I have really enjoyed this project as it gave me a chance to be a bit more practical in creating visuals for my pages, it also allowed me to explore editorial design in a way I was comfortable and in my own style whilst still being experimental and trying to push myself more. I think I held back a little bit in terms of experimentation as I wanted to make sure the content still looked clear and concise however after seeing my peers work I think I could have pushed my work more however I am happy with the result. If i were to have more time I would pay attention to the tiny details when checking so I could be 100% happy with the final print however I am pleased with what I have created and I feel it fits the context and works well with the content of the article. Looking at my final print I think I should have used a larger scale so I would have more white space around the design elements.
Here I am testing out different positions of the title, after I printed out the first it wasn’t reading how i wanted it to so tried a few other ways. I also mirrored the Background so it would stretch across the spread and lowered the opacity of the image and the title so it isnt as harsh and matches the density of the introductory paragraph.
I played around with adding a box around the paragraph in both white and a 70% opacity box to see if it made the text any clearer.
Adidng the box does draw the eye over to the text but i would need to print it to see how effective it is.
Moving on to page 3/4 I have been experimenting wiht different body copy type faces and lots of different columns and margins.
Looking at my research I’d seen the use of titles similar to this off centre and stretching over the paragraph. I have decided to use justified type as it fits with the clinicality of the subject matter in the article I also think it contrasts well with the more organic less rigid hand drawn type of the pull out quote which I have just realised might need quotation marks – I will discuss this in the tutorial tomorrow.(friday the 5th may)
The page is looking a little boring and too clinical so I am going to highlight some of the important parts of the article using a similar colour to that of the image on the first two pages this will also add to the consistency of the page. I have found a tutorial on how to do so. Underlining then changing the weight and offset of the line gives the highlight effect. I will also try a hand drawn highlight placed from illustrator to match the type and simply a coloured box with a lowered opacity.
Hand drawn line at 100% opacity
Hand drawn line at 80% opacity
I think either the underline or the 80% opacity line work the best but it is just whether or not they will work well across the whole publication now. The hand drawn ties the style of the title into the text but the underline makes the body copy look neater and cleaner so I need to decide which way I want to take it.
Changing the colour of some of the words in the quote lightens the page visually and ties in the colour of the highlights.
Looking at the texture I created and the works of Francis Bacon I’m going to try and look into different ways of creating texture – cotton wool, ink and salt – using the curing meat with salt to prolong it and using this as a metaphor for the prolonging of life with the “God pill” the article talks about
The colours are visually similar to the ones I have used and connote the flesh, bodily, human tissue like themes that I want to get across in my piece.
Researching the curing with salt process I found that you just have to cover the meat with sat and spices and leave it for a while, trying this with ink salt and paper might produce some interesting textures/ visuals that I could develop and incorporate into the magazine.
After creating some ink and salt spills I have photographed them and played around in photoshop with the brightness and contrast and levels, also replacing the colours in some to make them fit the scheme of the first page. I think the textures and shapes fit with the clinical, human body theme of the article as they look like blood spills or like growing organisms.
I have printed all three spreads out in colour but on a smaller scale but the colours of the visual components don’t match up, some have a more purple twinge to them and the images on the ones above aren’t see through enough for the text to be clear so I need to change this.
At this stage, whilst waiting for a tutorial, I have printed off all three spreads to see if they work as a group. I think they look alright but maybe the first and second are too focussed on the left and look a bit samey because of this. I think the text is also too big and might need reducing a pint size(currently 11).
After my tutorial I need to change the point size and be more experimental with the highlights and add even more hand drawn elements – rings around bits of information. We also discussed adding more of the texture elements and including some on the second spread – whilst changing the way I have used them on the 3rd spread to create more of a sweeping thing to work as a path for the eye and so it doesnt effect the legibility of the text. I’m also going to change the way I present the pull out quotes and make more of a show out of them,
Here I’ve started to add more of the highlights and the page seems to be coming together more now.
We talked about the posibility of having a whole page red, Im not sure where i would fit this in but i tried adding some block colour to the page. But I think it might be too much? I am going to try circle the 15000 deaths bit.
After a tutorial and peer comments I have realised the circle is still not enough to draw attention to the detail of the 150.000 deaths so I tried a circle and red text however that clashed, here I have got the text underlined, bigger than the rest of the title and in red but it is lacking something still.
During the tutorial it was also discussed that some of the highlights could be different opacities to aid with hierarchy and ordering the information.
I decided on the image behind the text and have tried the body copy in red, however it needs printing really to see if you can read the text within the highlight.
I think I like the red text but i’m torn as to whether or not it is too much, I have created a circling on illustrator as none of the original ones were working.
To make the text on the first spread clearer I have made the section behind it lighter. The legibility is greatly improved without the loss of the effect of the image.
Using illustrator to create the pull out quotes using the hand drawn type, I used this method for all of the quotes.
Starting with an image of hand written type that i edited in photoshop to get a clear contrast with the background i used the paintbrush tool on oval to create a digital version of the type then smoothing out the paintbrush lines and making sure they looked right, doing this allowed me to get the letter spacing right and save each word separately so I could place them where I wanted to on the indesign document. Digitising the type means it prints of crisp and clear as opposed to being rough if id just scanned in the original.
This is a sample of the digital text – it still needs some tweaking, here there is a hole in the bottom of the Q where I haven’t joined the lines properly.
Working with two ideas I’ve been exploring different type faces, layouts and imagery. I have chosen square dimensions as so far I have only worked with a rectangle e.g a4 and thought it would be interesting to see what a publication would look like square.
The first I have used digital type (objektiv) and distorted it in an effort to make it more interesting;
Developing this idea further i have moved around the elements to try and make the spread less boring.
This layout needs more work but is starting to look like an editorial spread and I like the spacing on the left side but I’m struggling with the right side. The image I have used is a digital version of a sketch I drew created using paths in illustrator with inspiration from the text as it mentions, cells, mitochondria and dna. The distorted title and serif (adobe garamond) contrast and create a good sense of hierarchy although I’m unsure if the page is too empty.
The second design I have been working on uses a digital version of the type I produced with marker pens;
This design allows me to be more playful with the title as there are more words, experimenting with pace and path of the eye.
At this stage I printed off one the two first pages to check the point size and the composition however I can’t see the colour. The space in the bottom left looks too empty when printed in grayscale but this could be just because of the lack of colour. I also printed out the second design and the title doesn’t read well enough on the larger scale of the magazine so I need to change that. After a tutorial discussing both ideas I have decided to go forward with the second design and explore the work of Francis Bacon and the textures and processes of curing meat – a way of prolonging the shelflife of meat – similar to the way the article talks about prolonging life and longevity in a more of a grim way.
My initial sketches were looking at overlaying text and images and maybe offsetting them with each other – I started with these initial ideas on indesign and moved quickly into developing a system within each page – the 5 column grid with text stretching across two forcing me to think about the placement of text and white space as there will always be one column empty of text
I started with experiments for the article about Trump but decided I didn’t want to choose that article. I used biro, tipex pen and highlighter in these tests;
After trying with that article i moved to the Silicon Valley one, using highlighters, markers, pen, graphite stick, paint and tip ex pen again.
The above experiments are quite similar one uses a highlighter pen the other a graphite stick, I have enhanced the images in photoshop. I decided “curing age” was a catchier headline that the full title. I like the scratchy and rushed look of the type but I am not sure if it works with the context and content.
I moved onto using fine liners here and a different style of type, also looking at some imagery of cells and scientific things.
Sticking with the same style of lettering but using a roller and paint to add in some texture in the background. The roller creates a kind of speckled skin like texture that relates to the article.
Another thing I tried were board markers, i like the thick lines they create but the style could be a bit too conventional but this style is something id like to explore a little more with the quotes and facts I’m going to pull out of the article.
Research into the subject and the article.
The original article featured in The New Yorker magazine, famous for its illustrated covers. The article contains lots of medical and clinical imagery with vibrant colours. It’s interesting to see what kind of visuals were used originally as they are quite different to what I would have expected.
The website for “The National Academy of Medicines Grand Challenges in Healthy Longevity” states the goals of the project are to
“Advance the fields of healthy aging and human longevity research.”
“Achieve significant improvement in human longevity and quality of life.”
“Build an ecosystem of support by engaging entrepreneurs, policy makers and the public”
The articles subject is longevity, this word is used a lot, and prolonging HEALTHY human life as aposed to an eternal morbid existance. The writer seems somewhat skeptical of the guests attending and speakers and scientists.
“When the symposium’s first speaker asked how many people there wanted to live to two hundred, if they could remain healthy, almost every hand went up. Understandably, then, the Moroccan phyllo chicken puffs weren’t going fast. The venture capitalists were keeping slim to maintain their imposing vitality, the scientists were keeping slim because they’d read—and in some cases done—the research on caloric restriction, and the Hollywood stars were keeping slim because of course.” Tad Friend
Friend seems quite cynical here and the tone continues throughout the piece, adding humour and a change of tone adding little side comments to the scientific parts of the text “De Grey has proposed that if we fix seven types of physical damage we will be on the path to living for more than a thousand years (assuming we can avoid getting hit by a bus or an asteroid).”Tad Friend
After reading the article a few times I realised there wasn’t really an end to it, it seemed to stop without a sort of evaluation or summative statement. I checked the original article and found it goes on for quite a while after; the last paragraph of the original text is;
“This wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human. We are encoded with the belief that death is the mother of beauty. And we are encoded, too, with the contradictory determination to remain exactly as we are, forever—or at least for just a bit longer, before we have to go. ” Tad Friend
However this doesn’t fit as a final paragraph in the section of the text we were given, I think to make the whole article read better I will have to try and write a conclusion of some sort but make sure it is in keeping with the writing style of the article.
After reading the article a few more times I have decided to get rid of some of the paragraphs that seem to muddy the waters of the topic as such.