Moving back to “subject” from “field”, David introduced us the Changing Faces brief. This new assignment was meant to let us exercise and apply everything that we did and learnt during the first academic year at Cardiff School of Art and Design, that including typography, image making, story telling. The idea of this project was that we would be given several articles, and have the possibility to choose the one that stands out to us and use it as content for our magazines that being 3 double page spreads or two double page spreads and 2 single pages, a total of six pages. However, once we have selected the article, we had to research and learn the topic back to back in order to understand and be able to create a consistent and effective communicative language for our final editorial piece.
“Can a French Frier End the 21st Century Slave Trade” being my article of choice, I have researched into slave trade and slave issues around the world in order to gain a bigger understanding of the topic. Then, I have looked at what other artists and designers had to say about it, I looked at things like campaigns, posters, online videos, documentaries, lots of artwork based around the genre, photography, but also deconstructed the article itself in order to fully understand what is going on and how to stop it.
After the deconstruction of the article and all the research done on the genre, I started to do my own sketches of ideas based around various movements such as Constructivism, Impressionism, Dadaism, German Expressionism, Modernism, etc… I was looking at elements of abstract and powerful messages as well as explicit and implicit interpretations of real life events that happened in the past and still do today. My idea was that I could come up with a mixture of things such as powerful implicit and sharp explicit images or I could have abstract shapes representing and telling a story through colour and dynamic abstract marks illustrating feelings such as pain and agony. Or maybe I could just simply create symbols that represents genders and youth being forced to cheap labor and hard work followed by different reasons, like the male and female symbols or the yin and yang and many more examples.
While doing my research on different styles and magazines layout designs I have also sketched out some own ideas of layouts and compositions for my editorial piece drawing inspirations from several interesting magazines that I have found through primary and secondary research. Again, I was looking at being different, looking at new styles and trying to get ideas to create something rather more unique and creative.
After sketching I have started to refine the ideas and decided to create digital illustrations keeping it to a more contemporary standard where images depict an aspect of some nowadays environments. My initial idea was photography as the modernist approach to photography it is essential and it was mostly adopted by Swiss designers as photography became more accesible tool it has also become their favourite media for creating their works. Although I wanted to use a slight different approach and create a style of modern illustrations representing the nowadays society, which co-relates to the main article.
Each of these illustrations are linked to different section of the article and are meant to communicate a message in relation to the main body. For example; The bar code suggests different products that are created based on slave labour and it also suggests that some people have no choice or even born and raised into the slavery that they do not have or know more in life than just being part of another working number. The man in the suit is meant to represent the bussines side of slavery and the slave trade, or the companies out there being involved in this kind of business as means of saving and boosting their earnings. However it could also be the “french firer” himself being there to help these people in a way or another. So it is a flip of scenarios with this one, that it can represent the bad guys but it can also mean that the guy himself is fighting for the good. That is to the audience to decide what it really represents, and that was the point of the illustration. On the other hand, the city-scape and construction sights are to talk about the type of slavery you’d find in bigger cities where foreigners with minor language skills arrive into these cities in hope of a better life where later they find themselves being trapped in the modern slave labor where they are being forced to work extreme hours in exchange for nothing but, poorly maintained shelter, restricted amounts of food and a good amount of threats. The idea of this is that these people have their documents confiscated upon arriving and do not have the access to any form of communication or contacts in order to find themselves out of the situation. So, the colours were thoroughly selected in order to communicate sorrow and isolation, where big cities aren’t always as pretty as they might seem at first but there are also issues such as this one that needs attention. So the illustrations are meant to draw the audience into reading it as well as allowing the audience to freely experience feelings and being creative with it while reading throughout the magazine spreads.
Here are some initial designs, playing around with the composition deciding where everything fits best and negative spaces and also what format to choose, either portrait/landscape or even a square book. At this stage background colours were not decided yet. Text was roughly set and organised in order to come up with a final style that I would use throughout the design process. I have got inspired by the Swiss style approach and decided to base my book around the style.
By this point I have already started to consider colours, type detailing and composition a lot more. At this point I have decided the magazine format, where the illustrations are going to sit on the page and the overall composition for all three spreads. However, I was still at the development stage where I was still playing around with the typography and type detailing in order to make sure that I have a good pace, a strong hierarchy and other details in order. I have looked at things such as drop caps, left justified text, the positioning and different grid systems that works best for my layout and least but not last the rivers, orphans and widows within the body of text.
I choose to follow this path, it seemed to be the most consistent of all my designs and it also stood out from the rest, although there were some little things that needed further edits. Things like font consistency, type setting and drop cap issues seemed to be a bit of a problem on this outcome. So, after looking back at the research and the workshops we did in the past I have realised that there was some mistakes in terms of type detailing that needed to be adjusted.
However, once we had our draft final design in place we had to submit our work to David that he would have a thorough look at our otcomes and give us formative feedback followed by some extra time to fix it prior to the exchibition deadline. The feedback played a big contribuition to my final piece as it helped me to fix some mistakes that I have not yet observed.
Final Magazine Design Ourcome:
My design was missing something and realised that later after the feedback that it was 2 dimensional. By means, my text needed to speak out loud as well, I needed to select some quotes that would make the design stand out more. For the quote I was targeting words related directly to the illustrations so that it gives a minimal understanding of what the article is about, and what the main problems of the article are as well. However, followed by a tutorial with David talking about my draft final, he helped me to spot out some issues such as, the justified text and the rivers, font choice issues, and the main important the quoting which played an important part of the type detailing in this project and that I decided not to include in my previous outcomes.
So for my final adjustments I have decided to work with left aligned text rather than left justified as I realised it feels more free and looks good with the style. The drop caps on the last spreads in the previous draft outcome did not make much of sense as the drop caps in this context are meant to represent the starting of a new chapter, as on the last 2 pages weren’t a new chapter but just the continuation of “The Bondage Industy” chapter it was a bit confusing regarding the legibility. So, following that I have moved the text at the top as it will read more naturally and show the continuation of the chapter moving onto a new page. Also, I have selected the quotes in order to make the main issues of the article to stand out. And, I have also shorten the amount of columns, changing it from an 12 column grid and a gutter of 6mm to a column grid of 8 with a gutter of 6mm as there was too many columns for the amount of text.
The modernist approach to composition, imagery and negative spaces seems to be a very controlled but eye catching way it really inspired me so I have tried to create negative spaces that pushes the boundaries allowing the audience to have a moment of pause from the article and allow their minds to be creative with it.
Overall, this project was a great opportunity to work with text and image together and it gave me the opportunity to have more freedom with the work I produced that of the editorial piece as it allowed me to choose what I wanted to do as well. It was also a good way of improving the skills that we have developed throughout the year. I believe that there could be improvements to be made and that I can be more creative with the text, creating a more expressive and creative typography. Personally, I am quite happy with the outcome as I was looking to keep my design fairly simple and eye catchy. However, I was quite happy with the fact that we were given the chance to finally print our work to a professional standard and exhibit along side our Design as Activism projects as well.