Solar Flare Zine – Evaluation

Finally, with all of my pages completed, I can now combine them with the rest of the pages of which my team had created themselves. Here I will give an evaluation on the pages I created by giving my personal opinion (P.M.I) on what I think what went well, what I thought did not go well and  anything else I found interesting about them.


News Page

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Plus – I really like the newspaper idea I used for the page itself, as it actually makes it easier to understand that it is a page about the news. I also think that the way I did the story for the page is at least somewhat similar to how actual newspapers tell their news reports. Finally, I am most proud of how the type for the title turned out as I have never tried to use a type similar to roman type before and I am happy at how well it looks now.

Minus – I am somewhat disappointed at how messy the text and text boxes turned out as they seem a bit too rough for a news page that is supposed to be easily read by its viewers. I am also a little concerned on how simple looking the sketch I did in the corner, as it looks a bit too rushed for a newspaper.

Interesting – I still find how I used the newspaper for the page very interesting on how it makes the whole thing look and feel. I may keep this technique of using layered newspaper to mind within the future if I ever need a style of paper again. Next time I should be more careful on how I do my text boxes, making sure that each side is even and straight.


Gang Page

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Plus – I really like the appearance of how the maps look and how the red fine-liner made there territory areas appear very edgy. I also liked the idea I had for scrunching the paper lightly in my hands to make the paper seem like scrap paper or has been through some rough places.

Minus – I am a bit disappointed on how the title type turned out, as I personally think that it looks not very well made and that the “g” in that style of type makes it look too much like an “s” (the underline is also a bit too close to the type as well). I also think that the anarchy symbol looks somewhat dull and that it should be redder to make it more brighter and dangerous looking.

Interesting – The idea of using old maps is possibly the thing that I found most interesting out of this page as the red fine-liner makes it look somewhat professional in where the territories are. Next time I should practice more with my title to ensure that I am happy with it before I put it soon the actual design, preventing me from having any regrets about it.


Music Page

Plus – I am very happy with both the type used for the title as well as the idea I used for the spinning record in the pages centre. The title type has a very bouncy feel to it which matches the tone of the actual information text (it also somewhat (to me at least) looks like the same sort of writing style as music notes). I also like how the record makes it one of the only interactive pages within the zine (the other possibly being Natasha’s pop-up Travel Page).

Minus – To me, the edges of the record look a bit to rough and messy, especially the gap for reading the text (which was due to it being difficult to cut out without bending the disk itself). I also think that the text is too messy and uneven, with some letters just scraping against the edge go the disk.

Interesting – I find the idea of making certain designs have interactive features to make them more appeasing to look at and gives a design a bit more personality. I may use this idea later in the future. Next time I should use a compass to make any of my circles, as not only do they make much more perfect circles, but they also show the centre as well.


Fashion Page

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Plus – I love how well the clothes and their designs turned out after putting them on the models, which I am also happy I found as their clothing (swimsuits and a tight, pure pink dress) and posture made it incredibly easy to design the outfits around. I am also very proud of how the type for the title looks as it perfectly fits in with how one would expect a glossy fashion zine would make their title look.

Minus – I feel like I may have gone a little over-board with the decorating using the gold marker, as I think I tried a bit too hard to fill in the empty spaces with odd patterns and shapes. I also noticed that some areas of the clothes don’t fit exactly on target, as some bits of the models peek out from behind the edge just a little.

Interesting – I really find the idea of putting when type of design over another very interesting as it can create something completely new as well as something nice to look at. I also find the type style I used very interesting as I never knew before that I could use that kind type, and it may be one that I will use in the future. Next time I should ensure that all of the clothes fir completely perfectly by making sure cut out drawing is slightly larger than the actual picture, as it means that if the drawing is too big, I can trim it down a bit (it also means that it is obviously not too small).


Final Thoughts

All together, I am very happy with how each page turned out within the end. I am somewhat disappointed that I was unable to create the Illustration page that I was planning on creating, as I was unable to get to it’s creation due to time constraints (mostly due to the amount of time it took to create the more difficult pages (e.g. fashion), which took longer to create than expected). However, Due to it being just a drawing, it will not be a big loss compared to the more important pages like the News page.

Each page has their own tips and downs, but in total, I am happy enough with each one to put them within the zine. Creating each one has also helped me learn many new aspects in design I have never thought about, like the inclusion of interactive design, the interesting design of types and the importance of working together as a team, which revolved around staying in clear communication throughout the project and alway excepting any criticism or notes that they show to your work, and then acting upon them to improve that design.

I have seen this project as being very informative and helpful in my development as a designer and I am proud to have completed the work I was able to do.

Solar Flare Zine – Fashion Page

Today I completed my fourth page for our zine, the fashion page. This page was possibly the hardest I had to make due to the amount of troubles I had about finding the layout and models to cut out for the zine. Despite this however, it is still one of my favourite pages I have made as a result.

First I started it off by searching through various old magazines I had in the house that contained any sort of fashion image containing full-size images of model. Eventually I found four images of models that I saw as appropriate for the page idea I was using (after searching all of the magazines I could find, I decided to drop the idea of using all ages for the page as the best model images I could find were only of women, so I decided to just use them instead). After that, I cut out each of the models out ready and put them to the side.20151030_215227

Next I began sketching out the clothes that I would stick over the models on a separate piece of drawing card, using the already cut out images to help me get the right sizes for the drawings. (note that during this stage I had abandoned using the model image with the dress as I realised that she would be too complicated to draw clothes for).

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After I had completed the designs for the clothes, I cut each of them out and placed them over their respective image in order to test if they were a good fit. Each drawing managed to successfully fit over each model as if they were their actual clothes.

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After checking that they fit, I then used water colour paint in order to colour in each drawing, giving each one as unique as colour palette as possible.

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When the clothes had finally dried, I then used glue in order to stick each one down onto their respective models.

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While the glue was drying, I took out a piece of black A5 card which would serve as the page for the images.

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I then glued the two smaller model images to the bottom left and right corners of the page and used tape to stick the top of the larger image above the two by sticking it only by its top. This would allow the larger image to be folded-over to se the other to more clearly.

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When that was done, I began using a new gold marker pen I had gotten hold of and began to do some practice attempts of doing the title type to get an idea of how I wanted it to look and to see if the pen was functional.

The type itself is actually inspired by my own signature handwriting, as (like many other) write in this sort of fashion (pun not intended). It is also the same kind of fancy handwriting that would expect from big designer names (especially having it put in gold) as gives them a very glamorous impression.

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Despite it just being practice, I liked the appearance of the first attempt I did (top “fashion” type) a lot, so I decided to use that one by cutting it out and glueing it onto the top of the page (as I was somewhat afraid that I would not be able to replicate how well I did it before).

Finally, with a few other bits of decoration I did with the gold marker, the page was complete.

Finished Page

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Solar Flare Zine – Folder Cover

Before we could start putting our pages all together within the zine ring-binder, we first had to put on the front page design we had been planning to use. Like mention before, we were planning on using a polaroid picture design with the tile of the zine “What is left” glued onto the underneath.

Using some old photocopies of some suitable photos that a member of the team had at home (as well as a ready-made polaroid boarder created from card), we began deciding which of them to use.

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In the end we chose the top left image of the tree, as we found it to be a very nice picture to look at as well as depicting the title’s message that we wanted to create (the picture of the road will be used in another group member’s page). After the image was selected, we had a member use a scalpel to cut off the edges of the photo so that it would fit underneath the polaroid boarder.

When the photo was fitted onto the centre of the cover, we then took the title that was made onto a strip of embossing label stuck just under the image, completing the front page/cover.

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Finished cover

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Solar Flare Zine – Music Page

Today I completed the third addition to my page collection, the Music page.Despite being one of my most recent ideas, the design of which I came up for it has been one of the strongest.

First, using an old piece of A5 card (that somewhat reminded me of wallpaper parchment), I sketched the design of the page onto the sheet to serve as my guidelines for things such as text and title location as well as the area of which the record disk would be.

The type I used for this page was mainly of my own creation, using a mostly simple, thinner type (similar to a stretched-out helvetica type), with areas that have slightly thicker strokes as well as a jagged whip at the beginning of the “M”. I used this type style as it matches the happier bouncy tone and style of the page itself.

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After doing so, I began to use pen to write out the text for the page and went over the title type I did in pencil in order to make it more bolder and similar to the other text. I also added a small red arrow at the bottom of the page so that readers may know which is the direction to turn the disk (unlike in my sketches in which I planned on using two).

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Next I took a piece of black card which I would use to make my spinning record disk for the center of the page.

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I then began placing markings on the card to make a circle as well as I could (using a flower vase as a stencil). After that I cut out the circle to make a disc which I then cut into to create a rectangular gap at the top. This gap would serve as the hole where viewers could read the text.

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Next I took another red/pinkish piece of card and cut out a smaller circle. I also cut out a large gap on part of the circle so that it would fit perfectly on top of the black circle. (Due to the card seeming somewhat more pink than red, I used a colored pencil to make it seem a bit more red). I added some pencil marks around the disk to make it look like there are actual groves on the record.

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Finally, I used a split-pin within the center of the page and record to hold the two together while also allowing the record to spin on the page to reveal the texts underneath.

Finished page

Zine – Military to Music

After having thought about my page ideas a fair bit more, I have decided to drop my idea for a page about a military update. I have decided this i have realised that maybe a solar-flare would not cause so much chaos that people would be required to find military support (as that is more something one would do in a zombie apocalypse rather than a worldwide blackout), as well as the fact that the information on the page would probably end up becoming to similar to the gang update page. After talking with my teammates about our pages and their progress, we have noticed that none of us have actually chosen to do a page to do with the current use of music within the world.

Because of this, I have now decided to switch my idea of a military page to a page about the current age of more low-tech music. The types of music I will talk about likely be things such as record players and like instrument music and concerts.

Modern usage of Type

Like mentioned within the brief, I will quickly go over the modern usage of type within design, talking about the common trends as well as any major developments.

Typography has always been a common factor in design for centuries, as it opens up a vast amount of methods for human communication, some of which function in much more complex and/or advanced ways. The difference in a piece of type can determine the level of understanding within an audience in an incredible amount of ways, as one type can seem fitting for one subject than another. For example, if someone was to create a halloween poster using a type such as helvetica, many people may only take a second to understand the purpose due to it being clear to read, but may see the type as being unfitting for the posters theme (although this could depend on the posters overall design). However, should someone use a more gothic type, while it may take a moment to read itself, the matching style of the type to the poster will allow an audience to get a good idea of what the poster is about just by looking at it.

Since the creation of the computer, the endless possibilities of type have been released onto the world around us. While early computers possessed very little ability at first due to their primitive screens, as they gradually evolved into more complex machines, they slowly allowed the creation of a whole new world of type.

Thanks to various computer programs, almost anyone can design and create a new type alphabet with almost utter ease and have it released for public or just personal use within their works. Many designers who are creating more personal works, a project with a bit more style or just because they want to use a certain style of type that they cannot find available already.


Understanding the modern use of type is a very important asset to have as it allows me to understand its importance a little bit more and thus type within my work a bit more effectively. I can also keep to mind (that despite not have technology to do so) I can create my own type should I wish to have something suitable that I cannot find anywhere else.

Solar Flare Zine – Gangs Page

Today I managed to complete my second page for our group zine, the Gang report page. Unlike the some of the other pages that will be completed within the near future, the gang report page has changed a fair bit compared to the original design I made of it. Previously I was planning on making it a double page spread with a large anarchy symbol (gang’s possible symbol) painted across both pages, however, since then I have decided with the group that a double page spread would not work well with a ring binder, as the rings would separate the pages some distance, making the symbol look awkward. Because of this, I have switched to using just the one page like everybody else.

First, I took piece of old drawing card I had and began sketching out the layout of the design onto it.

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Next I began writing up a quick notice or report about the recent activity of gangs within the setting, using just ordinary pencil in order to make it differ from the pen I used for the news report page. The title type that I used for the page is of my design, but certain features like the underline and type outline were actually improvised when creating the page in order to make title more rougher and look bolder.

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After that I painted on the anarchy symbol across the page using the sketching I did before as a guideline. I also decided to add a few smudges of paint on parts of the card to add a rougher effect.

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Next I decided to tatter-up the page a bit more by gentle scrunching up the page by pressing against both sides of the sheet using my hands. This made the page look as if the area it was made in was pretty rough or that the created was in a rush to report it.

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Then I took an old map book I had at home and cut out two sections of a pair of maps depicting England (the supposed location of this zine).

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I then stuck both pieces of map onto the bottom of the page and used a red fine-liner pen in order to place marks on the maps which would represent the locations/territories of gang territories and hideouts known by the authorities to warn civilians.

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Finished Page

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Finished Page

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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:

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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.