Friday, 4 April 2014

OUGD404 Design Principles Brief 02 Layout Development

After the multiple thumbnails and the crit I went straight to the digital version I had of m very first layout and applied the suggestions that I got from the crit.

There was a lot of information that I needed to fit into this layout, and I used word spacing and line spacing to try and ensure that the bodies of text were evenly matched. Also, as was suggested in the crit, I have used letter spacing and the light version of Gill Sans to what I would have used as a quote, separate to the main bodies of text. I aligned the titles to the swatches lining the two outside lines of the pages. 
I have drawn heavily from my exercises with type hierarchies in the creation of these spreads. I found that the most noticeable aspects of a page were where the type is either bold and heavy (mostly black) or light with large apertures. So, I used semi bold for the titles and widely spaced light gill sans for the 'quotes'.  
I stuck with the four column grid that I had at the crit but tried to insert some horizontal lines to form three rows across the spread.
However, I found that the content became far too restricted and regimented, making the page seem a bit unnatural and not read fluently. So, when constructing the page digitally, I drew from what I learned during the grid exercise we did earlier in the module. I found then that although many of them have horizontals, not all of the content abides by them. So I inserted the horizontals as I constructed the page I brought down rules to align certain aspects of the page such as images and the bottom of columns of text.
Another experience I have drawn from when digitally assembling this page was the layout brief I did in the studio brief on layout in module 2. This taught me that fully justified text is very visually appealing, but difficult to work with because it leads to rivers. This brief also allowed me to try out the idea of increasing the size or spacing of the first lines of columns to draw the eye to the beginning of the text.

I have found that often the layouts that look best in thumbnail form do not look best when digitally produced. So. I found myself trying out a number of the thumbnail designs and resolving on the one above with some slight changes to break up the text.
A suggested by the feedback received in the interim crit I have tried allowing the text to go beyond the bounds of the column lines to create a more cohesive whole. Because this creates a slightly less organised look, I have made sure that all aspects of the page at least hit the lines set out by the grid. I have done this by increasing the tracking on the titles and changing the sizes of the pictures.
To create continuity throughout the layouts I have decided to use Gill Sans. This is because it creates a variety on the page, with the light, regular and semi bold options within the type face, yet also the fonts do not fight with one another. This is hard to find and what makes a full type face so useful. As, I have learned from creating, or attempting to create my own typeface earlier in this project.

Something suggested by a pier on the course that I have also implemented is the use of a drawn line to try and ensure that all aspects of the page are evenly spaced. This is something I learned during the second brief of the third studio module when creating logo designs. Although I have implemented this a lot I try and create a balance between this and adhering to the grid lines.

The greatest problem I encountered when producing this layout was where to put the large amount of images. They include text on a number of them which means they couldn't be shrunk too much, otherwise legibility and readability is compromised. 
 I managed to create something passable by allowing the images to stack one on top of the other in order. Where I put the gap was not ideal but because of the size of the images I had to sit there. This arguably impedes the flow of reading from one to the next, but there was little choice in the matter, the content was just too fixed in the way that it could be presented.
Like in the previous layout I opted out of using frames on the images. This wa because the images had enough colour to distinguish them from the background and a frame might have been over doing it. Once again I used Gill Sans Semi-bold for the title and light for the subtitles (edited tracking to get it to hit the lines of the grid correctly.

After creating balanced lines and horizontals with the previous layouts I decided to try out miss matched column heights. However, the page just appeared a mess so I compromised with the text on the left being balanced and the columns on the right being in defending order. once again I made use of Gill Sans light and increased tracking to bring out the quotable areas of the text, establishing more continuity throughout the election of layouts.

 This time I also used soft grey frames around the images to give them more definition, but in such a way as to makes sure they did not attract attention away from the text. I also increased the tracking of the title so that it hit the grid lines as in the other layouts. I have also made the conscious decision to ensure that the titles are at the tops of the pages throughout and all the text is non hyphenated. This is to once again ensure continuity and although hyphens  can make a body of text appear smoother, I feel they can inter fear with the flow of reading. 
 Previous development of this layout led me to the design I brought to the interim crit. Although this was reasonable, a reversal of the symmetrical layout that I had come up with and something to break the symmetry slightly to provide a more distinctive hierarchy of information.

Once again i established horizontals as I built up the page, aligning both images and text by adjusting the spacing and line spacing. I Once again made use of the soft grey frames, which provided a more assertive definition between the page and the images in such a way as to not detract from the dominance of the text. Once again I made use of the Gill Sans type face as mentioned in the previous layouts above.

 Once again I tried to insert horizontals into the gris at the thumbnail stage in order to regulate the information more but once digitised these layouts just felt wrong, too clinical for the subject matter.

As you can see I have taken the feedback received at the crit to heart and really tried to implement it. I have not stuck to the columns fully but allowed the text to expand beyond the singular column yet still used the lines a a guide. Light grey frames have been used once again with the spacing between each object on the page being moderated by the line trick mentioned earlier.

 This is possibly one layout where I have broken the rules slightly. Although at the crit people agreed that mixing different justification of text on one page was a bad idea I have done so anyway. This is because I was searching for a way to clearly connote a step by step guide directly from the layout. this mix of justification seemed to provide the best way to do that. The overhand of each paragraph to the one below is intended to aid the flow from one to the next, so that the eye flows as naturally as possible. All the established changes to the text and images that have been implemented on earlier layouts have again been repeated here with frames spacing and typeface. 
Because I wanted each paragraph to be below the one before I have relied much less on horizontals in this grid allowing the vertical to be the main restraining force.

 I struggled a lot with ways to suggest a timeline or some sort of chronology of the information. i tried changing the orientation of the pages but found that perhaps the most effective solution was the most obvious in this situation.

To bring the focus to the centre of the page where the time line is I used the top of objects rather than the base line to line up with the horizontals of the page. I also allowed one of the images to bridge the gap between the two pages. this would not have been allowable for text and where legibility is a must but since it was an image I felt it would be ok. I may also be useful to mention here that the 0.5 cm margin and gutter are the result of the interim crit as well. It was suggested that I had more room there that could be used and since the book that these layouts would be used for wouldn't be all that big, a reasonably small gutter would pass muster.

 The biggest problem I had with this layout was that the images were so spacious in nature that the looked wrong with frames and needed a lot of space around them to sit well on the page. It was just as well that I chose quite a small amount of content for this page, because it allowed me to give the images the space they required.

 I also made the images line up as well as I could, for example at the bottom of the right page where the base line of the left hand image hits the cap hight of the right hand image. With this layout the content really does a lot of work for me with the red aspects of the right hand page draw the eye across the page and then down past and through all the information.

 Once again I played around with the alignment of the bodies of text to try and fill the page slightly more because there is not much content for these pages. However, I think eventually I found that once again the simple approach was the best.

 I decided to put the contents before the introduction just to give the radar a sense of the topic of the book before any heavy reading takes place. This is probably one of the largest body of text of all the layouts. However, unlike the rest of the text which is at 9pt this text is at 12pt to make the text appear less dense and more approachable. Once again I used the trick from my last studio brief which included layout, in which I increased the spacing of the first line to draw the eye in. In this case I also made this line light rather than regular Gill Sans to increase the affect. I ensured that the two objects aligned by their tops rather than the base line which is something that I have implemented throughout my layouts. 

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