The French Hen Revisited 15012021

As they say a good designer has room for development and flexibility, and so here I am. My recent feedback from my tutor included a line which has made me chuckle a bit as well as think about how an idea I’d shelved could be developed. Here the comment:

‘…a sassy hen with sophisticated confidence.’

Now who am I to deny the world a sassy hen? So a return to the shelved idea and an attempt to create a hen with sophisticated confidence. Folk, before you laugh it is possible to do. I merely developed the idea, and thought about sassy, strutting your stuff, and a little bit of Pinterest research gave me the shot of inspiration I needed.

The logo wording was added above this time and I used Thirsty Script Extrabold and placed it on a curved text line above the chicken.

Now the final mock up of the new design, which I have to admit I rather like.


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,  (Accessed 19112020)

Johnston Type (Accessed 19112020)

Transport Type (Accessed 19112020)

Text generator  (Accessed 19112020)

Schneider Libretto font example (Accessed 19112020)

George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner – (Accessed 23112020)

Winchester Cathedral Choir  (Accessed 23112020)

Older parents×1500/filters:fill(DBCCE8,1)/older-parents-with-baby-5a288580da27150036296555.jpg  (Accessed 23112020)

Pregnant lady  (Accessed 23112020)

Child Poverty  (Accessed 23112020)

Child with biscuit  (Accessed 23112020)

Refugee Child and Boat (Accessed 23112020)

Refugee Camp (Accessed 23112020)

Handel Messiah facts (Accessed 23112020)

Baby Facts (Accessed 23112020)

Child Poverty facts (Accessed 23112020)

Child Refugee Chart  (Accessed 23112020)

Infant mortality information  (Accessed 23112020)

Nativity at Night by 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


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 – (Accessed 12112020) (Accessed 12112020)

Triumph Bobber –  (Accessed 12112020)

Wave –  (Accessed 12112020)

Quality Street –  &—metal-advertising-wall-sign—retro-art-8859-p.asp  (Accessed 12112020)

Just 17 cover & Coke Cola Advert –  (Accessed 12112020)

The Rock Time Cover –  (Accessed 12112020)

Nike Logo –  (Accessed 12112020)

KFC Logo –  (Accessed 12112020)

Firefox Logo –,_2017.svg  (Accessed 12112020)

Rule of Thirds PNG –  (Accessed 12112020)

The Lady of Shalott, John William Waterhouse, 1888  (Accessed 12112020)

Mini Advert –  (Accessed 12112020)

Menswear –  (Accessed 12112020)

Saturday Evening Post Cover, Robin Moline, 2019  (Accessed 12112020)

Grids In Graphic Design (Accessed 13112020)

Grids and Layouts,%E2%80%93%20A4%3A%20210%20x%20297mm.  (Accessed 13112020)

Lorum Ipsum (Accessed 13112020)

Baltimore American  (Accessed 16112020)

hot lakes chronicle Wednesday Feb 29 1895 NZ (Accessed 16112020)

Examples of contemporary local newspapers (Accessed 16112020)

Health and Wellness magazine  (Accessed 16112020)

Good magazine  (Accessed 16112020)

The power of white space,or%20even%20a%20background%20image. (Accessed 16112020)

Brno Shopping centre magazine (Accessed 16112020)

PC Mag (Accessed 17112020)

Harry Becks original Tube map  (Accessed 17112020)

Villagers (Accessed 17112020)

Apartment Magazine  (Accessed 17112020)

A note by William Morris  (Accessed 17112020)

Book of Ideas sample  (Accessed 17112020)

Motion Picture Magazine  (Accessed 17112020)

Psychology Today  (Accessed 17112020)

Very very magazine 2011  (Accessed 17112020)

Linking text walkthrough  (Accessed 17112020)

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 and a stock PC image from 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  – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Patrick Stewart/Radio Times  –  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

David Tenant/Radio Times  – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Martin Clunes/TV Times – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Corrie Summer /TV Times – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Broadchurch//TV Times – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book Review by Robin Stevens, First News, 30 Aug 2013.  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book Review, JS Landor, First News, Issue 623, 25-31 May 2018 – (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Letters to Nigeria, The Guardian, 23 Aug 2013,  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Book reviews, Sussex Living, October 2017, (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Thecus N4100 Pro Review, PC Magazine Italy, Feb 2013,   (Accessed 25.10.2020)

In-Win GRone Review, Custom PC Magazine No. 127 April 2014,  (Accessed 25.10.2020)

Assignment Three: Colour me

The aim of Graphic Design is to inform

Since reading the brief for this particular Assignment I’ve been excited about the range of possibilities that it presented to me. Colour choice was very straight forward, blue. I find it calming relaxing and when combined with the happy warmth of yellow as a contrast it becomes very calming. While I was briefly tempted by contemporary shades of pink and grey, I held my ground and stuck with my plan.

I had a couple of ideas I wanted to play with so set to making my plans, drawing and colouring my ideas. Refining and designing I started to visualise what I wanted to do so set to using Adobe Photoshop CC and Affinity Designer.

Sketches and swatches

I chose to experiment with collage, illustrations and the fonts held by my DTP applications to explore the best way to create a theme. My first task was to create a simple contrast image (Dev Contrast Concept #1) to see how the colours would interact and what would be the best way to represent these.


Blue and yellow watercolour swatches

I then created a series of blue and yellow swatches using watercolour pens, paints and pencils. These were scanned then in Photoshop selected and isolated as individual colour samples. A couple of which were then chosen to have their tints and shades identified as a unique colour samples in Designer for future use.

After a couple of false starts, I settled on a collage effect as this was the most dynamic for me and I was able to utilise stills from my photo library and experiment with colours and arrangements in Designer.

During my experimentation and as I drew various elements together I felt that a Fat Face font would suit my needs. I envisaged the word BLUE as an overlay layer featuring a single example of the colour in its font.

Looking through the font library I settled on Wildfire, designed by the Retro Supply Co. in 2012, as the idea font. Wanting to feature bright colours I chose the stamen of a yellow dog rose and a blue locomotive for the two backgrounds.


After experimenting with the two main coloured backgrounds I found myself favouring the blue background with the yellow overlay of the word BLUE. Initially, the blue seemed to be quite dark, so I set to changing the tone and shade, lightning it enough so that it didn’t smother the font, but bright enough to retain details and not white-out details in the photographs.

I then experimented with how the lettering was arranged and after considering the traditional setting of the font I realised it didn’t do it for me visually. It lacked impact. The factor being that by arranging it traditionally I was unable to resize the word to such a point where it made a difference.

I decided upon boxing the wording up. This would allow for a larger font size as well as revealing some of the patterns of the rose petals. To enable the wording to stand out a little more I experimented with both inner and outer glow as well as shadowing. In the end, I settled with a subtle shadowing effect so as not to make the font look too overly processed yet still stand out.

The final submissions