Welcome to my first project! This project was to make a magazine spread using a talk from either lds.org or byuiscroll.org. The hard part was picking a talk that didn’t have any heading besides the title. We had to add 3+ of our own headings and pull a quote out of the article to display as a pull quote. We also had to take at least 2 of the pictures in the spread ourselves (the rest could taken by someone else) and use all of the principles of design and typography to tie everything we have learned up to this point all together. I want to share the final draft of my magazine spread here first so you can see how it turned out but then I want to go back to the beginning to show you how I got to this point.
The Beginning/The Draft
To start I think it would be important to tell you about how I started this project. I chose the talk called “God’s Compelling Witness: The Book of Mormon” from this last General Conference in October. The article is about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.
Before even starting to design our spreads we needed to define an audience for our project. The audience I chose was latter-day saints and investigators, both male and female, ages 12+. I chose this age as the starting age, because 12 is when children become teenagers. It is when they begin to really think for themselves and choose their own paths. I chose latter-day saints and investigators because the article I am sharing is about the Book of Mormon and its beginnings. It is a good place to start for an investigator and a good topic for latter-day saints looking to reaffirm their testimonies.
Message and Design Decisions
The message I wanted to convey through my design was a message of peace, and what is more peaceful than nature. As I mentioned already, the article I chose talks about Joseph Smith and how the Book of Mormon came to be. Joseph went out into nature to ponder and pray. This is why I chose to use my son as the one holding the scriptures in the picture on page three. He is too young to be Joseph Smith, but he is a young boy striving to learn and study. This message helped me choose where to take my pictures and even which colors to use in my project. When using paletton.com to chose my color scheme I went with neutral colors like brown and green. I chose a triad off of the brown as my base and got green and blue with it, so these are the main colors I used throughout my design.
As part of the assignment we needed to chose from at least two different typography categories. For mine I ended up using three. From what I have read, a serif as the body text is the easiest to read in print (Go pick up a book and see for yourself! They will all be some kind of serif font). So I went with Georgia as my body text. For the title, I wanted to use a script and after trying many different ones, I finally decided I liked Vivaldi. To contrast with this font, I chose to use a san serif with it because it contrasted best: very curly vs very smooth, thin vs thick, etc. (which is why I ended up with three categories…). Eras Bold ITC worked really well with Vivaldi so I chose that one.
Once all of that was decided, I sketched out 3 different layouts I could use for my spread.
After looking them over, I decided to go big and try the third variation which is a full page image on the first page.
I want to show you my first draft because it shows just how far I came through this assignment.
When I first started, I thought we needed to use the full article on our three page spread. Because of this thinking, I added text on the tree of the first page so that I could fit it all. This left me not much room for the title. The background was also tricky to get the text to show up so I ended up putting text wherever I could that made it easier to read. This is very bad practice. Not only did I break the proximity principle of design by separating the two parts of the title, I also broke the alignment principle several times. Also by having the text under the title jump up to the text at the top of the tree, it made it hard to follow the text. My second page was pretty good by my picture of my son reading the scriptures was taking my readers eye down to the page he was reading and then up and out of the spread. This isn’t good practice either. My background was also too white. It needed some contrast.
Back to the Drawing Board
After getting critiques by two other classmates and the teacher, it was time to fix my draft.
After finding out I didn’t have to have all of the text from the article on my spread, I reworked it so that I had more room for my title to put them next to each other and make them easier to place together. I moved my picture to the bottom right corner to help bring the eye into the spread and also added an extra image on page 2 and 3 behind the text to give it some more color. But something was still wrong. My text was wrapped too close to the scriptures on page 1 that I was creating tension. Another thing that was mentioned was that my title was read together now but seemed disconnected because they were two different font colors. So I went back to rework it.
With this version, I made the title all one color and used my script font in both sections to really connect them together. I also added some space between the scriptures and my text. But something was still not right. For one by adding the space for my text around the scriptures, I was creating funny spacing in my lines (since I changed the alignment to justify left). The title also wasn’t contrasting much now. It was all one flat color. Someone suggested I add a second color maybe on the words with the script font and I tried it out. Which takes us to the last and final version #4.
Version 4 (Final Draft)
I know I already showed these images at the beginning but I wanted to show them again now in sequence. I moved the text around such that it got rid of the funny spacing, I changed the color of the scripted font to green to give it some contrast with the brown, and now have this version fourth and final version of my magazine draft! It was a long time coming but I am proud of it.
I want to take a minutes and just explain quickly how I used the principles of design and typography in my design. I used the principle of proximity in the end to group my title together and keep it separate from my body text. I used the principle of alignment on each of the columns but also on the right hand side of my title it is aligned with the column below it, connecting the two even though there is space between them. I used the principle of contrast in my font choices and in my contrasting colors in the title. I used the principle of repetition by repeating my colors from the title throughout the piece giving it a uniform look (the brown in the title and on the border, the green in the title and in the pull quote box, the greens and browns in my images, etc.) I also repeated fonts. All the headings are the same san serif used in the main title and I repeated the script font twice in the title to give unity as well.
Looking at the final design, I think my target audience would be very happy with it. It uses the neutral colors to give that peaceful, nature look and it uses images that aren’t busy but are of something quiet and serene.
In conclusion, I learned a lot from this assignment. In the beginning I wasn’t thinking too much about the principles of design and how they would fit in. I was worried about meeting the minimum criteria for the project. After getting some good critiques on that first draft I really started to see and remember these principles and how important they were. If I had just started this project a little more design oriented, I think my first draft could have turned out better. I can say for sure though, that I came a long way from the beginning of it to end.
Here are each of the images I used in my project. All three were taken by me this semester. Two were taken specifically for this project and the third was one I took before thinking I could use it in my photography blog post and then didn’t (the leaf). I cut it out to use on pages 2 and 3. The tree picture originally had a sun spot on the tree by right above the scriptures that I had to Photoshop out so you could read the text easier.