‘You’ve been commissioned to develop a small one-off publication for a Sunday paper that celebrates any aspect of food and drink. The publication will appear as an insert within a Sunday supplement, is A5 in size and must run to no more than 12 pages, including the covers…
For the content of the publication, draw on any aspect of food and drink that interests you.’
Maybe its getting a little boring when I say ‘Oh I loved this brief!’ – but there I go again, I really enjoyed this one, although it was a lot of work.
My preparation for it was to look at as many print layouts as I could, not just about food, but general interest magazines too. I actually only found one A5, which was the Guardian’s saturday guide thingy they always have:
I felt it was unlikely I would include a ‘contents’ page, as our booklet is pretty small, but here’s theirs, as you can see, the first column is double width.
Here the heading spreads across the entire double spread. The more I looked, the more I began to see patterns, or ways of fitting information together. I looked carefully at the number and frequency of typefaces and weights, how the designers broke up the grid in different ways (or used multiple grids) and so on. Above you can see the drop dap has a splash of blue, then repeated above the pull quote. Anything that created a sense of unity I tried to make a mental note of too.
I looked at mail order, special interest magazines (cycling, woodworking, regional, lifestyle etc…) And specifically food magazines (‘Easy cook’ and ‘goodfood’ are both BBC publications, one budget, one a bit more ‘up market’. As you’d expect, the budget magazine has more ‘punchy’ colours and clunkier fonts.
Apart from the size difference, I didn’t detect a great deal of difference in the layout between the A5 and A4.
These are all pages from the Tesco magazine, I was interested to see how they maintained variety and kept a sense of unity across pages. For example the blue ‘rough paint’ background behind the words ‘Great Start’ and the green behind ‘Make more of it’ are the same style. However, the columns of text vary, along with other features that break up the space in very different ways, and of course the typography relies on more than one font. Some pictures overlap, or ‘break out’ of their column, which makes things more lively too.
There was a lot to take in and I was anxious to draw on ideas, but not simply copy! Next, I needed to work out my specific area of food. To some extent, I already had an idea what images I would use – I had already taken photos during my OCA photography course with this exact brief in mind. Unsurprisingly, food photography is blooming’ hard, especially for the likes of me, as I am a beginner. Still, I’m quite chuffed with some of them, and hope they will fit the bill.
I had an idea that my newspaper supplement could be called ‘Eat Well’ – to combine the idea of both healthy eating, and eating with enjoyment.
I roughed out ideas for my cover
But my ideas also need to work with the images I have already taken. I printed out some of them to get an overview…
Then gathered some more from Pixabay (which states permission for re-use). And I began thinking about overall page layouts.
With the help of a few trusty books
I wanted to work with ‘real’ text, as tempting as it is to use the fake stuff! I didn’t think I would be getting much experience unless I used a particular word count and stuck to it. It took quite a long time to research the information I wanted – some of it snippets and random facts (e.g. I had a photos of grapes, citrus fruit, lentils etc so I looked up information on each)
I found several long articles which fitted my images for subject, from the BBC, the NHS, the Guardian and the Telegraph (both online). At first I found a website that estimated word count for you – but then realised I could simply cut and paste into Pages and turn on the word count feature there (doh). It became clear that I would have to heavily edit articles to fit them into a single page or pages, as each A5 page can’t carry a huge amount. I tried to edit down and make a coherent article in Pages, without editing the word count directly in Indesign (as that seemed like cheating!)
I then reached a point where I had my pool of images and some articles. I decided to place them roughly inside Indesign, at first just using the default typeface Minion Pro.
My grid – I wanted a fairly squarish set of divisions, but not so many as to feel overwhelmed, so I kept it simple.
Although I had explored many ideas with the cover, when it came to choosing an image, I just felt pulled towards a full splash of colour…
This close up of pizza topping (Pixabay) looked great. Like pretty much all the images, its landscape, not portrait which meant with every image I had to reposition it somewhat. Anyway. I opted for this mouthwatering image with a simple line of text.
I know I should have looked at other options….but I like this!!! On to the articles….
Experimenting with placement – I actually printed these out, placed them on the floor, and moved across the room to look at them from a distance. It gave me a fresh eye, and a sense of what might be eye catching to a casual reader.
I find it helpful to consult my partner with some of this stuff – he felt the image shouldn’t be covered over with text so I did move them apart.
Text wrap? Hmm…
I chose the one on the right (below) as I hope it has a sense of movement with the tilted text, and allows a fair bit of white space.
I found this lovely picture of bread online, however it is very dominant, and I was a bit attached to my own picture of the boot (!)
Here’s the body copy for the article. I had to stick to the existing subheadings, which meant some adjusting to the tracking to get a good fit.
I decided my bread would be a pale enough background to sit behind text and add interest
The recipe page – I searched for appropriate recipes to suit these images. I noticed that the Tesco magazine invites readers to read full recipes on their website, so I nicked the idea, and used it for my pancakes!
This was the most complicated page layout. I wanted to push myself, as I felt arranging snippets of information and brief facts was a bit of a puzzle, compared to a single article.
Some images are cropped to a border, so really had to be arranged at the edge, others I could choose the position more freely. I was aiming for some sort of rotational flow, and a balance of red and green colour.
My final consideration was the typography… e.g. some serif options
I spent a long time scribbling notes and considering what weights were available, and how each one looked on the page. I ruled some out as they sometimes had a very different ‘feel’ or too high an x height (I didn’t want anything long and lean)
Eventually ( and I promise I really thought this through) I actually preferred minion pro! So thats my decision – it stays!!
I went through the same process with sans serif, and settled on Raleway, which is highly legible, and relatively contemporary looking. Also (and I am feeling a little smug at my cleverness) its a google font, which means the exact same typeface could appear on the website.
Not sure this was wise, but as a final touch I looked into scripts and handwritten styles. This eventually led me to Clive Barker, which is the typeface on the title page about carbs (see below)
I then printed out a version using the ‘Print booklet’ option. It is not stapled, and obviously just a mock up, but allows some sense of how it would look!
Assignment 2 Finished Version
Experimenting with Website Mockup…
Obviously I wanted to keep the continuity from print to web – the first common factor being the typeface Raleway. Apart from this, I kept the same sort of colour scheme, using rusts and greens. I also imagined there might be two menus for different kinds of information.
The black border is simply because I took screen shots as I was working
You can see that I was experimenting with the idea of the links – baking, vegetarian, meat & fish as ‘tabs’, in a ‘folder’. This large lettering would be OK as a home page, but ‘eat well’ would need to appear on every page, as a smaller title. Not sure about this amount of green…
You could take the opacity down of the main image…maybe shrink it narrower than I’ve shown here?
I could have continued to play with proportions, placing and hierarchy with these, but this is the one I settled on as working across multiple pages:
Final Website Mockup
The links in top navigation bar would change colour from rust to green on mouse over. Depending on the number of links needed for the ‘tabs’, they could align left like this, with room to add more…
Or centred, it would depend what else the layout required.
Following tutor feedback, I’ve made a couple of changes: firstly, as she rightly pointed out that pizza isn’t really all that healthy (sigh!) so I sourced a more suitable cover image; this colourful mixed salad.
Secondly, her advice was to remove the colour blocks under the text (p 6-7) for consistency – again this makes sense. I was struggling to make the text legible and it didn’t look great. This leaves the drop cap as the lone fancy piece of typography…Hopefully because it echoes the main title from the previous page its OK, but I’d be happy to ditch it too.
I’m happier with these tweaks, it was good to make the effort to put my tutor’s feedback into practise. This is one of my favourite projects from the course, as I feel I achieved the best outcome I’m capable of at this time. Although tackling layout does make me feel close to screaming, I also really like the challenge, and the sense of satisfaction when it comes together.