original illustration and re-drew the quote, which instantly worked better on the page. In hindsight, I should have done that in the first place because it would have saved myself a lot of time but I’m glad I came to that conclusion eventually.
Printing the article
While I am waiting to print my work, I began thinking about how it would print and have found that there could be a problem when it does print. Since my article is quite big and will need to be printed on A1. I will print it as 3 double paged spreads – pages 1&6 on the first spread, pages 2&3 on the second and pages 4&5 on the third – and then stick them back to back together. I would prefer it if they were printed double sided but it is not possible to do this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Final look of front cover:
2x Double Page Spreads:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First double page spread
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.
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.
Second double paged spread
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.