Designing a magazine spread can be a demanding, but invigorating task. It requires the designer to use organization, clarity, and visual appeal. The four principles of design must be carefully applied to ensure you will obtain the best results. Pleasing color schemes, along with the effective use of contrasting typography, should be used enhance the overall look and feel of the article. Each design element included should compliment the topic as well as suit the tastes and needs of the intended audience. In addition, using the guidelines of photography can help you to create memorable and meaningful images, which serve to further enhance the message of your chosen article. While it may be a challenge to consider the best use each of these principles, they can also be a wonderful tool, which can make this task much more manageable.
Project Specific Requirements
Many of the requirements for this project were very specific, such as the size of the pages, the number of pages and columns, and the number of words and pull quotes. We were required to use Indesign to create the layout and we were to include a link for the original source of the article. Many of these requirements were rigid, but others were more flexibility. These flexible requirements provide a great testing ground where we could begin to use the knowledge we have gained over the last few weeks. For example, we would need to choose complimentary fonts, appealing color combinations, and meaningful images. We would need to use the design principles of alignment, proximity, repetition and contrast to create a visually pleasing and organized layout. Clearly, this is where the real challenge and true test of our skills would begin.
Target Audience Analysis
While this message would likely appeal to a general audience of adults in a variety of circumstances, it is more specifically aimed at those who believe in God and are single or feeling alone and isolated. It would appeal to those who are in need of comfort and who are seeking to obtain it by developing a closer and stronger relationship with Heavenly Father. Using this design, I want to communicate the idea that even in our most lonely and discouraging moments, Heavenly Father is there to comfort us. His truth and love provide light, even in life’s darkest moments. They key to finding that light is through developing a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father. We can do this through prayer and studying the gospel. As my purpose was to reach my readers hearts and minds, everything I chose to include in this design was aimed at appealing to my audience.
In an effort to accomplish my stated purpose, I decided to begin the design process by choosing the images I would use in my layout. Even though we all deal with darker feelings at times, I wanted to focus my reader’s attention on the warm light that Heavenly Father sends to comfort and reassure us. I chose an image, which I took of the sun setting over the Puget Sound. There were dark, ominous clouds all around, but the glorious light of the sun was shining out from behind them. Also, a small opening in the clouds low on the horizon allowed the bright orange light of the sunset to create a marvelous contrast against the darkness of the grey sky. I knew this was the message I wanted to share with my readers. I wanted them to know that even when life seems lonely and dreary, the light of Heavenly Father’s love and comfort can over power the darkness, bringing light into our lives. I also happen to have a set of old-fashioned keys. As this article had a wonderful quote about the key to finding peace and happiness through building our relationship with God, I felt it would also enhance the message I was trying to convey.
In order to create an orderly, appealing, and vibrant layout for my audience, I used each of the four principles of design. I began by using proximity to group related items, such as the title with the author and the headings with the appropriate paragraphs. Next, I focused on aligning each element with something else on the page. I stretched out the title so that it aligned with both the left and the right margins. Then I aligned all of the headings and the paragraphs as well as the key image and text box below it, to the left. I aligned the author’s name and the page numbers from the right pages, to the right and with the right side of the title. I also employed the principle of repetition by keeping styles and colors consistent through out. I used the same orange colored font for all the headings and another font for all the paragraphs. I use a consistent blue and orange line across the bottom of all three pages, and I repeated these colors throughout, including the image on the title page and the text boxes. The principle of contrast was included, by using black font on a white background and choosing to use contrasting font styles and sizes, In addition, I used a complimentary color scheme, dark blue with light orange, which also provided a very nice contrast.
In choosing fonts, I decided to go with an oldstyle for the title and the body text, and a sans serif for the headings, author’s name, and quotes. I liked the effect of Iowan Oldstyle and Avenir together. I chose the Black version, which is the heaviest weight, for the title, and a light roman version for the body copy. I used a black version of Avenir for the headings and the author’s name, and a heavy weight version for the quotes. I feel combining these fonts was an effective choice for this layout as they contrast very nicely in both form and structure. Using varying weights of these fonts consistently throughout the layout also contributed a pleasant effect.
I chose to find colors from the main image that would serve to both compliment and contrast each other, as I felt the message of the article was one of contrast. On the one hand, experiencing dark feelings of loneliness, and on the other, experiencing the light and comfort of Heavenly Father’s love. With this in mind, I chose, a dark grey-blue and soft and bright yellow-orange. These colors are complimentary and they contrast nicely in both intensity and tone. The dark blue-gray is a shade and the yellow-orange is a soft tint. Combined together, they provided the effect I was trying to achieve.
While it is certainly a challenge to consider so many principles in single a project, I found each one to be invaluable in my design process. They provided wonderful structure and helped me to achieve my purpose. Each principle has a distinct purpose in my design, which has allowed me to make the best use of the many different elements within my layout. With the help of these wonderful tools, I was able to create an attractive layout that conveys both an organized structure as well as deep meaning to my audience.
Each of the images used in the magazine layout was taken by me using my phone camera.