Thursday, 24 May 2012

Tt Yy Pp Oo Gg Rr Aa Pp Hh Yy

Christ, I haven't updated my blog in nearly two weeks - shame on me! With the term coming to an end and other (arguably more fun) stuff happening, things like updating my blog have taken a bit of a back seat (I'm pretty sure I've said this in the past five posts, but whatever). Things that need to be updaed on here include my final project of the year, The Turnaround Project, an Olympic torch relay through Falmouth, some portfolio portraits for a theatre student and a graduate fashion show shoot. But I'm not going to talk about any of that right now - why? I'm not so sure. Right now I am going to take you through some critical breakdowns of my recent work creating magazine spreads on Adobe InDesign. Doesn't that sound interesting? I think so, and to tell the truth the whole process of creating layouts and combining typography and image floats my proverbial boat.

Above is my first spread, with images used from my project with the homeless population of Newquay titled Sanctuary. Given the nature of the photographs and the fact they were all shot in 35mm black and white, I wanted to give this spread a classic feel, taking inspiration from such classic reportage as Larry Towell's The Mennonites and W. Eugene Smith's Country Doctor (seen below).

With this spread (seen in the original LIFE issue) I admire the mixture of uprights and horizontals, particularly with the upright which is full bleed on the left hand side of the page. I reflected this in my work also, giving a full page for the portrait of Clive Bladen. It is one of my best portraits, and it really ties the page together, giving it a bit more "weight". Smith was one of my main original inspirations with the Sanctuary Project - if you look closely you can even see where I had a cheeky go at his establishing image (bottom right of page 4).

Although I kept may classic themes in this spread, I wanted to make the title cleaner, yet still keeping the drama; I found this on the rather agreeable DaFont, which plays host to a myriad of fonts and typefaces. This particular font is called 'Edition' and can be found under the serif fonts section. The reason I wanted to keep the font a serif type was because it still keeps a classic feel. Combined with the movie-style tall lettering of 'Edition', and I had something that was both classic and contemporary. Poifect.

One thing that I regret (in fact, I severely dislike it) was my choice to overlay text on to the portrait with the title An Old Face of Newquay. Not only do I feel this distracts from the image, it was pointed out to me that it could be mistaken for a separate heading. In fact I am at this time completely against placing text on an image, and much prefer the 'drop-down' style of captioning. I am a sucker for 'clean' spreads, and overlaid captions just don't fit that demographic.

Next, there is  A Shot in the Dark. It is a small piece about a blind shooter from Helston... Yes, you heard me: a blind shooter. A quite incredible man who, I thought, deserved the best of layouts. So I give you my new and improved 'clean' look, sans serif and all. I vastly prefer this look, with inspiration coming from most contemporary photography such as the BJP and Hotshoe (seen blelow).

I am a big fan of Hotshoe, they put a lot of attention in to their design and the clean, minimalistic look is beautiful. I particularly like their use of bold typefaces, something which I employed in my A Shot in the Dark spread. Sometimes I think layouts are almost too clean and are missing a bit of depth. The bold fonts gives the page weight and a lot more dynamism. After completing my first spread - Sanctuary - I wanted to play with the idea of making the header reflect the work in some manner. My intention with A Shot in the Dark was to make it resemble an eye test board; this is why the letters fan out in a triangular fashion and gradually get smaller towards the bottom. I think the bold font reflects this also, and ties up the heading nicely.

This second spread was all about the small details for me: something to give the body of text a bit of definition. For this I employed the use of 'symbols' - in this case squares to separate large blocks of text and a cool squiggly thing to finish it off. Whether this works or not is something that I am still debating; on the one hand I think it defines the text well, on the other there are a load of squares dotted in-between my text. This time around it may have been a bit of over-kill.

And finally there is the Pig House Pictures magazine which I personally put together with my good friend Joel Hewitt. The magazine basically culminates in everything that I have tried, tested and learnt over the past few months regarding layout and typography. The work can be seen on bellow and on

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