Exercise: Birthday List

This is an interesting little task involving the design of a simple Birthday Reminder Calendar for family and friends. As opposed to a spider chart style mind map I looked at the key themes of the exercise and used these as a starting point for what the exercise was attempting to do. I then considered the brief from my perspective as a disabled person who struggles with communication. What did I want/need? Clarity above all else.

The actual list is based on a simple sheet of A3 separated into 12 square grid, which was going to originally be orientated as landscape, but I decided to move it to a portrait orientation. Each square would represent a month, with no individual dates, instead there would two simple types of symbol, circles for family and squares for friends. I was inspired by Eastern European birthday calendars that are wall hung which use similar approached for different birthdays.

For the actual methods of communication I did think about symbols, however some are easily confused visually so opted for colour coding which makes the task that bit easier.

For the main List background I chose a pale yellow with a pale blue banner with the words Birthday List in a simple Black San Serif Type, Candal. This was then given a light shadow effect. For the Background I initially intended to use a coloured background to help contrast with the colour coded disks, so came up with this:

I’ll be honest, after literally sleeping on it these first drafts look hideous. So a review of White Space is in order with resign adding a faint background image being more in keeping. The arrangement of the grid is also off so I’ll address that too as well as sorting out the type, its size (30Pts) and colour (60% grey). I used a generic back image as I wanted the poster to have a family appeal too, especially for the younger members.

I made all my changes and realised I hadn’t left room for the key which used Arial for the lettering as this is easy to use and read at a distance. This was then added to the bottom of the calendar. The final task was to populate the calendar using family and friends details.

One the things I tried was to curve the name of a family member inside the circle, whilst easy enough to do in the Affinity package in terms of legibility and accessibility it’s a no-go. So back to my original idea of simple flat line text.

As I populated the details list and colours I realised that my colour choice wasn’t the best and most suitable. The shades were simply too similar, so a quick change was in order.

The next and final task to populate the calendar with the list, unfortunately I had an issue with the lasso selection tool so had to move a few of the markers, however a quick shift around gave me a great representation of the finished Birthday List.

Overall the hardest element of this task was not the design but drawing the practical elements together. That said I learned a lot including maintaining design flexibility.

Resources Used

Birthday Celebration PNG https://www.kissclipart.com/birthday-gifts-clipart-birthday-balloon-gift-p1k8za/download-clipart.html

Corner Balloons PNG https://www.clipartmax.com/middle/m2H7i8K9N4b1m2Z5_royalty-free-clipart-illustration-of-an-arch-of-streamers-birthday-balloons-border/

Tables and Forms

As this bit of research runs with the next exercise I won’t bamboozle you dear reader, but it was an opportunity for me to make some notes on what I thought constitutes a table or form and how these are presented and in what manner.

Ideas on Tables and Forms

I then set to doing an image search on Pinterest use keys words form my mind map.  I had a bit of a field day and the results can be found here:

More will be added as time goes on.

Exercise: Giving Information

The first part of this exercise is some research, which is always fun, the first task was to look at Bus Timetables. Here the first thing that struck me was that they were all arranged to a grid pattern. Not obvious when it’s an everyday item, but when the pattern is looked at with a designer’s eye it’s obvious. The samples below were sources from a simple Google search.

Not only doe the use of grid mean that there’s universality about the timetables, but that they can be understood by anyone anywhere.

City maps on the other hand can be quite different, with a range of styles used, from the standard grid based map system to the decorative style, with pictorial representation of key land marks and only key routes marked. Pictorial maps aren’t new and are perhaps some of the easiest to use. Whilst they are correct to a point, they lack the accuracy of the grid based map, which in turn lack the fun of the pictorial map.

Statistical data can be represented in many ways from the established and straight forward to read charts.

However with the advent of more sophisticated DTP software, a steady switch to paperless offices and a desires to use space and present information in ever more creative ways the information presented by Statistical Data graphics can seen alien at times, yet in some respect they still mimic the traditional methodologies.

Maps are combined with regional medical data to supply important health information, something that has been used extensively during the Corona virus outbreak of 2019/2020 and beyond. Known as Geovisualisations these charts used in a myriad to convey geographic data in a meaningful and instantly understandable way.

Other methodologies used to share data incorporate all manner of the above as a single piece of information. These items are arranges on a grid to help retain familiarity with chart layout and help with ease of reading.

The more adventurous statistical data representations involve not only complex Vector graphics, where the subject is pictorially represented thought the clever use of arrangement and design, but on occasions they have become the data.

The next stage was to mind map the concept and what it meant to me, followed by what I was going to create.

I decided to make a map of my wardrobe, though to spare embarrassment we shall pretend it’s perfectly arranged and in good order. I used an Ordnance Survey (OS) map to refresh my memory on how a map is laid and to give me inspiration in the overall construction of a map. A quick internet search helped me find the font style used in Maps, Arial, as well as providing a handy link to OS raster styles.

The next stage was to sketch out my idea before committing myself to the finally design. I tried to replicate a maps finish as best as possible.

The next stage was to sketch out my idea before committing myself to the finally design. I tried to replicate a maps finish as best as possible. Northing’s and Easting’s were added, this were double checked with the OS map to make sure they were in the correct place. Labels were added to the clothes using standard sized 10pts Arial, whilst key details were labelled with 20pts and in 30% gray to echo the Civil Parish markings. Labelling of the clothing was arranged to be as precise as possible and carry a sense of uniformity. I had to add a little accuracy to the map and include a Stuff that been chucked in pile.

I used the OS approach and make my map as self explanatory as possible. Hopefully I’ve succeeded. A great little exercise and fun, made me wish though I was a good illustrator, but that will come.

Resources Used

Bus Timetables https://www.google.com/search?q=bus+time+tables&safe=active&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB768GB768&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj00OSNwq3tAhVAQUEAHZ4aAuQQ_AUoAnoECAgQBA&biw=1366&bih=657#imgrc=ngmIvxD4uHq_NM  (Accessed 01122020)

Copenhagen Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/520165825716532034/  (Accessed 01122020)

Spain Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/802977808549630035/  (Accessed 01122020)

Amsterdam Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/444237950741166325/  (Accessed 01122020)

Old British Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/621215342347531830/  (Accessed 01122020)

Magical Britain https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/3025924738806739/  (Accessed 01122020)

New York Map https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/101753272818481500/  (Accessed 01122020)

Old London Map Detail https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/492649945272670/  (Accessed 01122020)

Map of Georgia State https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/422071796331770754/  (Accessed 01122020)

Circular Flow Chart https://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/difference-between-data-analysis-and-statistical-analysis  (Accessed 01122020)

Line and Bar Charts https://www.skillsyouneed.com/num/simple-statistical-analysis.html  (Accessed 01122020)

Pie Chart https://www.aps.org/careers/statistics/index.cfm (Accessed 01122020)

Flow Charts and Symbols https://creately.com/blog/diagrams/flowchart-guide-flowchart-tutorial/  (Accessed 01122020)

Geovisualisation https://boostlabs.com/blog/why-geovisualization-geographic-visualization-works/  (Accessed 01122020)

Fintech https://twitter.com/labordeolivier/status/1276398914300784641/photo/1

Danish Info https://www.behance.net/gallery/924345/Information-graphics-in-context  (Accessed 01122020)

Get into Space https://www.behance.net/gallery/86241381/Data-Visualisation-What-it-takes-to-go-to-space?tracking_source=for_you_feed_recommended  (Accessed 01122020)

Ordnance Survey Style https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/documents/ordnance-survey-style-guide-for-third-parties.pdf (Accessed 03122020)

OS Raster Legend https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/documents/resources/25k-raster-legend.pdf (Accessed 03122020)

Project: Information Graphics

Project: Information Graphics

Infographic, /ˌɪnfə(ʊ)ˈɡrafɪk/ , noun;

a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.

“a good infographic is worth a thousand words”

Oxford Languages

We’re surrounded by Information Graphics (Infographic’s hereafter), and in the digital age they are becoming more widespread. The earliest Infographics were found on the walls of caves, showing how to hunt wild animals. These were then followed by shamanic and religious glyphs including stain glass, and fresco’s of the Stations of the Cross to inform a largely illiterate or disinterested population. Some of the most breathtaking of these were the Nazca Lines in Peru and Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel paintings.

As humanity grew and expanded its horizons some of the earliest secular Infographics were maps and charts; from the Dunhuang Star Chart AD650 to the Templers map of Jerusalem circa 1535-1590. In more contemporary times the underground maps of Harry Beck are some of the finest infograph’s about, bringing order to chaos as it were.

By the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first the info graphic had come of age. The proliferation of mobile devices, more sophisticated DTP and faster soft and hardware means the Infogrpahics is currently enjoying a golden age.

Creating Graphics

The next stage is to experiment; I’ve been using Affinity Designer a great deal as it’s relatively straightforward to get my head around. However no one got experience by driving in a straight line so a quick play with the pen tool in making a simple box network followed a quick scan of Chelius and Schwartz’ book Learn Adobe Illustrator CC.

This was a great moment to have a play with the various aspects of the program including shape tools. At this stage my work looks more like an experimental art piece than serious investigation. However that’s how you learn.

Typography in information graphics

As the research point here is to look at how Type is physically arranged, I found some interesting example of type in use and the idea is Keep it Simple Stupid. Each approach was subtly different, and one very interesting approach was to use the shapes used in the infographic to also spell out the location the information was about, Cape Town.

Resources used

Chelius C and Schwartz R, (2019, Learn Adobe Illustrator CC, 2nd Edn, Adobe Press.

Info Graphic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infographic (Accessed 30112020)

Oxford Languages https://languages.oup.com/  (Accessed 30112020)

Cape Town Infog#01 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/6614730691353005/  (Accessed 30112020)

Cave Painting https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/105482816263133993/  (Accessed 30112020)

Dunhuang Star Chart AD650 https://gizmodo.com/how-ancient-star-maps-gave-rise-to-modern-astronomy-1818815391  (Accessed 30112020)

Templers map of Jerusalem https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/324188873182895216/  (Accessed 30112020)

Harry Beck map https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/culture-and-heritage/art-and-design/harry-becks-tube-map  (Accessed 30112020)

Music in your Life https://www.behance.net/gallery/19624167/Infography-Set-The-music-in-your-life  (Accessed 30112020)

Infogrpahics https://www.rawpixel.com/image/1188115/data-and-graphs?referral=774710&source=pinterest  (Accessed 30112020)

Samples of Type in Infographics https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/330592428901364254/  (Accessed 30112020)

Exercise: Judging a book by its Cover

For this exercise I’m using Guy Sajer’s war time autobiography The Forgotten Soldier. The book is set on the Eastern Front during World War Two and charts Sajer progress from driver to infantryman in the Großdeutschland Division. The book itself is a sobering read for anyone and when initially released was considered in 1965 during the wave of popular books written by Dane Sven Hassle. The two authors were poles apart in terms of style and subject. Where Sajer was considerate, almost contrite, Hassle was brash and obscene. The Forgotten Soldier brought the reader closer to the effects and experience of war than any of Hassle’s Pulp Books and with that came an opportunity for the graphic design to create an iconic cover.

Understandably nearly all but one of the covers I’ve found featured a lone soldier, the single non illustrated cover uses the White Space exceptionally well. Of the illustrated covers, only one actually features an illustration, drawn by Sci-Fi artist Richard Clifton-Dey, whose work for the New English Library publishing house was varied, imaginative and very much of its time. The illustration is raw, showing the physical and emotional effects of battle exceptionally well, and it’s fair to say it would be exceptionally hard to replicate such an illustration as well as Clifton-Dey.

The other titles used established and sometimes clichéd portraits of individual German soldiers, sometimes to great effect, to show the loneliness that one can experience as a soldier. It’s interesting that only one cover features a portrait of a young Sajer as a soldier prior to being an infantier.

The cover that intrigues and appeals to me the most is the illustrated one by French publishing house Robert Lafontt, with shades of work by Joe Colquhoun, a British comic illustrator famous for his World War One work. This add an air of intimacy, is a more personal connection to the story and a line of design I’m keen to follow.

The use of a plain type cover is something rarely seen on popular war books, and while the illustrated books use a range of different types and fonts, the use of a utilised White Space is rarely seen on the cover of military histories, so to see it was intriguing as well as food for thought.

The first stage of my design process was to create a mind map centring on the books title.

The main theme was the title of Sajer’s story, what it meant for him as individual, a soldier and the child of a French/German marriage. The themes were further developed and then a commonality identified; the military. Here the symbology was sought to be unique to show he was a German solider, and there’s nothing more unique than the German wartime helmet. A draft of three possible arrangements was designed, along with how the text only cover would appear.

The first task is to create the basic design for the front page using Affinity Designer utilising the Großdeutschland’s divisional insignia as the centre piece. The helmets were then arranged as if on parade with space for text above and below. The second test cover featured the same image, but with a helmet removed, signifying Sajer, as the forgotten solder. I then coloured a helmet with the French tricolour, to symbolise Sajer’s nationality to see how that would fit. Another experiment features the Großdeutschland’s divisional insignia over the tricolour. However it seemed a little contrived, so won’t be pursued.

Yet as a motif the helmet certainly sticks out, and when placed with copies of the original insignia it makes for an interesting juxtaposition; indentifying Sajer as both a German soldier by the shape of the helmet and as a Frenchman by the Tricolour. This theme also recurs at the end of the book when Sajer takes part in the French Victory parade as a French soldier and his thoughts runaway to where his friend, Hals, is. This alluring to that his connection was stronger with the German army than the French. As one of the 130,000 Frenchmen Alsace and Moselle forced to fight for the Germans because of their births, and the post-war desire by the French authorities to not talk about it Sajer become one of the Malgrd-nous or Despite us/against our will. This theme again confirms the forgotten soldier status of Sajer, and indeed he told in a post capture de-brief to ‘Get yourself home, and try to forget all this as fast as you can’.

I was able to find a book cover tutorial for InDesign, but struggled with it a little so reverted to Affinity Publisher for the design process. For the Font I wanted to use a Black style, but nothing too contrived. For the spine I chose a dark green from a custom palette which I also used for the font colour. The background was coloured a pale yellow green. The Spine font is left justified Georgia 20Pts and rear text is Justified Georgia.

For the front cover I used the Sans-serif Haettenschweiler font (80pts) designed by Walter Haettenschweiler in 1954. This font was designed to be eye catching as given its Black font style suits the cover well. The authors name sits below this Georgia (25pts). The helmets had their opacity reduced to 80%. I then created three differing backgrounds to see how they compared.

Whilst I was happy with the back and spine the front lacked the visual impact I wanted, so I decided upon finding a suitable photograph of German solders marching, one that would allow me to split the page into third and experiment with font placement and type. I appreciate this was a complete departure from form, and I expect this is how themes are developed, but all of a sudden the cover, for me at least, snapped into place. The top of the photo was erased at 50% flow, hardness and opacity to help it merge with the white space, whilst the text was brought in from the edge to helped to define and deliver the final cover. I added the line underneath the title to see how physically and aesthetically the cover would look if separated the title from the author’s name. I found it didn’t sit quite right visually with the text right justified, but pulled away from the edge slightly gave it a more calming appearance.

The green spine details were kept as a tool for theme colour coding by the publishers, echoing the 1930’s classic Penguin covers with their range of colour’s, whilst the back cover information was left as it.

With the illustrated cover complete I was now ready to look at using just font work for the front. The back over and spine achieve the aim of clarity I was after. A quick search of various Text only covers showed how text was used effectively. I was aiming to use three vertical columns, with the central one clear, allowing the side one to be used for information.

The first draft looked ideal, and I chose to include the finally two paragraphs of the book to join the text as they were powerful. As they were mounted there lay along side the vertically set text of the title and the author I decided to highlight the authors name in red and enlarging it to 16pts against the 15pts of the main quote text, which has been skewed to 20°. The title was stretch by 43% which improved the impact of the Haettenschweiler type. Using the White Space wisely I set the vertical aspect of the font deliberately to replicate the erect nature of a soldier standing to attention. A final idea was to split the page into two columns, the title sparing the space with an edited quote, which is the final line in the book, with Sajer’s name highlighted in red.

So comparing the two book covers my favourite has to be the one featuring the photo graph. The text only cover has an appeal, but given the market would be predominantly male (though my daughter has read this book twice now), the photo style follows previously successful approaches, but uses the idea of even belonging to a group one can still be lonely. Of the two I’d say the photo-cover, which was used after my illustrated cover felt a little flat, is more eye-catching and in terms of fulfilling the design brief is more successful on this occasion.

Screen shots of exercise development:

Resources Used

Sajer, G, (1997, The Forgotten Soldier, Third Impression, Orion, London.

Forgotten Soldier covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=the%20forgotten%20soldier%20guy%20sajer&rs=typed&term_meta[]=the%20forgotten%20soldier%20guy%20sajer%7Ctyped

Großdeutschland Division Insignia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Sajer#/media/File:%E2%80%9EGro%C3%9Fdeutschland%E2%80%9D-Division_(Wehrmacht).svg

Richard Clifton-Dey samples https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=Richard%20Clifton-Dey&rs=typed&term_meta[]=Richard%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=Clifton-Dey%7Ctyped

Book Template https://indesignskills.com/downloads/book-template/

Malgrd-nous reference – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malgr%C3%A9-nous

Barcode Generator https://www.barcodesinc.com/generator/index.php German Infantry still https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-219-0595-05,_Russland-Mitte-S%C3%BCd,_Infanteristen.jpg

Research Point: Book Covers

‘Books used to be made, today they are designed’ –  August Heckscher, 1966.

The thing about book covers is that there are many versions of the same titles. Orwell’s 1984 is a great example of this variety of approach, interpretation of a theme and how publishers, aesthetic taste and contemporary styles shape cover design. The post war period saw a positive bloom of creative designers; Paul Rand, Paul Bacon, Edward Gorey, Elaine Lustig Cohen, and Andy Warhol. It also saw Publishers such Penguin build a contact list of designers to help deliver beguiling, visual stunning yet often simple and abstract covers that were clearly of their period. And that is a great part of thier appeal.

The one thing we tend to look past as researchers is where we find our inspiration. We are almost anchored to the twentieth and twenty first century’s and even more so to the work of culturally familiar writers, works and publishers. A great example of a creative approach is Kolomon Moser’s 1897 book cover design for Ewart Felicie Jugendschatz. This shows creative use of the whole cover and that inspiration and innovation are not a modern approach and deserve to be considered as more art than design. The surface of the book has become a canvas to be utilised by the designer to produce a stunning cover that is more artwork than mere book cover.

This then leads on to looking at work produced by non-English speaking countries, if only for balance and reflection. The creativity is just as wide as America or Great Britain. I chose examples from France and the USSR just to show a visual difference and similarity to how the cover is arranged by artists.

This then brings me to house styles and how each one differs from the other, even during the same time period. As I’m a great fan of Mid-Twentieth century design. Looking at designs its clear to see how certain publishing houses developed their own style. One that springs instantly to mind is Penguin. The colour coded Classics range was initially designed by Edward Young, and developed further by Jan Tschichold, used striking Tyography to introduce and sell the book. The original 1930’s classic covers were split into three horizontal lines, using the white space of the centre line to show off eye catching type as well as book details. The coloured band was the preserve of the brand, with a monogrammed logo at the head and the flightless Penguin, again designed by Young.

Jan Tschichold developed the stripe theme further, inverting them to the horizontal and introducing basic imagery to support the books title and give the potential buyer an insight into the story’s plot. The use of line drawing echoed contemporary illustrative trends, and made excellent use of the central stripes white space. Its also interesting that Tschichold also started to change the font styles at this stage and using it as part of the cover design working with the illustrations.

Of course time stand still for no-man and the covers continued to develop to embrace photography and contemporary illustration styles. By the early 1960’s the coloured stripes slowly began to disappear, slowly replaced by a simple horizontal series of blocks featuring a smaller logo, followed by the title and finally the authors name. The accompanying illustrations had become the key features and the illustrations were visually more powerful and seemingly more important than the author.

This new style continued to develop and soon covers designed by David Gentleman started to appear. The headers were simplified and Gentleman’s series of illustrations for the New Penguin Shakespeare series featured slashed of colour and took on the appearance of wood block carvings. These were intricate, enticing and in some instance, such as Richard III, echoed contemporary paintings with a naivety of touch and lack of perspective.

By the 60’s and 70’s the general style had changed once more and with titling centralised and incorporated into the white space of the cover and engravings continued to dominate. The work of Diane Bloomfield and Bruce Robertson was as challenging as it was enticing. The days of the image reflecting the book were gone, and experimentation was the new game. Here the use of computer generated designs and pseudo science fiction imagery added a touch of modernity.

No where was the use of such stunning and challenging graphs as prevalent as the Pelican series of books. Established as the non-fiction branch of Penguin the covers were always interesting and are worth considerations as they were influenced by the work of Robertson in particular. What is interesting is the use of montage as well as props, which shows a further development of the genre of cover design. The use of symmetrical and abstract themes also help to confirm the type of publications the book is; serious, challenging, no nonsense.

The late 1970’s and 19801’s also saw further developed to include a full CMYK palette and this was used to great effect, providing colourful and enticing covers, often not afraid of raising eyebrows. A Clockwork Orange. Designed and illustrated by David Pelham in 1985 is a notable example of this new found confidence in colour to be found in the library of Penguin books.

Photo Covers were slowly introduced by Penguin featuring the world of designers such as John Sewell. These often featured montages and collages, which as time past featured unique and one-off font designs. The influence of popular culture was clear to see and visual experimentation was not shied away from.

As Steven Heller wrote in his essay Type as agent of Power¹ …the marriage of type and word (and image too) determines tone, tenor, and weight of expression’. Type rarely changed for Penguin in the twentieth century. Whilst instantly recognisable in its varying forms of Gill Sans, as demanded by Tschichold, it was rarely incorporated into the book cover design as a leading element. However, the spread of work by the popular illustrator Ronald Searle in the 1950’s and 1960’s, soon had Tschichold’s policies on Type yielding under his light hand.

However it was in the children Puffin range of books that the fonts stepped away from the rigidity of Tschichold’s edicts and became more playful. They featured often beautifully illustrated covers designed to grab the attention of the young reader, but also featured decorative text. Combined with the smiling Puffin logo the font was often integrated into the cover as in the case of The Jungle Book. These decorative fonts often mimicked children writing, making the title accessible and fun, and event the earlier books, whilst still very rigid in their use of a Serif font, Tarka the Otter for example, they still stood out as something, not adult.

The final set of covers that were used were those featuring elements and close-ups of famous arts works by artists such as Frantisek Kupka (left) N.C. Kierkegaard (centre) and Hans Old (right). The use of such work added a weight of formality to the book, lending them an air of drawing room seriousness that perhaps illustration and photography would miss. In using established and famous artists work not only was there an attempt to provide visual provenance but also an opportunity to expand the readers knowledge of the visual arts. Notice how the details are worked into the overall master designs used during that particular period of publication.

If anything this little foray into the world of book cover design has led me down the proverbial rabbit hole, and whilst I have deliberately chosen to predominantly look at the work of the Penguin House in the mid-twentieth century their twenty-first century output continues to engage the potential buyer through the use of traditional approaches as well as engaging in more contemporary DTP and computer based illustrations. Fonts and type are explored and used to good effect and montage is an increasing staple of visual communication. It will be interesting to see what the future bring the reader.

Resources Used

¹Heller, S, (2014, Design Literacy, Understanding Graphic Design, Allworth Press, New York

Inglis T, (2019), Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design, Batsford, Pavilion Books, London

Paul Bacon Covers https://lithub.com/the-iconic-covers-of-paul-bacon/ (Accessed 24112020)

Edward Gorey http://www.goreybooks.com/cgi-bin/emAlbum.cgi?c=show_image;p=Primary%20Works;i=61#.X71U9Gj7TIV  (Accessed 24112020)

Book cover designers https://thejohnfox.com/2019/09/30-best-book-cover-designers/  (Accessed 24112020)

15 Famous Book Cover Designs https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/famous-book-cover-designs-that-will-inspire-you-to-design-your-own/  (Accessed 24112020)

Best covers of all time https://www.shortlist.com/lists/the-50-coolest-book-covers  (Accessed 24112020)

French book covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=french%20book%20covers&rs=typed&term_meta[]=french%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=book%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=covers%7Ctyped  (Accessed 24112020)

1984 Book Covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?rs=ac&len=2&q=george%20orwell%201984%20book%20covers&eq=george%20orwell%201984%20covers&etslf=1879&term_meta[]=george%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=orwell%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=1984%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=book%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=covers%7Cautocomplete%7C0  (Accessed 24112020)

Publishers List https://blog.reedsy.com/largest-book-publishers/ (Accessed 24112020)

Paul Rand Collection https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=paul%20rand&rs=typed&term_meta[]=paul%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=rand%7Ctyped  (Accessed 24112020)

Kolomon Moser https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/413838653264018194/  (Accessed 24112020)

Soviet Book Covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=soviet%20book%20covers&rs=typed&term_meta[]=soviet%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=book%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=covers%7Ctyped  (Accessed 24112020)

Penguin Classic Covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/403424079126873847/ (Accessed 25112020)

Penguin Classis Covers https://99percentinvisible.org/article/classic-penguins-how-minimalist-book-covers-sold-paperbacks-to-the-masses/ (Accessed 25112020)

Pelican Covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?rs=ac&len=2&q=pelican%20book%20covers&eq=pelican%20book%20covers&etslf=1565&term_meta[]=pelican%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=book%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=covers%7Cautocomplete%7C0 (Accessed 26112020)

Puffin Covers https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=puffin%20childrens%20books&rs=typed&term_meta[]=puffin%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=childrens%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=books%7Ctyped (Accessed 26112020)

Contemporay Penguin book covers https://www.penguin.co.uk/  (Accessed 26112020)

Exercise: Magazine Pages

I have a habit of keeping back magazines that appeal visually, and the Country Life has always had great visual appeal. The features in particular draw you in with the use of an interesting subject matter, full bleed imagery and crisp font, never straying from accepted norm and opting for decorative fonts as the norm. Looking at Country Life objectively was not only great fun but allowed me to appreciate the work that goes into producing the magazine.

The first task was to measure the magazine and appreciate page form:

  • Each page is based on a three column grid
  • Images are a mix of full bleed, vignettes, full box with the odd touch of cropping around a subject to highlight it.
  • White space tends to be at a minimum, but when used, especially in the illustrated story, it’s used sensitively.
  • Page size is 302mm x 233mm, with a column width of 60mm with a gap of 5mm between columns.
  • Margin measurement:
    • Outer 20mm
    • Inner 15mm
    • Lower 15mm
    • Upper 20mm
    • Gutter 30 mm

Fonts are a mix of serif with the body text is the standard Times New Roman, whilst headers swing between Times New Roman, Garamond and Helvetica. Indeed the interest in font within the magazine is such that is published a wonderful article, 8 typefaces that changed the world, on its website where it includes the fonts used in-house by the design team which also includes Johnston Sans by Edward Johnston and Transport byJock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. Interestingly both are used for sharing information to commuters on the London Underground and road network accordingly.

To replicate the Country Life layout using InDesign I resized the page accordingly and added the above measurements and necessary columns to the master profile. I decided to go with the first page of Unto Us a Child is Born. The first task is to replicate the pages as closely as possible. The header and sub headers are Schneider Libretto, which has some interesting similarities to Bodoni and is contemporary, yet at the same time traditional.

Sadly a download is cost prohibitive, so I’ll use Bodoni MT Bold and Regular as a suitable replacement for both, sizing the header at 45pts and the sub heading at 15pts. The main body text is Times New Roman at 12pts and justified with a left alignment, with the quote in Bodoni MT Regular at 20pts.

One thing that took a little time to get my head around whilst trying to save the document was to select which Master it was. Unlike Affinity Publisher the saving process is a little more involved, and with my frustration rising and trying to work out why I was only getting blank JPGs or PDFs. I finally worked out that there are two Master documents, A and B, and it’s A that saves. Lesson learned. One thing I did notice was that I had forgotten to place the bottom margin information into the original copy, so I update the file accordingly.

The one thing that had escaped my mind completely was that when it comes tcame to preparing and joining the two halves of an exported file together always create in the size it was saved not the actual size of the original document. Things can get lost in translation.

Anyway onwards and upwards. My first task is to select three sets of font combinations. Given the style of magazine Black, Fat Face and Decorative would be poor choices and whilst a Sans Serif style is used occasionally, mostly Helvetica, its use is limited to lifestyle features. So the Serif fonts I’ll be using will be:

Headline#1: Garamond Bold. Sub- Heading and Quote Garamond Regular

Body#1: Century Schoolbook Regular

Headline#2: Libre Baskerville Bold Sub- Heading and Quote Libre Baskerville Regular

Body#2: Sitka Text

Headline#3: Georgia Bold Sub- Heading and Quote Georgia Regular

Body#3: Arvo Regular

The combinations have been chosen to echo the original editorial designs. For the first series of grids I’ll retain the original design and font size before developing the grid further.  

Clearly changing Font but not size has a big impact but is a great exemplar of how fonts are sized differently in their design. This size difference also impact upon the editorial design process. So a quick tidy up gives us a tidier view of the pages.

#1 – Headline: 45pts, Sub heading: 16pts, Quote: 19pts and Footer: 11 and 10pts. Body: 11pts

Here the Garamond / Century Schoolbook combination are a nicely balance set with Garamond regular in particular sitting easily with the Century Schoolbook. Whilst a s Bold headliner it has enough presence to attract the eye but not dominate the white space at the top of the page. Century Schoolbook

#2 – Headline: 35pts, Sub heading: 12pts, Quote: 15pts and Footer: 10 and 12pts. Body: 12pts

As Libre Baskerville is a physically larger design font the re-sizing had to be pretty drastic, which leads to a small size being used for the Headlining. That said it doesn’t diminish its impact in any way, but the bold is heavier than and more suited to commercial or advertising usage. The Sitka Text on the other hand is light to the eye and strikes a delicate balance with the heavier Libre Baskerville headliner. Interesting when used as a regular font the Libre Baskerville suits the Sitka Text nicely.

Headline #3: 45pts Sub heading: 14pts, Quote#3: 17Pts and Footer: 11 and 10pts.

Body #3: 11pts

Visually the Georgia is an altogether calmer font but when used as a Bold headliner but seems more suited to ‘newspaper’ style than feature and the same could be said of the Arvo text, however the Arvo nicely compliments the regular Georgia style font of the quote.

Now I’ve experimented with various fonts, the next stage is to develop the theme of article focusing on Unto us a child is born and changing the subject matter to a more contemporary theme. To echo the new theme’s new font style will be chosen to headlines the themes. Other changes will include subheading wording to reflect the content of the piece, new quote piece and accompanying imagery.

The new themes, which still reflect the key theme of Unto us a child is born are:

  • Handels Messiah
  • Older Parents
  • Children born in Poverty
  • Refugee Camp

Each new piece will be an opportunity to change the feel of the original art to develop the theme a little more, and there is the opportunity to introduce more decorative fonts and colour options.

Child born in refugee camp – Headliner Bohemian Typewriter 40Pts Sub heading Helvetica (12Pts) Quote Helvetica (12Pts at 15% Skew)

Child born in poverty – Headliner The Pits (50Pts), Sub heading Georgia 14Pts with italic element of 15% skew and Quote Georgia 14Pts

Child born to Older Parents – Headliner Grand Hotel (41pts with Horizontal scale increased to 125%) Libre Baskerville for sub headings and Quote 12 and 18Pts

Unto us a child is born (Handel’s Messiah) – Headliner Old English Five Regular 28pts Sub Heading and Quote Garamond 16 and 18Pts

This element of the exercise also asks five questions:

  • What happens when you alter the body font or headline font?

Changing the font will always affect the appearance of an article it sets the tone. For example the Old English Five used to introduce Unto us a child is born (Handel’s Messiah) sets the style of read as both scholarly, of interested to the choral enthusiast and linked with the use of a black background page lends itself to a coffee table lifestyle magazine such as Country Life.

The scrolling Grand Hotel font used for Child born to Older Parents, with its pink scrolling form is reflective of the style that would be used to lead this style of article in a mid-end lifestyle magazine. Whilst the reportage Bohemian Typewriter linked to the stylist Helvetica used for Child born in refugee camp introduces the concept of a cutting edge contemporaneous report from the front style article. For Child born in poverty I used The Pits chalk style font to echo the premise of the articles focus on child povery. This design of article would be used for a professional magazine such as teaching or social work professions.

  • Do different kinds of images change the feel of the publication?

We remember powerful images, and when relevant to the subject matter they not only draw the reader in but also help tell part of the story. I was careful with what images I used for the Refugee article as some are, understandably, distressing and these should be used in their own right. The fine line between voyeurism and serious reporting has to be maintained, so the use of the Holy Family by Geertgen tot Sint Jans not only lent itself to the subject but also provided a linking image to the nature of the article. The inclusion of a background image was deliberate, showing children living and playing in a temporary site helps to reaffirm the helplessness of their situation. The inclusion of an extra graphic was to help add a sense of seriousness to the subject matter as well as to show it’s informative.

Again I used this approach for the Poverty article choosing to show children in worn clothing, which albeit is a Victorian-esque visual trope, but helps to get the point across. The little girls eating the biscuit also help’s to confirm the lack of variation in diet which occurs when there is little or no money for a balanced diet. Here the images add a sense of hopelessness, loss and futility.

For the Handel and Older Parent I wanted the feel to be more informative and relaxed. The smiling pregnant lady and couple with child help to convey a light/warm hearted moment indicating the subject is going to be an easy and enjoyable read. The use of Balthasar Denner’s portrait of Handel adds an element of academia to the article. This, with the black space of the page, and the image of the Winchester Choir in full swing, helps to establish the messiah as a choral work of great importance.

  • Do you think the readership for each of your variations would be the same?

Possibly, I think the readership for the Child born in refugee camp and Child born in refugee camp would be of same, working for NGO’s or in the Third Sector. Whereas the reader of the Child born to Older Parents could be professionals in any number of industries, though most likely the private sector.  The Unto us a child is born (Handel’s Messiah) article would feature in either a lifestyle or Club type magazine.

  • Does the image you choose suggest a different design?

Yes I believe they all do, they affect the use of font type, Handel by his very nature demands a serious yet flourishing decorative tone which Old English Five gives. This also echo’s the idealised font design one would associate with 18th Century England. The chalk effect of the The Pits, may seem light hearted, yet when used in conjunction with the images confirm that the article is bout children of young age. The light heart flowing coloured script of Grand Hotel gives the article a sense of celebration and hope. The direct and almost aggressive key strokes of Bohemian Typewriter add the sense of urgency to the article, echoing telex machines, placing its subject matter in a location where technology has broken down.

The use of two images allows me to further convey and develop the message and content of the article. Another simple design change was made by adjusting the layout, very slightly, of the Child born in refugee camp and introducing three columns of type. This also allowed for the inclusion of a graph which is used as an infographic, to impart further information, in this case the percentage of refugees who are children (38%).

  • Which ones work best and why?

For me Child born in refugee camp as I manipulated the three column format to suit the message and add more impact to the subject matter. Where as Unto us a child is born (Handel’s Messiah) was a great opportunity to manipulate the White Space and use it, along with the Headling Font to create a sombre yet informative looking article.

Resources Used

Country Life, December 12/19 2018, TI Media Ltd, London

8 typefaces that changed the world, https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/8-typefaces-changed-world-134107  (Accessed 19112020)

Johnston Type https://i.pinimg.com/736x/91/94/43/919443d448966d9aa26045e5c42458e3.jpg (Accessed 19112020)

Transport Type https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_(typeface) (Accessed 19112020)

Text generator https://www.lipsum.com/  (Accessed 19112020)

Schneider Libretto font example https://en.fontke.com/font/13143725/ (Accessed 19112020)

George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/George_Frideric_Handel_by_Balthasar_Denner.jpg (Accessed 23112020)

Winchester Cathedral Choir https://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/worship-and-music/music-choir/  (Accessed 23112020)

Older parents https://www.verywellfamily.com/thmb/PmQQbzeG0a4Ha6G2U8G4_ph815M=/2250×1500/filters:fill(DBCCE8,1)/older-parents-with-baby-5a288580da27150036296555.jpg  (Accessed 23112020)

Pregnant lady https://www.nflwc.com/uploads/pink-t-pregnant-woman.jpg  (Accessed 23112020)

Child Poverty  https://benskippergraphicdesign.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/8fc60-dsc_0618.jpg  (Accessed 23112020)

Child with biscuit https://theconversation.com/are-there-400-000-fewer-children-in-poverty-in-the-uk-than-there-were-in-2010-128274  (Accessed 23112020)

Refugee Child and Boat https://www.voanews.com/world-news/middle-east-dont-use/un-many-syrian-refugees-educated-seeking-better-lives (Accessed 23112020)

Refugee Camp https://theconversation.com/how-to-help-refugee-children-get-through-the-trauma-of-whats-happened-to-them-64335 (Accessed 23112020)

Handel Messiah facts https://www.bsomusic.org/stories/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-handels-messiah/ (Accessed 23112020)

Baby Facts https://www.verywellfamily.com/being-an-older-parent-4155772 (Accessed 23112020)

Child Poverty facts https://www.basw.co.uk/resources/psw-magazine/psw-online/child-poverty-rise-warning (Accessed 23112020)

Child Refugee Chart https://venngage.com/blog/13-of-the-most-pressing-questions-about-refugees-answered-with-charts/  (Accessed 23112020)

Infant mortality information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5717942/  (Accessed 23112020)

Nativity at Night by Geertgen tot Sint Jans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity_at_Night#/media/File:Geertgen_tot_Sint_Jans,_The_Nativity_at_Night,_c_1490.jpg  (Accessed 23112020)

Project: Magazines and Books

Every visual creative work is a manifestation of the character of the designer. It is a reflection of his knowledge, his ability and his mentality’.

Josef Muller-Brockmann

The Golden Section: Dividing the page and the image

The Golden Ratio, and the Rule of Thirds are both important to the artist and designer (are they not the same?), they infuse everything that we endeavour to do at creative level. To show how this works I’ve produced a quick overlay of the Golden Section over a rather fabulous looking Triumph Bobber motorcycle.

Here the line of the Golden Ratio traces itself around the front wheel, following the curve of the motorbike fuel tank and frame, almost intentionally. As the ratio is not fixed in its alignment or arrangement and so can be used as a tool to identify a range of objects whose aesthetic beauty may not always be apparent. A good example is a wave. Here I’ve over laid the Golden Ration over the wave in two distinct and separate orientations.

By looking at these three very simple examples we can begin to visualise how the Golden Ration would help to form how we use visual cues in design. Advertising Art Direction is the most logical application for the Golden Ratio; here the director can control the image to the point of perfection. In the case of the two Quality Street adverts the ‘swoop’ of the Golden Ratio is clear to see.

Adverts and magazine covers featuring people are also a good source of seeing examples of the Golden Ratio. These wonderful examples show how the astute art director and design have arranged pose to incorporate the curving geometric form. It also helps to guide the eye to the key point of information, the case of the Just 17 cover model and Dwayne Johnson, the face, or most importantly the eyes.

Although not covered in this project it is worth mentioning the use of the Golden Ratio in logo design. It appears most famously in the Nike ‘Swoosh’ created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, as well as the KFC and Firefox logos. Noting this helps the designer prioritise the design space and the direct of which they want to direct and guide the eye around the design. Note the tail often overshoots the design.

The Rule of Thirds is a pretty straight forward, where the lines intersect indicate where key points of attention. I’ve also noticed that those squares that are filled with the subject matter draw the attention away from the dead space. The use of a grid is an exceptionally useful device in graphic design; especially in advertising. I’ve chosen four separate images and over laid a PNG of a grid to show that where the sections meet and how the images are divided into thirds.

The Mini advert shows very clearly the converging points of interest on the front grille. The advert is fully two thirds visual stimulus and a third set aside for advertising and promotion. The two gentleman propping up the bar in their rather natty get up certainly attract the eye, though interesting the art director has chose to let the contrasting colour of their tops do the talking here. That said the upper intersections draw the eye in, whilst the two figures occupy two thirds of the frame (note the adjusted picture).

This principle readily transfers to works of art too, as shown by The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse, here the intersections meet at some key points, which draw the eye to the areas around them, especially the promise of a kiss between the two. The key images of the small group itself takes up the space of six squares, leaving a third of the painting as inconsequential almost impressionist in style, background.

The image which I’ve placed a grid over is a cover painting by Robin Moline. Here it’s not so much the intersections that do the work but the central grid panel with its red sided barn. The eye is instinctively drawn in and then takes note of the details that surround the barn, travelling in an anti – clockwise direction. This wonderful painting is also a great example of the Golden Ratio too.

Designing a Grid

I’m now feeling confident enough to give InDesign a try and have arranged the workspace in the Digital Publishing mode. I’ll be honest knowing this part may take a bit of time I invested in Jonathan Gordon’s Learn Adobe InDesign CC guide as these have a good reputation for being well written. So the first task is to create a two page spread, using the default Margins and Guttering.

The next task is to introduce a document grid, which seems to be easier said than done as it didn’t seem to be in the book. However using a bit of common sense I found the Grid selection via EditPreferences. I did look at an interesting website, Grids In Graphic Design, which explored the subject of Grids in a little more details and Bath Spa Universities Grids and Layouts page gave some excellent time on sizing. I also ensured the Snap to Document Grid was activated.

So having got a rough orientation of the way InDesign works I cleared the document and started afresh. I now set up a new document using the process outlined in Learn Adobe InDesign CC and adapting the process to give me the document I was after and ready for setting up the document to echo the example in my course manual. The first task was to add Text Frames and populate with Lorum Ipsum. I’ve also discovered that InDesign doesn’t seem to appear the same as Photoshop for example. I found the layers in the end as well as how to set columns.

So returning to Gordons book I worked out how to add images, make graphic frames, rectangular frames and place text. All very basic stuff I’ll admit, but this is a big jump for me. So the next task to replicate the grid example. The whole process took less than 10 minutes and has increased my confidence in using InDesign tenfold.

The finished article

Columns

The one thing I have noticed during this course is that many of the books that I’ve used are presented in a duel column format, which aids reading speed and divides the page nicely. However when looking back at the how print was arranged, especially in newspaper the sheer amount of columns used was almost visually overbearing. In part due to the size of the paper, and the fact they tended to be double sided single sheet. This limited the amount of space available so the amount of columns was increased. The column numbers started to settle as the printing process advanced and photography appeared in ever increasing levels the design process became more prevalent.

The incorporation of white (or background) space into the columns space as part of the design also grew and designers started to use this in a variety of ways. Not so much in papers, but certainly in books and magazines, white space is a great tool for the designer to utilise and play with. In using white space the role of the document being produced must be borne in mind; graphic design is primarily used to present information. This information can be either simple or exacting and complex. Through judicious use of white space a complex subject can be simplified, if only a little.  Harry Beck’s 1933 London Underground map is a great example of the use of white space.

With duel column arrangements the designer can also experiment with image placements and these can be made in any number of ways. In Grid Systems in Graphic Design Muller-Brockmann identifies 32 ways in which the page can be split between type and picture (p87-95) which is followed by some wonderful examples. To understand how this works, as doing helps me understand, I took a couple of screen shots from the internet or magazine pieces, one from a Brno shopping magazine and one from a health magazine. I did an overlay both pages identifying the text and picture columns whilst fading the background enough to notice how the white space was used in each.

The single column is a great way to incorporate supporting imagery and white space. Examples can be found in specialist magazines with a focus on the creative industries. The use of the single column in literature is also an opportunity for a display of decorative flare, as shown in William Morris in many of his works, and most recently by the designer Radim Malinic in his Book[s] of Ideas. These approaches show that the single column can be just as flexible as a page of two of three columns.

Borders, margins and gutters

The physical construction of the page and how the borders margins and gutters are arranged may seem pretty inconsequential but there are both practical and aesthetic penalties to pay for not being aware of how these are included.  

The sample page beloew from Very Very magazine, 2011, shows the position of the Borders in Blue, Margins in Mauve and Gutters in Green. Note the margins overlap one another, with each being separately identified; Top, Bottom, Inside and Outside.

The placing of these elements is always fixed, so the designer must consider creative ways to use these spaces. As in the magazine above for example the borders are narrow, however the designer has been clever with the guttering and allowed the image of the jaguar to spill over into the outer margins (full bleed). The use of a two columns is a standard approach and the clever use of white space compliments the dark pallets of the photographs.

A wonderful comparison of how pages are arranged can be found in the July 1920 edition of Motion Picture Magazine. The two column approach is cleverly spread over four, with the designer keeping images well within the pages borders. What is interesting is the outer borders, which are narrower than the top and bottom sets, whilst the inner border/gutter is just big enough for the bind process, which is revealed at the boom of the magazine.

Editorial Design

This is where all the elements discussed so far come together to produce the finished spread. Here the editorial craft is best appreciated in this spread from Psychology Today.


Psychology Today; a salute to the editorial designer’s art.

Here four columns are carefully crafted on each pages, with the Golden Ratio spreading across two pages, and images being presented as full bleed whilst the construction of the grid is maintained by clear boundary’s, margins and gutters.

Linking Text

This final piece of practical work will hopefully bring a few things together not least of all an easier way of working. I chose to use InDesign for this element of the project. I’ve set up a basic two column per page and added text frames and 5000 words of Lorem Ipsum text, which is more than enough for the task in hand. As this isn’t something I’ve done before I found a step by step guide on Shutterstock. After following the instructions I ‘linked’ the relevant boxes so that then overflow of text was then included into the document correctly. It’s amazing how a small exercise can be such fun.

Overall an interesting and enjoyable project that introduced me to both the practical as well as the theoretical and aesthetic values that sit behind magazine design. As with anything creative there’s always more to do and learn.

Resources Used

Gordon, J with Chave, C and Schwartz, R (2019), Learn Adobe InDesign CC for Print and Digital Media Publication, 2nd edn, Adobe Press Books, Pearson Education Inc, USA.

Muller-Brockmann, J (2019), Grid Systems in Graphic Design, 13edn, Niggli, Switzerland.

Malinic, R, 2016, Book of Ideas Volume 1, Brand Nu, London.

Golden Ration PNG – https://www.hiclipart.com/search?clipart=Golden (Accessed 12112020) (Accessed 12112020)

Triumph Bobber – https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshmax/2018/03/31/these-five-2018-triumph-motorcycles-need-to-be-in-your-driveway-right-now/  (Accessed 12112020)

Wave – https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-12-16-freak-ocean-waves-hit-without-warning-new-research-shows  (Accessed 12112020)

Quality Street – https://fineartamerica.com/featured/8-1950s-uk-macintosh-magazine-advert-the-advertising-archives.html  & https://www.britishmetalsigns.co.uk/quality-street-buy-once-a-week—metal-advertising-wall-sign—retro-art-8859-p.asp  (Accessed 12112020)

Just 17 cover & Coke Cola Advert – https://flashbak.com/adverts-from-1992-just-seventeen-magazines-42948/  (Accessed 12112020)

The Rock Time Cover – https://eu.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/life/2019/04/17/time-magazine-covers-100-most-influential-people-world/3490624002/  (Accessed 12112020)

Nike Logo – https://www.stickpng.com/img/icons-logos-emojis/iconic-brands/nike-logo  (Accessed 12112020)

KFC Logo – http://logok.org/kfc-logo/  (Accessed 12112020)

Firefox Logo – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Firefox_Logo,_2017.svg  (Accessed 12112020)

Rule of Thirds PNG – https://www.cleanpng.com/png-rule-of-thirds-photography-composition-line-grid-839316/preview.html  (Accessed 12112020)

The Lady of Shalott, John William Waterhouse, 1888 https://www.artfund.org/whats-on/more-to-see-and-do/features/seven-women-in-pre-raphaelite-art  (Accessed 12112020)

Mini Advert – https://flashbak.com/eighteen-brilliant-mini-adverts-1959-1989-29121/  (Accessed 12112020)

Menswear – https://www.artfido.com/amazing-1970s-mens-fashion-ads-you-wont-be-able-to-unsee/  (Accessed 12112020)

Saturday Evening Post Cover, Robin Moline, 2019 https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2019/08/an-interview-with-our-september-october-2019-cover-artist-robin-moline/  (Accessed 12112020)

Grids In Graphic Design https://uxplanet.org/grids-in-graphic-design-a-quick-history-and-5-top-tips-29c8c0650d18 (Accessed 13112020)

Grids and Layouts https://thehub.bathspa.ac.uk/services/marketing/branding/grids#:~:text=A%20six%20column%20grid%20is,%E2%80%93%20A4%3A%20210%20x%20297mm.  (Accessed 13112020)

Lorum Ipsum https://www.lipsum.com/feed/html (Accessed 13112020)

Baltimore American https://www.herald-dispatch.com/features_entertainment/jean-mcclelland-old-newspapers-hold-value-best-with-historical-but-rare-events/article_dcfdec6c-d347-59d2-84f7-6c2958466d8f.html  (Accessed 16112020)

hot lakes chronicle Wednesday Feb 29 1895 NZ https://www.rotorualibrary.govt.nz/heritage-and-research/PublishingImages/hot%20lakes%20chronicle%20Wednesday%20Feb%2029%201895.jpg (Accessed 16112020)

Examples of contemporary local newspapers https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/national/18319755.local-newspapers-join-forces-reassure-readers-amid-coronavirus-crisis/ (Accessed 16112020)

Health and Wellness magazine https://pharmns.med.uky.edu/news/article-published-health-and-wellness-magazine-nsps-and-dr-police-0  (Accessed 16112020)

Good magazine https://aslicaglar.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/gestalt-principles-editorial-design/  (Accessed 16112020)

The power of white space https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/the-power-of-white-space#:~:text=White%20space%20is%20the%20area,or%20even%20a%20background%20image. (Accessed 16112020)

Brno Shopping centre magazine https://www.behance.net/gallery/26836069/nckp-magazine (Accessed 16112020)

PC Mag https://mastery.games/post/overlapping-grid-items/ (Accessed 17112020)

Harry Becks original Tube map https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/culture-and-heritage/art-and-design/harry-becks-tube-map  (Accessed 17112020)

Villagers https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6196/6124542174_cd996d3c5f_b.jpg (Accessed 17112020)

Apartment Magazine https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/62980094759059822/  (Accessed 17112020)

A note by William Morris https://www.gutenberg.org/files/31596/31596-h/31596-h.htm  (Accessed 17112020)

Book of Ideas sample https://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Ideas-Journal-Creative-Direction/dp/0993540015  (Accessed 17112020)

Motion Picture Magazine https://11east14thstreet.com/2014/04/29/zasu-pitts-unexpected/  (Accessed 17112020)

Psychology Today http://www.magazinedesigning.com/structure-of-the-magazine/  (Accessed 17112020)

Very very magazine 2011 https://www.behance.net/gallery/1622903/fashion-lifestyle-magazine-designs  (Accessed 17112020)

Linking text walkthrough https://www.shutterstock.com/support/article/how-to-link-text-boxes-in-indesign  (Accessed 17112020)

Assignment Four Feedback and Reflection

Introduction

Receiving feedback can be both challenging and nerve wracking for me. The constant desire to want to progress hampered by a particularly long bout of brain fog that has lasted almost a year, married to frustrations that have been hard to communicate, have almost led to me leaving the course.

A TBI’s impact is hard to appreciate and bout of brain fog can suddenly descend, without warning, leaving me struggling with ever more severe cognitive impairment. I mention this not as an excuse, but moreover as an insight into my work. In retrospect Assignment 4 is by far the worst body of work I’ve submitted. Not because of indolence, but because no matter how hard I tried nothing seems to click, and the hard I tried the worst the disconnect and overwhelming feelings became. What I should have done was take a year out, get over this and approach renewed. However I am stubborn and so I struggled on. Not enjoying the course, feeling as though nothing was really happening and my work become chaotic and without form.

It was only recently that things began to fall into a place, very slightly I hasten to add, and I relaxed a little, then the work flow improved and my final catch-up exercise Hierarchy was enjoyable.

Now because this was submitted after I submitted Assignment four, as I said I have been chaotic in my thinking, my approach is a little more refined, and hopefully between finishing the course and submitting work for assessment I can polish my assignments up somewhat. In the mean while, for some reason using Illustrator and InDesign remains problematic so I’m continuing to use Affinity’s Designer and Publisher.

As an aside I really need to get my WordPress page in order. It’s a mess.

Onto the feedback, my responses are as always in ordinary font.

Overall Comments Part four has focused on typography’s history and application. Overall your response has been quite limited. You need to refer to all previous feedback provided to help you move forward and progress. Apply yourself to each task with a greater degree of commitment to learning new skills, that way you will undoubtedly see your work developing to the standard you are clearly capable. By taking a more rigorous approach you will become more confident with using type and layout. You have the opportunity to put into place all that you have learnt to date and apply to your work in Part 5. – See above, which is not an excuse more a explainer.

Project: The visual word Typography uses both written and visual languages, you were asked to explore this by visually representing a range of words. The ‘playing with words’ exercise you explored placing black san serif letters in different positions to express meaning of words. Your print, cut and paste exploration goes some way to showing some interesting results, for example the the word squat or shy. However, overall you have evidenced very limited examples of what could be achieved using this method. For example spacing letters out or crashing them together or overlaying them or splicing through horizontally and so on, the range is much more extensive than you have explored. Next you start working digitally, but why not expand your Helvetica black type exploration further? Adding illustrative elements to the words defeats point of exercise, it suggests type alone is not expressing the word sufficiently. Next you start to use digital techniques for type to suggest meaning. How for example does the word serious in bright colours express its meaning? Some of the further exploration such as sodden are beginning to work, but don’t add the puddle its not necessary. You need to write a self reflection on what went well, what you learnt and what you could so differently next time.

Project: Anatomy of a typeface To explore your understanding of how a typeface is constructed you were asked to undertake a typographic jigsaw puzzle. This is such a good exercise to understand specific characterises of typefaces, in this case Baskerville. This exercise has clearly been helpful to you. A tip when tracing type is to draw in the character baseline and x height tram lines, then the ascender and descender lines. Use a sharp 3H pencil and good quality tracing paper. Practise makes perfect. You may want to follow on IG jeremytankardtypography and look on his website. The film Helvetica by Gray Hustwit is also essential viewing. – I used a 3B pencil. Lesson learned and tip greatly appreciated.

Project: Different typefaces

You were introduced to some of the ways typography can be categorised, asked to create your own sample book of typefaces, and identify fonts you could use for a number of different design jobs. You have not evidenced this work so please use the following feedback as a guide. – Badly labelled by me. Now updated can be found here: https://wordpress.com/post/benskippergraphic.design.blog/404

This exercise will benefit from researching what a type sample book should contain and therefore how it’s used by designers. Research Letraset and Monotype Corporation and The Foundry to provide some background information and visual references. A sample type book would usually show a range of font families or at least light, medium, bold, italic and roman. It would also show one example from each font family as a set line of text using all 26 characters: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, refer to earlier exercise. – I do need to revisit this project, as a new approach using this advice and apply myself a little more.

Appreciate this could be extremely time consuming to do for every example shown, however you could choose one typeface, show whole family and set line of text The quick brown fox… In your sample book. Consider production of your booklet, is it to be digital only or a printed version? If printed how does binding work, gutters, grid etc? Try a few different styles of design and structural formats. Start by planning your booklet as double-page spreads and use grid structure see Grid Systems in Graphic Design … by Josef Muller-Brockmann. Once you set master document up in InDesign you can add to it throughout your studies. Grid Systems in Graphic Design now purchased and slowly wading through it.

Flower rota: Not evidenced – Now Submitted

Boys club: Not evidenced – Now Submitted

Engagement party: Not evidenced – Now Submitted

Project: Typesetting This section explored typesetting by looking at magazines in terms of how easy they are to read, and using Lorum Ipsum to typeset text. Not evidenced – Now Submitted

Project: Project: Hierarchy You were asked to typeset headings, sub-heading and body text for three different pages. You have not evidenced this work so please use the following feedback as a guide. – Now Submitted

Research different magazine, analyse examples identifying particular styles that visually communicate content to specific types of audience. Research how graphic designers marked up layouts for printers before digital technology. Use trace method as suggested earlier, this will help you analyse fine detail such as line lengths, words per line, gutter and boarder widths, paragraph spacing, text alignment, changes in fonts and sizes and styles etc. Ensure notation is analytical rather than descriptive.

Thumbnail sketch a range of your designs. Select one or two to develop further, draw accurately, then transfer idea digitally using InDesign. Always self critique what you are doing against excellent published work by professional designers, that way you can check detailing of your design work such as — line alignment across columns, widows, consistent use of paragraph breaks, orphan line from previous column on its own in next, image placement and captions.- The referrals to InDesign are noted please read Affinity Publisher in my own work.

Assessment potential I understand your aim is to go for the Visual Communications / Creative Arts Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. However, from the work you have shown in this assignment, I am concerned that you may struggle to meet the assessment criteria, and recommend that you instead consider taking the personal development route rather than seek assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). – This comment was the right one to make by Laura at the time, but now I’m getting there I’m using it as a gauge to show I can gain the required points from assessment by revising work.

Feedback on assignment

Creative and analytical thinking, Visual and Technical Skills For the Show Me… assignment you produced a cover and short article for a magazine on typography. Research: Did you start by researching subject specific magazines in this sector, such as Eye, Baseline, Creative Review etc? If so you need to evidence with notation of critical analysis using skills learnt to date. If not consider what they could tell you? How could they inform your understanding of graphic design in context to this assignment brief? Consider how your design of magazine needs to stand out in the sector. What point of difference do you want to focus on? Ideas Generation: Good to see you exploring type style for masthead. What other previous exercises did you use to explore ideas such as spider diagrams, doodles, thumbnail sketches? Use research to inform your ideas, push the boundaries of what this sector would expect. Development of concept: Good to see you have developed two ideas, next time explore a broader range of different typographic arrangements with different images. All your ideas show full bleed image, did you consider cropping? The wood and metal type image is totally relevant, consider researching a selection of images with this content, to provide you more choice. Digital iteration of solution: Final cover design shows potential to develop further. The typographic arrangement requires refinement. What program did you use? Consider alignment of text, use columns and gutters as guides? Consider sizes of type as it looks really large? Use various sizes and wights of type to differentiate between headings, sub headlines, and descriptions? Final spreads again show potential, layout just needs a few adjustments. You choice of font for body text is too large and the style too round for such a short measure. Always work to approx. 8-12 words per line. Try reducing by 1pt might make enough difference. There is not quite enough difference between main text and captions so try using a different style such as italic or font or colour or weight. When using italic use from font family do not just italicise a roman font. Also review text alignment across columns and use baseline grid, always either indent paragraphs or line space. – The one thing I have been consistent in doing over the past years is panicking. By attempting to meet assignment deadlines I have deliberately missed important exercises, leading to a very chaotic approach, which has helped no-one. Now things are calmer in my mind this skittish approach will be easier for me to manage and control.

Sketchbooks Research and idea development, Context Continue to practice drawing letterforms, character spacing and leading. Refer to research examples past and present, to help your thumbnail sketches and develop layouts using grid structures. Consider how your log/sketchbook evidences all that you have done. – Sketching has been harder to do due to my fluctuating motor skills and muscle capacity the ability to manipulate a pencil is hard at times. However I do have a body of work and have found that using DTP has helped.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical essays

Research and idea development, Context Your research points asked to find out more about an area of typography that interests you, as well as documenting some vernacular typography. You must title your blog posts the same as in your course handbook. All exercises should be worked through in sequential order, as the course is designed for you to accumulate learning skills to use when answering the assignment brief at the end of each part. By skipping some exercises you have missed vital parts of your learning. Please delete advertising as your blog must look professional. Next time also upload to blog your assignment back-up work and final solution. – The one bug bear I have about this statement is the assumption I can afford certain luxuries. The idea of a WordPress site, for me at least, is to provide the tutor with information. The advertising remark comes across as peevish as it costs to remove advertising. I managed to pay for the upgrade for a year, but perhaps tutors need to realise that some of us aren’t awash with money and we must make decisions on where to spend our precious financial resources accordingly. Having a few advertising bars really is not the end of the world. Rant over. My WordPress site really does need some work as mentioned previously and that will be arranged in the next week or so.

Research point: fonts. First you should do a bit of background research on magazine design. You would discover that most mastheads have been specially designed for that publication and are drawn from the basis of a typeface but will not necessarily belong to a font family. Next identify all text fonts and group as sans serif and serif fonts, then sub-divide those into style and weight. Next, get some tracing paper, a sharp 3H pencil, a ruler and trace the typefaces to discover key characteristics of each font such as the shape of bowl or point of the foot or descender of the y g q j and ascender of f p etc. Refer to Anatomy of a Typeface exercise. Using your analysis of fonts in each publication you will then find it easier to identify each. Then show an example to compare and contrast the magazine font with your match. Your notation should be more analytical focussing on what you are discovering. – Noted

Research point: vernacular typography. You have shown some interesting examples of type found in public places. What is your understanding of vernacular typography? What typestyles relate to what periods of time? What techniques have been used? What technologies have been used? Be careful you don’t conflate the idea that all type in public spaces is vernacular. Research some more modern day versions such as the market stall, for example parish notices, farm notices and so on. – Time to go out with the camera, and avoid belligerent locals.

You need to critical analysis your examples to a greater extent, consider shape/form/structure of letterforms in context to graphic design, show a much better understanding of how type and typography communicate a visual as well as written language. Ensure you Harvard Reference all sources and produce a bibliography.

Suggested viewing/reading Its good to see you are reading books about the subject of graphic design, especially Type & Typography by Phil Baines and Andrew Haslem, so also read The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography by Ruari McLean. David Jury is a writer about typography and books in particular Revising the Rules of Typography. Excellent reference and design of Baseline and Eye journals have fantastic articles that you can search online. With regard design sells How to… by Michael Bierut. Have a look at IG letterformarchive. Also search TedTalks.

Research is something I normally enjoy, but the past 12 months have seen me loose my passion for it, primarily because my concentration has simply not been present.. However it is returning slowly.

Pointers for the next assignment

The final part of the course focuses on layout by exploring how to design leaflets, flyers and posters. This is an opportunity to thoroughly investigate the best designers, see all recommended reading, analyse their work and how they craft excellent design. Learn by example and apply what you have learnt when exploring, developing and refining your own work. Always critique your work with comparable professional designs to help you recognise where improvements can be made. Part 5 send by post all of your work. – Last sentence makes no sense, so will clarify.

There’s clearly a bit of work to do, so I best crack on.

Ex. Hierarchy – The search for clarity

Contemporary publications are fewer but there are still some great ideas to be found.

Part Four of the learning cycle in Graphic Design has led me to this point, where selecting the right font is dependent on whether or not I’ve been paying attending. The one thing I have gleaned from my studies to keep the font pallet restricted when working with any member of the Header groups. So the trick is to adapt those that are used. That is to say Arial can be used in any number of styles, along with Garamond for example, but introducing a third font would be a disaster, especially a decorative type.

This methodology holds true in printed publications especially, so the opportunity to experiment with both form and colour is a welcome one, and one I hopefully produce well. Taking the lead from a host of examples, both physical and on-line, has provided me with excellent research material, and kept me focused on the brief in hand; to design three different pages.

The Listings Magazine:

These were strangely hard, impossible, to find in my local town, but an internet search came up trumps with some great examples. The Radio Times was more formal, following a Sunday supplement lead, whilst TV Times goes for a more of a 2-minute read format that’s proved popular with coffee-time magazines.

Header – A light styel font seems to be favoured with a contrasting colour, red or white

Sub Heading –  Sans Serif or Serif Fonts but always Italic,

Subhead and Content– Always Times New Roman

The more formal approaches used in magazines such as the Radio Times

The more informal, quick read, approaches used in magazines such as the TV Times above and the more informal, quick read, approaches used in magazines such as the TV Times below.

The tech industry and its supporters on the other hand are far more likely to try out new font designs as a reflection of their contemporaneous nature so will utilise a clean easy to ready font style with a stylish text font. However the banner at the top of the page, whilst using the white of the paper as a part of the design, something the designer Jan Tschichold was keen to exploit in his work. That said I do like to see a bit of a header graphic and will experiment with something low key.

For the Book Reviews the Newspapers treat this section as an opportunity to have some aesthetic fun, it’s also one of those rare occasions that newspapers actually deviate from the Times New Roman in black. Occasionally a logo may also make an appearance amongst the austere columns of print to brighten the page.

Of Fonts and Choices…

I’ve identified a series of aesthetically fluid and easy to read fonts that could be used in all three genres. I noted there are far more options for the subheadings than Headers.

Headers; a mix of Serif, Sans Serif, Bold and Decorative styles

  • Arial Black
  • Arial Rounded MT Bold
  • Bohemian Typewriter
  • Brotherhood Script 8
  • Castellar
  • Edwardian Script ITC
  • EcuyerDAX
  • Forte
  • Franklin Gothic Demi
  • Kaushan Script
  • Lilita One  
  • Passion One 
  • Paytone One
  • Old English Five
  • Olde English

Sub Headings; these are a mix of styles so I went through the full range of fonts available to me and selected the following list:

  • Arial
  • Bahnschrift SemiBold
  • Calibri Light
  • Candara
  • Century Gothic
  • Comfortaa Light
  • Corbel Light
  • Ebrima
  • Eras Demi ITC
  • Franklin Gothic Book
  • Franklin Gothic Medium
  • Gadugi
  • Gill Sans MT
  • Helvetica
  • Leelawadee UI Semilight
  • Malgun Gothic
  • Microsoft Jhenghei Light
  • Microsoft YaHei UI Light
  • MS Reference Sans Serif
  • Myanmar Text
  • Nirmala UI Semilight
  • Open Sans Semibold
  • Oswald Light
  • Palaquin Dark
  • Prompt
  • Prompt Medium
  • Quicksand Bold Oblique
  • Quicksand
  • Roboto
  • Segoe UI
  • Segoe UI Semibold
  • Stika Subheading
  • Tahoma 
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana
  • YU Gothic UI Semibold

As I go through these lists I realise that there are some great designs, but sadly they’re not suitable for the task in hand. So my next challenge is to choose three that would read well at 10pts. So I’ll refine the selections a little further.

All layouts have been made using Affinity Publisher whose ease of use is idea for anyone with a cognitive dysfunction. It’s highly recommended as its slightly easier to use than Adobe’s InDesign and allows for slightly easier manipulation.

Best of Three.

The nest step was to identify the three pairings of font that feel will work best together for each sample article. After much consideration I chose the following:

TV Listings

I chose to go with a more informal TV Times style of presentation that is akin to the coffee break style magazines. It’s visually engaging and more suit to the ‘gossip’ nature of the articles title which infers an actress is talking about her character rather than herself.

Heading#1 – Arial Black

Subheading#1 – Century Gothic

Heading#2 – Lilita One  

Subheading#2 – Verdana

Heading#3 – Passion One 

Subheading#3 – Microsoft YaHei UI Light

To help add a touch of authenticity I made a simple logo using the Bree Serif font and a catch line in the same sample font tilted at 15°. The colour palette and photos introduce the character and the faded background would set the scene as belonging to the opening credits of the TV program, Dumble Side Manor. As the articles word count is approximately 500, combined with images, it spilled over to two pages, which gave it nice balance. I elected to you two columns’ to help facilitate an easy and quick read.

Of the three I have to say I prefer the appearance of #3; it shares the same visual approach of coffee break reading as the TV Times, whilst giving the opportunity to include visual cues connecting character to readership. Body text is Times New Roman at 10pts.

Computer Magazine

As mentioned earlier computer magazines tend to use the more contemporary and ‘designer’ style fonts in their publications, so this selection will hopefully echo this distinctive editorial approach.

Heading#1 – Arial Rounded MT Bold

Subheading#1 – Helvetica

Heading#2 – Franklin Gothic Demi

Subheading#2 – Oswald Light

Heading#3 – Paytone One

Subheading#3 – Candara

PC magazine reviews are all pretty much the same; information clearly presented, decorative fonts kept to a minimum and info graphics that are visually simple and easy to understand. For the last element I included a Pros/Cons and overall rating box in the bottom right corner.

Occasionally they feature a decorative banner; in this case I chose to use a simple binary style image from Freepik.com and a stock PC image from Ebay.co.uk. The name is fictitious. Of the three combinations I though the first and second sets worked particularly well, but the third seemed a little fat faced, and not in keeping with the genre. This surprised me a little, and just shows that test a font in context is an important element of the development process.

Of the first and second drafts the second is my favourite, as the Oswald Light pulls the Sub-heading up a little and keeps the theme tight and to the point visually, whereas Helvetica seems to dominate the page a little. The Headers were chose to be a dark yellow to provide contrast to the blue header and draw the eye to the product details.

Like the TV Guide I left the justification to the left and used three columns to fit all the information onto the page. The body text is Times New Roman at 11pts.

Book Review

Here the traditionally staid newspaper industry let down their guard for a light hearted moment, choosing to use the weekend as an excuse to introduce some much needed colour, and font change.

Heading#1 – Castellar

Subheading#1 – Franklin Gothic Book

Heading#2 – EcuyerDAX

Subheading#2 – Comfortaa

Heading#3 – Old English Five

Subheading#3 – Quicksand

The Newspaper review is an opportunity to use a few different approaches as there were several elements to tackle to give it an air of authenticity. The first is to add the relevant headers that populate the pages of newspapers, I’ve chosen to go with a regional format using Bohemian Typewriter font as an eye-catching section introduction.

The body text was justified across three columns with a cover illustration drawing the eye inwards. The main text was kept as is whilst a shear of 15°was added to the Sub-Heading text. Of the three setting #3 didn’t come out as I expected (in fact it looks hideous), but #1 and #2, which echoed the EcuyerDAX font of the book itself, have come out nicely. After much consideration I have to go with #1 for being my personal favourite of the three.

Overall I really enjoyed this exercise. The penny is finally dropping with what Graphic Design is and means to me.

Resources Used

Tschichold, J. (1967), Asymmetric Typography, Faber & Faber, New York.

Shaughnessy, A. (2009), Graphic Design: A User’s Manual, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London.

Newark and Southwell Advertiser, 21 May 2020, Iliffe Media

Kingston Review, Computer Active, 9-22 September 2020, Dennis Publication

Chat, 17 Sept 2020, Issue 38, TI Media

Take a Break, 17 Sept 2020, Issue 38, Bauer Media

Bake Off/ Radio Times  – https://issuu.com/immediatemediaco/docs/radio-times-bake-off-article (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Patrick Stewart/Radio Times  – http://www.pcstories.net/psjan06.html  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

David Tenant/Radio Times  – http://www.david-tennant.co.uk/2009/12/radio-times-interview.html (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Martin Clunes/TV Times – https://www.pressreader.com/uk/tv-times/20171209/284309660198229 (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Corrie Summer /TV Times – https://www.pressreader.com/uk/tv-times/20200725/283334704605833 (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Broadchurch//TV Times – http://www.david-tennant.co.uk/2015/02/broadchurch-series-finale-in-uk-tv.html (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book Review by Robin Stevens, First News, 30 Aug 2013. https://robin-stevens.co.uk/first-news-review/  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book Review, JS Landor, First News, Issue 623, 25-31 May 2018 – https://www.jslandor.com/first-news-review/ (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Letters to Nigeria, The Guardian, 23 Aug 2013, https://awesometreasuresfoundation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Awesome-Treasures-Book-Review-Guardian.jpg  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book reviews, Sussex Living, October 2017, https://www.austinmacauley.com/news/praising-book-review-rough-music-robin-driscoll (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Thecus N4100 Pro Review, PC Magazine Italy, Feb 2013, http://www.thecus.com/media_news_page.php?NEWS_ID=840   (Accessed 25.10.2020)

In-Win GRone Review, Custom PC Magazine No. 127 April 2014, https://www.in-win.com/public/index.php/en/reviews/1633  (Accessed 25.10.2020)