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GDA MAPPING PROJECT


BRIEF

WHAT IS PUBLICATION DESIGN?

The outcome for the GDA Mapping Project should focus on the selecting of a question and discovering and showing interesting information about your chosen area.

Definition 1 Typography and page composition, including grid layout and the principles of contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. The design of books, brochures, magazines, periodicals and collateral pieces.

You are free to explore any relevant media, technique or process in the production of your GDA Mapping outcome. The final format can be 2D or 3D, print or screen based, static or time-based, one-way or interactive. It should be determined by your research.

Definition 2 Publication design is a diverse area covering everything from magazines, newspapers and books to annual reports, product catalogues, newsletters, journals and everything in between.

Your outcome should convey information in an engaging, unambiguous and succinct manner so the viewer, user or participant clearly understands what you are communicating.

MY QUESTION

AIMS

Creative v Gossip magazines. Does the content rule over the design?

- Explore the industry - Find your area of interest - Produce an interesting, high quality outcome

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TARGET AUDIENCE

Fellow graphic design students and people interested in publication design.


INITIAL THOUGHTS

At the start of any project it’s always useful to brainstorm some initial thoughts and questions to reflect upon and answer later on in the project.

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AUDIENCE RESEARCH

These results are based on asking 20 creatives and 20 non-creatives their reasons for buying both genre of magazine. The research shows that the majority of people who buy gossip magazines buy it purely for the content, whereas when buying a creative magazine layout is also an important factor.

CREATIVES

WHY WOULD YOU BUY A GOSSIP MAGAZINE?

WHY WOULD YOU BUY A CREATIVE MAGAZINE?

CONTENT LAYOUT CONTENT & LAYOUT I WOULDN’T

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NON-CREATIVES


ANALYSIS

AIMS

By looking at a range of front covers from both gossip and creative magazines, it’s easy to pick up on the conventions which put them in to their genre.

For this project both genres are very broad, therefore I’m going to focus it down to four magazines, two from each.

Features of creative magazine covers:

These are Creative Review, Eye, Grazia and Heat. The reason for choosing the four is because they are all well established; Grazia is more high-end than Heat and Creative Review is more successful than Eye. It will therefore be interesting to compare the two against one another as well as compare the genres, and see where the differences and similarities are in order to answer the question.

- Most covers contain full bleed photographs - Images are more artistic rather than commercial - Minimum type except for logo - Simplistic - Type is carefully positioned - Some of the covers correspond to the back i.e. Creative Review Features of gossip magazine covers: - Common colours of red, pink, yellow - all colours which stand out on a shop shelf - More than one image per cover - A varierty of typefaces on each - a mix of sans serif and serif - Preview of the main stories - Main image tends to be a famous female - All look similar to fit in with the genre - trust with with the audience

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RESEARCH: THE FOUR CURRENT ISSUES

Creative Review

Eye

Grazia

Heat

Started: 1980

Started: 1990, founded by Rick Poynor - A writer on graphic design and visual communication

Started: 1938 in Italy, and 2005 in Britain

Started: 1999

Published: Weekly

Published: Weekly

Focus: A-List news, fashion trends and beauty tips

Focus: Gossip, showbiz news, fasion

Availability: Italy, United Kingdom, France, Serbia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Japan, The Netherlands, India, Bulgaria, and Germany.

Availability: United Kingdom

Audience: Women

Platforms: Heat radio, Twitter, Facebook and the Website ‘heatworld.com’ which does not replicate the magazine content, and is based more on video and audio. It is funded by advertising.

Published: Monthly Focus: Advertsing, design, and visual culture Availabilty: Subscribers in over 80 countries and readers online in over 120 Audience: Designers, art directors, photographers, typographers, educationists, multimedia specialists, and other professionals in the art and business of visual culture. Platforms: Website, Blog, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter & Facebook Designer: Laura Liggins 07 | MAPPING PROJECT

Published: Quarterly Focus: Graphic design and visual culture Availability: United Kingdom Audience: Professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. Platforms: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook & Flickr Designer: Alexander Ecob

Platforms: Website, Facebook and Twitter Designer: Marion Reilly

Audience: Primarily aimed at women

Designer: Katarina Field


COLOUR EXPERIMENTS

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COLOUR ANALYSIS

By picking colours from various gossip magazines it’s easy to see how bright they are compared to those of most creative magazines. But where the gossip genre tends to use the same colours for each issue, there is not usually a theme for the creative covers because it depends on the featured artwork. But in relation to the previous page you can see how the gossip covers very much rely on their use of bright colour, because without any they lose their appeal and the design becomes confusing to look at, whereas the creative covers are still effective. CREATIVE

GOSSIP

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LAYOUT ANALYSIS

By looking at the page layouts of Heat and Grazia, you can see there is a style which puts them in to the gossip genre, even though they are still different to one another. Heat magazine lacks structure and every page is different with a varying line length. It also uses a lot of cut out images and a few pull quotes. Amongst the design are also various coloured boxes. Grazia magazine still uses cut out images, but overall the design looks more sophisticated which relates to their target audience. Creative Review and Eye are also similar to each other through their use of white space, grids, and the balance between text and imagery. Creative review holds a three column grid throughout most of the issue, which allows each page to flow on to the next, whereas Eye magazine uses different grid structures throughout, but still it looks coherent.

Heat

Something all four of the magazines have in common is the white background, however this is more evident in Eye because of the amount of white space.

Eye

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TYPOGRAPHY ANALYSIS

Through research it’s clear that typography very much differentiates between magazines, but there are still certain traits within the choice of typography that support the conventions of the genre. In the gossip magazines, a mix of serif and sans serif display fonts are commonly used along with writing which reflects handwriting to give the magazine a more personal feel. Eye and creative review however are different, Eye only uses one sans serif typeface throughout, Monotype Grotesque, and Creative Review uses Lyon Family (serif), Dala Floda (serif), Theinhardt Family (sans serif) and Caslon Shaded (serif). It’s this minimal use of typography that helps to make creative magazines more coherent within their design.

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ANALYSIS OF CONTENT AND DESIGN

It’s hard to compare the two genres completely, I’ve tried counting line length, the number of images and lines, but it’s too varied to draw an accurate conculsion; but something that is obvious is that gossip magazines use a lot more images, and a lot more text per page. This supports the feedback from the audience questionnaire, because people do buy gossip magazines for the content - not the design. But with creative magazines there is a balance between the content and the design which works in harmony to produce a well designed magazine - this high quality of design is also reflected in the quality of paper; however it’s important to remember that gossip magazines are produced on a weekly basis and do contain less pages because they have a different audience in mind. This relates in with the idea of design being disposable, a gossip magazine is something likely to be passed on, thrown away or recycled as the content will expire, but with a creative magazine people are willing to pay a higher price because they are something to be desired and kept.

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EXPERIMENTATION: TRACINGS

Tracing is a good way at visually understanding the creation of a layout - removing the text, colours and images to look at each element in terms of shape and positioning. For this project it was the best way to gain a visual understanding of how the layouts compare between genres.

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EXPERIMENTATION: TRACINGS

After tracing the numerous front covers, contents pages, and articles of the four magazines, experimenting with layering them seemed like a good idea to visually compare the layouts.

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INITIAL IDEAS

Idea 1 Design two magazine articles - a creative article in the style of a gossip magazine, and a gossip magazine in the style of a creative. Then look at whether or not they still fulfil their purpose. Idea 2 Create a venn diagram comparing the features of each genre of magazine, and look at where they overlap. Idea 3 Design a poster entitled ‘How to make a good design magazine?’ with ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ - the don’ts being the main elements that are used in gossip magazines. Idea 4 Create a poster with the question ‘Creative v Gossip Magazines. Does the content rule over the design?’ and visually show the differences in layout between the two. Idea 5 A book with two sides to it which features different elements from both genres of magazine. It would be a visual comparison between the two genres as each page would correspond with the other, i.e. cover with cover, logo with logo, heading with heading.

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VISUALISING DATA RESEARCH

Nicholas Felton is known for his graphs, maps and statistics, and his work has been profiled in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Good Magazine. He has also been recognised as one of the 50 most influential designers in America by Fast Company. His work is fresh and clean in design which makes data a lot more interesting and engaging. A key thing to look at is his use of colour and typography - it’s always quite minimal and bright.

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VISUALISING DATA RESEARCH

Stefan Dziallas / Iconwerk These pictogrmam infographics are modern and aesthethically pleasing. Visually they work without the need for additional text, which makes them simple and quick to read because all of the details have been reduced to make the graphics look clear and precise in print.

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CONCEPT

The final outcome needs to be very visual. I feel a poster is a good way to show my findings, by focussing very much on the comparison of layout between the two genres. It was through experimenting with the various tracings which lead me to this idea. Originally I was considering comparing the front covers, contents pages and articles of Creative Review and Eye with Heat and Grazia, but now I feel this is too broad which could be confusing and doesn’t offer enough information and comparison. I therfore need to expand my research to include other magazines, and will focus on only comparing the front covers for the poster, as after all this is the first part of design the consumer sees, so more magazines and tracing to come.

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TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: ILLUSTRATOR

I want the design to be simple and crisp, yet aesthetically pleasing. Something people can enjoy looking at whilst also being informed. Very visual and not relying too much on text. Illustrator seemed to be the most suitable software to use to create the poster due to the live trace tool. I did try scanning the tracings and livetracing them but found that photographing them worked better and gave them slightly askew edges which I quite like. I then experimented with changing the stroke, opacity, colours and typeface, and ended up using Helvetica Neue 67 Medium Condensed, and four colours to keep the design minimal - blue being used for the creative and red for the gossip covers to expand on the idea of visually comparing.

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LAYOUT EXPERIMENTATION

CREATIVEVGOSSIP

CREATIVEVGOSSIP

DOES THE CONTENT RULE OVER THE DESIGN?

DOES THE CONTENT RULE OVER THE DESIGN?

MAGAZINES

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MAGAZINES


FEEDBACK

At the formative assesment I gained some useful feedback from Karl and fellow students which overall was quite positive and has encouraged me to push my ideas further. The main point is that people found there was enough information to understand the question and answer. Areas for development: - Look at printing different sizes - The title could be improved - look at writing the words creative and gossip in a typeface that reflects their genre - Explore more formats - how it could be used in the real world - Create a series of posters to see how different elements compare, rather than just the front covers So more tracings, more typography and more posters.

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FINAL OUTCOMES

CREATIVEVGOSSIP

CREATIVEVGOSSIP

CREATIVEVGOSSIP

DOES THE CONTENT RULE OVER THE DESIGN?

DOES THE CONTENT RULE OVER THE DESIGN?

DOES THE CONTENT RULE OVER THE DESIGN?

MAGAZINE COVERS

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MAGAZINE CONTENTS

MAGAZINE ARTICLES


COMMUNICATION & PRESENTATION

The final outcome is the series of three posters, but to look at how they could work in the real world I’ve considered them being a creative magazine supplement/foldout, however they could also be exhibited in the college for fellow design students. CONCLUSION

The mapping project has expanded my knowledge of publication design, I now have a much greater understanding of how layout and typography is used for the two genres. In terms of the final outcome I think the poster of the front covers is much more effective, but on the other hand I think it’s important to have the other posters to show more of my findings and offer more insight. The reason for not actually putting an answer on the posters is because the audience visually should be able to conclude that in terms of the gossip genre, the content does generally rule over the design.

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Mapping Project  

Creative v Gossip Magazines. Does the content rule over the design?

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