Somerset House – Pick Me Up


Thumbnail Sketches

Today I have been working on a few early sketches for what my spread pages could eventually look like by the end of the project. These sketches are purely for experimentation and practice, so they may or may not end up being used within the final work, or at least the most of them.

I have made most of these sketches based off of inspiration I gained from my previous research into double page spreads, and as a result, have used a fair few aspects of those images I had found.


I am actually quite happy with how most of these thumbnails have turned out, as well as how I could actually see some of these sketches becoming the basis of my final piece. I am considering an idea of which I have gained from these many sketches of using the large double page image for a sort of introduction page for my first double page, having the main bulk of the of texts and images dedicated to the remaining two pages. I believe this will serve well as both a aphetic and practical layout design for the two spreads, with the large picture for the introduction, and the information and other images on the following pages.

Environment – Double Page Spreads

As the target layout of the final piece, I feel as though it is necessary for me to at least do some research into what a double page spread is, and how other (professional) designers handle making them for actual magazines.

A double page spread (according to the dictionary definition) is “two pages treated as one in a publication, with images or text extending across the binding”. This basically means exactly what its sounds like, a pair of pages that share an image(s) and/or text across them, which are mainly used as means of advertising a products, service or information either somewhere else or within the same magazine.

To gain some knowledge on the sorts of design styles and layout choices that other designers have used for their own magazine pages, I have gone to look up as many interesting and notable page spreads as I can, as well as any spreads that I may have in magazines at home. Here is the results of the most interesting double page spreads that I was able to get a hold of.

As you can see from the example images, many types of double page spreads have certain traits that seem to pass on from one to another, which you can find similar to the other examples of spreads. From what I can see, there are mainly two main types of layout used for double page spreads within actual magazines, with the first layout being an image on one side of the page and the text on the other. Or, with the second option, the spread consists of a large double page image which comprises the majority of the spread, with smaller amounts of type placed (mostly) within the empty (lesser) areas of the picture. There also seems to be a common use of large or giant letters or words placed within the background our title areas of the pages.

Looking at these examples of page spreads, I feel as though I have gained a few new ideas of the possible layout designs for the end product for this project. Design ideas such as the large images and use of giant type are some of the factors within the examples I found may be prime design choices for my final piece.








Environment – First Ideas

In order for me to be able to create my own magazine, I must have an subject for the environment themed spreads, which must be able to supply a fairly large quantity of photos and text for me to use within the final result.

As I mentioned within the previous environment post, there are two main forms of environment that I can choose between for my final piece, which can either be about an environment/habitat, or be about the environment in general. In some ways I consider the two versions of environment to be as difficult/easy as each other due to the various ideas that you can go for within each of them, such as the places you can go for the environment, and the types of habitats you can visit for the other type.

I am somewhat torn between the two forms of environment as I cannot decide which form I find being the simplest/effective for me to use within this project. In order to try and get around this, I have created a quick mind map in order to visualise my ideas and possibilities for this project.


After having now finished drawn out the presented mind map, I have begun to lean towards doing the project based around the bird-feeder habitat idea. I have made this decision because I find the idea of doing some bird watching for this project to be a very relaxing and peaceful task for this project, and I believe that I may be able to obtain some very interesting and effective photographs of the birds I spot resting on the feeders within my garden. I am hopeful that this idea may either lead to a greater plan for the project, or even follow through to the end within too much trouble.

Environment – What is the Definition?

As I have already stated within the previous post, our mission for this project is to create 2 double page spreads for a magazine that focus around the theme of “environment“. However, the meaning of environment can be interrupted into two separate forms of environment, each with their own meanings. These two forms of environment could be called “an” environment, or “the” environment.

Unlike the environment, an environment refers to a specific place or area wherein a human, animal or plant-life live or interact within. This could refer to the habitat of an animal (bird feeder/nest/burrow/etc.) or the bedroom of a person. Out of the 2 forms of environment, this might be the simplest due to it being concentrated onto a single area of the world, rather than being spread across the entirety of the subject (or in this case, just a much larger area).


The environment refers to the natural environment around us in general, being the entire ecosystem of our country/planet. This could mean the entirety of forests or woodlands as well as all the wildlife contained within them. Compared to the previous variation of the word, using the environment as a theme may prove either a much more complicated theme to use for this project, or a simple one, as it may become more difficult to pinpoint the idea of the environment as a whole, or it may make it simpler to find appropriate photographs for the spread as it may leave me more freer to do so.

Ethics – Final Design

Today we have finally finished the design for our group poster, and are ready to begin its printing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.18.36

By the end of the projects design, there were of course some minor (and/or major) changes  within its overall appearance and function. Some of my animal sketches (i.e. fox, standing rabbit and badger) were sadly left out of the poster due to us having some trouble fitting all of them into the spaces around the text. I am happy however that most of them did successfully make it into the final product, as well as how surprisingly well they combined with other features of the poster, such as how one of the birds nicely sits on top of a stump created by another member of the team.

I also decided to keep not while creating this poster on the interesting techniques and styles used by my team-mates when creating this poster, so that I have them in mind should I think them fitting of being used within another project. I found Ed’s use of a texture-layered background to be a very attractive and unique design idea for the poster, and I honestly consider it the highlight of the page. I may likely decide to use this technique myself within the future, as I find that the combination of its colors and texture to be very effective within this piece.


I honestly have very little to complain about for this piece at all, as I I find it very well put together for our team. If I could complain about anything however, one of the only parts I could point at would be the resulting design of the cloud sketch, as it was heavily edited by the other team members after I handed it over to them. I am not too fond of the gradient given to the original cloud, as I feel as if it looks too out of place next to the more solid colors given to the rest of the sketches. The original idea for the cloud sketch was to make 73% of the cloud grey (with the remaining 27% white) to represent the 73% of the fact, so the gradient may have be used to make the transition between the grey/black and white smother. If the center cloud was a pure grey color with something such as a 73% placed on it, I may have found it much better looking than it does now, as well as much more effective towards showing the meaning of the sketch.

With each of us taking on different roles to create each separate aspect of the poster, we have made what I consider a successful piece of work which is both apathetically pleasing as well as effectively functional to its purpose. I am happy to have made this interesting final piece as well as been part of my team in general.


Ethics – Illustration Duty

In order to increase the effectiveness and speed of our work, each of us have taken roles within the project to create specific parts of the poster. I myself along with Ben were given the task of doing many of the small illustrations which were going to be placed across the page.

Since our idea is heavily focused on the effect of the environment, we decided that that message may be reinforced by the use of forest animals to represent the environment. We first listed several animals found within (British forests (as the magazine that the poster is for is of British make)), along with a few other objects, and allowed me to choose the ones that I saw appropriate/good enough to be used for the poster. After I had chosen the animals I was given, I quickly began work on sketching each one.

I the animals that I drew consisted of: a fox, a deer, a badger, two rabbits and three birds (I did multiple versions of the last to animals as I wanted to make sure that I at least had more than one version of the smaller animals as there could be enough room to put more than one of them, and if some, I wanted to make some divergence between them.


The other members of the team were quite happy with the results of my sketches and we moved onto scanning them onto a computer so that they may be inserted into the poster. Upon putting some of the sketches into the poster’s program (InDesign) however, we found that some of them had not formed their lines in properly and were preventing us from filling them in with color. Because of this, I was forced to have to recreated the few that did not work from scratch using illustrator (due the team using InDesign, making transferring much simpler). After finishing up the new illustration for the poster, I handed them over to the rest of my team.

Ethics – Interactivity

As one of the more interesting topics that appeared during our planning, the idea of making our poster have interactive features has been something that we have been trying to decide. Today we once again talked about the idea and have made a final decision on the subject.

We have looked at the idea for a splittable/foldable poster for a little now and we have deiced that it may be best to leave the design of the poster as it is without the interactive feature. We have chosen to make this decision as we would rather not ruin the poster’s appearance with unneeded design choices.


Ethics – Typeface

While having a discussion with the rest of the team, we of course brought up the point of which form/s of typeface we were going to use on our poster, as it is a very important to both our posters appearance as well as the projects overall score.

Choosing a typeface for the poster was actually much easier for us to find than I first anticipated, as a member of the team had already found an existing poster about the ethics of the environment (with a similar subject on paper as well) that used the two fonts that took our interests.

The first typeface that we chose was called Bebas Neue, which would serve as our main header/title font. We chose to use this typeface because we wanted a simple yet bold header which would easily stand out on the page and get our biggest points/phrases in the spotlight. We chose this serif-less font style as we wanted to make a simplistic poster design with a paper-like background/theme, in order to make the poster look more modern and in date.

The second typeface we selected was Helvetica, which would serve as the poster’s main typeface for the text. We selected helvetica as we wanted a similar form of type to bebas neue to be used for smaller text, but without being so bold. We also chose it as another modern looking typeface.

Overall, I find that both typefaces that we have selected look and feel very fitting for the modern/simplistic design style that we are hoping to achieve, and that it will serve as a very easy to read font for our readers to understand, as a faulty typeface for a message such as ours in real life would be quite problematic.