Solar Flare Zine – News Page

Today, after several planning sketches and talks with the rest of my team, I have final created the first of my pages, the News update page. Using the ideas that I have planned throughout the project, I had a pretty good idea of what the page would likely turn out as.

Like in my plan, I started by finding a newspaper for which I would used to create the page itself.


I then cut out three sheets A5 paper from several pages of the newspaper, ensuring that the one which will serve as the first layer sheet was mostly made out of text rather than images.


After that I take each piece of A5 that I just cut out and stick them together using a normal glue-stick. I used a layer system for the page as it makes the usually flimsy and fragile newspaper a bit more durable and sturdy to handle.


Next I began to write out the text on a separate piece of card, as this would make the text clear against the newspaper page. I also added a quick drawn image that links to the story in order to add something over than text to look at.


I began by drawing out the title. As I mentioned in a previous post, I made the title very old fashioned by using serifs and contrasting strokes. I gained a bit of inspiration for the serif locations from Roman type, as I found that it was very on-the-line to the type style I was after and had very effective serif placements.


After I had finished writing up the text, I then cut it out and stuck it on the page using more glue.

Finished Page



Zine – News Page Story

Since one of the pages that I am going to do is about the news, I am going to have to create a decent story to put on the page. The story has to be decent enough to make sense from the setting of the zine, yet doesn’t have to be too amazing as the writing is not as important as the design.

Here is a rough write-down of what I may use for the text within the news page:



I have done this practice copy of the text in order to gain a good idea of what to write for the news report and how it should be written, as I have to keep in mind that I have to write it all in the fashion of a real newspaper report.

The font for the page title is also something I looked at a bit. I am thinking of using an old  newspaper print style, as it would add a bit of familiar style to the page. The style @’m talking about will likely have very strong serifs and possibly some contrasting strokes added as well.

History of Typography

As mentioned in the brief, I need to do some good research into the past of type, noting how it started, developed and eventually evolved into what see now as normal typography.

Back in the early times of typography, all books and various other forms of type were hand-written, usually by monks who were some of the only few capable of writing such type in large amounts. While it meant that other people could read books like the bibles they wrote, this method of hand writing each book was costly and incredibly time consuming. Eventually however, a German man named Johannes Gutenberg created a new scribing type called Black Letter which was more compact and made scribing far more easier than the old type that monks used.

Black letter, while good at making more space, and being easier to write, became very messy when printed. Because of this, a new style type soon overtook black letter in usefulness within the 15th century, which was called Roman Type (or cambria). Roman type, as hinted by its name was created by Nicholas Jenson using inspiration taken from old roman lettering, which made the type clear and easy to read when printed. This type was an instant success and quickly spread all across Europe thanks to the renaissance.

The next major development of type was a new for of roman called Italics, which (as just shown) was a tilted/stylized version of roman. Italics were also a success as they allowed people to fit more letters together, saving money. Italics would eventually become a common alteration of all types within the future, being used to make certain words or phrases show more emphasis.

A lot of time passed before in the 18th century, a British man named William Caslon who created a new standard of type when he create a new of his own name, Caslon (which used thick serifs and low contrasting strokes). Despite not being anything too impressive, it was a well received form of type. Caslon would later become known as a style of type called Old Style, Later, a man named Bakerville also created a type of the same named which would become know as a style called Transitional (which uses thinner serifs and more contrasting strokes), who was then followed by two other men called Didot and Bodoni who created the Modern style type (which uses even thinner serifs and extremely contrasting strokes).

Eventually however, Calson’s great grandson, William Calson the 4th, decided to create a new type by removing the serifs from his grandfathers type. The new type was called Sans Serif. While originally not catching on at first, it eventually began to pick up over time.

During the 2nd industrial revolution, new versions of sans serif were created for advertising, which made it both longer and/or wider, which were used on billboards and posters.

During the 20th century, yet a another new type was created by a man called Paul Renner who created the type called Futura, using simple geometric shapes (also called the Geometric Sans. During the same time, another man called Eric Gill made another type called Gill Sans, which used smoother, gentler curves (which was also called the Humanist Sans).

Next, in 1957, another type known as Helvetica came along with simpler curves and a variety of different weights, which was a very successful type and is still well received today.

Typography struggled for some time with the introduction of the computer, as its screen could only create very crude pixel type, which din’t look very good and was very messy. But nowadays the type available on the modern computer screen has far improved to where thousands different types are crisp and beautiful.

Having done this research into type I have indeed gained a lot of knowledge into how much type can differ and how important even the smallest parts can make an word look. This has been very useful and I will keep in mind what sorts of type I will use in the future.

Zine – Fashion Update

Today, after a little bit of thinking, I have come up with a new possible idea for the fashion page of our zine. While away, I began thinking about how other fashion magazines don’t just have adult fashion, as they may also have clothing advertised for younger people like teens or kids. That got me thinking about how to also add kids’ fashion to the page as well, and eventually, I came up with the idea of simply adding more models from magazines onto the same page by stapling them to the corner and making the fashion page into some sort of miniature catalog of even mini-magazine of itself, showing off different clothes for different ages.

Noticing – Music

Today I decided to complete a task given to us in class, which was to listen to and review two songs given to us by other members of the class. The two songs I received were called “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, an the second being “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & The Papas.


Originally I did not recognize the song by its name as I had never heard it called by name before, however, upon starting the song I almost immediately recognize it’s tune. Respect has an upbeat, happy tune song sung by its lead singer Franklin, with the lyrics singing about the woman just wanting respect from their lover in return for giving them their money to them. The music itself mainly consists of its drumming beat as well as smooth saxophones.

While I’m not much of a fan of the soul genre myself, I find the happy tunes and beautiful voice-work of the singer as a nice song that you can just sit down and relax to or dace to the beat.

California Dreamin’

This song, unlike the previous, is one I have yet to hear before (or at least remember hearing) and so took a little longer to get into the rhythm. California Dreamin’ is a song about the singer wanting to be in the sunny Los Angeles within California, rather than in the cold winter that he is currently walking in. The music mainly consists of its drumming rhythm and guitar tunes on the side.

Despite being another song out of my comfort zone, I found the song to be another catchy, peaceful beat that sit and listen to. I also found the lyrics themselves very easy to compare to as I would prefer the warm sun of California than a harsh winter in Britain any day of the week

Zine – Introduction

After a bit of a conversation, me and the group decided on using an introduction page on the first page of the zine, informing the reader into the purpose and contents of the zine itself. We originally discussed what the introduction paragraph would talk about for the zine, but after a little talk between us, we have decided to split the information into two paragraphs, with one talking about the contents of the zine, and the other talking about the situation of the world.

Paragraph 1 – Purpose/contents







Paragraph 2 – Situation/setting






We decided on creating an introduction page as any reader would need at least some background on what the zine is and what it contains. Simply having the zine start without any sort of clarification on what it is would just confuse readers on what it’s purpose is or if it is even a legitimate zine for the current time.

Zine – Sketches

After decided which pages I will be doing in our group, I have created larger sketches from the thumbnail sketches I did previously. Unchanged from before, the pages that I will be doing will consist on a news update, an update by the military, a report about rising gang activity, a fashion trend page and an illustration donated by a random person for entertainment.

I have decided to keep with these page ideas as I find them easy to understand how to create for a setting that we are using, as well as it giving rise to an array of interesting design opportunities, such as one idea I have for the fashion page being a page ripped from an old fashion magazine with hand drawn clothes of the current time taped or glued (or both to increase adhesiveness) onto the fashion models on the page. I also had another idea of using actual newspapers stuck together to form one sheet to create the news page, making it easy to spot over the other pages.

Zine – Reading the Brief

Before I become too engrossed in working on my pages for this project, I have decided to stop and give a moment to understand the brief a little more. The following is the brief’s noted requirements and my response to them.

Subject Specific
By the end of this module, students will have:

(1)        Explored and understood the practical constraints of a design brief.

I find this one as being pretty simple to understand in general. I must always keep to mind what I can and cannot do when creating my part of the project, namely the fact that I cannot use any form of digital media or other electrical aspects as the scenario focuses around the idea that there is no more electricity, meaning all parts must either be existing media that can easily be obtained by the people who will be donating. 

(2)        Produced and evaluated solutions to a design brief that encompass set criteria.

I must also be aware that while text itself is not as important to the zine as it’s design, I must still use creative type to achieve the criteria of the project, meaning I must do a decent amount of research into into what sorts of type would be appropriate and make a decision on what it should look like.

(3)        Raised their awareness of the history of typography including traditional typographic terminology and how it has been adapted to modern technology.

This one is pretty simple to understand as it also links in somewhat with the previous. I will have to, at some point before creating the pages, do some research into the history of type and how it developed into present day type. This may help me understand how much type has importance to my work and how it can really effect my work.

(4)        Explored and analysed the connotations of typeface choice and be able to justify decisions across a wide range of applications.

This one I find is a little more tricky to do compared to the other points. I must ensure that everything I do is clearly justified, meaning that I must explain why I chose to use or do certain things in order to achieve this criteria.

(5)        Begun to demonstrate an awareness of contemporary typographic trends and innovative developments.

This one is another simple one to understand. like the point before about understanding the past of typography, I must also understand the modern usage of it as well, knowing which types will be appropriate for each page (mainly the titles). As I said before, this will give me a firmer understanding of which kinds of type I must thing about when I need to use some.

The following is the expected outcomes of the project, as things I will have likely learnt or must understand by the end of it.

Generic learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will have:

(1)        Begun to develop their ability to solve design problems within the structure of a design brief.

Like I am possibly doing right now, I must learn how to understand and follow a design brief to the very end, without any major or permitted divergences from the rules made by it (This includes the points I have already mentioned above).

(2)        Raised their awareness of the concepts and practice of graphic design needed to underpin the creative process.

Like with many other projects, I will likely learn new techniques and understandings about the use of graphic design both in and out of college. Going from I am currently going for now in this project, I will likely learn more of the importance of type along with various creative methods that I try with my zine pages.

(3)        Begun to apply the practice of thorough and relevant research as an aid to the development of individual creativity.

Like my teammates, I will be doing great amounts of research and development onto our ideas for the final designs of our pages, finding out various design practices we could use to create our pages as well as appropriate materials that could also used.

(4)        Begun to understand and use skill, and critical judgement when choosing and using type, which will allow creative freedom in their design solutions.

Like with the previous points, I will be doing critical research into the past and present forms and uses of type within the world, as well as research into what types I will consider using within my pages.

Zine – Ring-Binder

Today we created the ring-binder for our future zine. Using materials gathered by members of our group, we put together a ring-binder big enough for the A5 size paper we are going to use.

First we took an A3 sheet of black card which would serve as the main cover of the binder.


Next we took a sheet of slightly thicker card which would be used as the base of the binder and give it its sturdy body. We then began placing markings for where we were going to cut out the pieces of card for the binder. We marked out 3 pieces of card that would be used, two larger pieces which would serve as the front and back covers, and one thinner piece which would be used as the spine of the binder.


Next we cut out each piece and place them at the ready by the sheet of black card (note that the opposite side of the card is black).


We then got a powerful double-sided tape (as it is not only powerful, but also leaves no gaps if placed properly (which is important for this project’s ruined situation)) and stuck it to the black side of the thick card, and when place firmly, began sticking the card onto the sheet, leaving a tiny gap between each piece to allow it to bend.


Next we cut off each corner of the black sheet, as this would then allow us to fold over the edges onto the inside of the binder.


After folding in the edges, we used a scalpel to carefully peel off the excess tape creeping out of the edges.


Next, with a little grooving on the folding parts of the binder, we had the main body of the binder finished.


With the final touch being the ring-binder itself (which was attached to the body by sticking it onto another supportive piece of card and stuck on using more double-sided tape), along with an extra pair of card pieces to cover up the exposed white card, the binder itself is finished.


We decided to create the ring binder today as we believed it would make creating the pages a little more easier knowing that the binder itself was ready for them, as it meant that we could visually see whether the pages we were making would fit in with the binder’s design.

Zine – New Ideas

After another group discussion within class, we have made a bit of leeway towards what we are going to do for our zine’s design and production. We have decided to make the zine in the fashion of a ring binder folder. Not only will this make it easier to adapt our way of making posters in separate places, but it also makes sense with our idea of we made that the zine will be made from public donations by various people. Our group has already prepared various materials for its construction for today.

American 3-Ring Presentation Binders

We have agreed to idea of using a ring binder motif as it will be a very unique method of creating a zine compared to the rest of our class, allowing it to fit the post-apocalyptic setting by giving it a sturdy, durable cover, as well as an easy to use way of adding more updated information within the future.