Category Archives: Environments

Evaluation and Reflection

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

I have considered and explored editorial design a great deal throughout this project which the brief asks for. My use of typography and photography have well thought about and planned with reasoning between each pairing.

I have took a lot of time before designing to look at the good and the bad of page layout, looking at underlying grids and how they make a design work.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I have tried my best to meet all aspects of the brief, the thing I feel I could of done more of is researching and exploring more photographers.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

My strengths definitely lay within my photography. I spent a lot of time experimenting with different settings on my camera such as the aperture and exposure to get interesting and dynamic shots of my environment. I have also tried different editorial practices such as ornaments at the end of the article and text wrap to add character to the spread.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

The only points I can think of as weakness was not getting enough of an idea at the crystal of what to base my photography round. I would of liked to get some more interesting shots like on my other spreads, I don’t feel this spread has the same power to draw peoples attention.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

I don’t feel like any of my spreads could be mis-understood, especially not in a bad way. I have been considering my photograph and page layout throughout this project to avoid and mis-understandings.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

2) Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

My time keeping was relatively good this project, I planned out what I needed to do in line with the brief and set myself targets for what I wanted to accomplish each lesson and what blog posts needed to be done.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I analysed the brief well. We went over it a few times in class so my understanding of it was good. The brief was also clear what needed to be done, and the things I needed to cover such as typography and photo pairings.

How was my research? 

My research consisted of learning about existing page layouts, the good and the bad. I also looked into photographers that I could get inspiration from, such as Ansel Adams for landscapes and black and white photography and Frederic Schlosser for automotive photography.

My own photography is also my research which was overall very good. I thought about each photo and how it could work to convey the environment I was looking at.

How did I draw conclusions from my research? 

I learnt what was good editorial design was, and also things to avoid such as letting things cross over the gutter and getting lost, too much use of text wrap can ruin a spread and make small channels of text.

I also learnt about photography styles, what these styles can portray such as black and white photography giving aspects of time and age.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas? 

Creating contact sheets of my photography helped me choose which photograph was the best and what I could use in my spread. With my research into spreads I also created thumbnail sketches that helped me generate new ideas that I could experiment with.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

Thought this project I have evaluated my own work to see what works and what doesn’t, there has been a number of changes throughout. I was critical with my page layouts and photography used as I wanted to create an authentic, professional looking outcome.

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective? 

By doing a lot more divergent thinking would of made my experimentation more effective, I done a fair amount of experimentation in my layouts and photography editing however more could of been done to help improve this.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

Demonstrated an awareness of visually communicating to a specific audience.

(2) Developed and experimented with appropriate media, aesthetics and visual language.

(3) Explored the relationship between research and practice. 

I have shown that I have achieved the learning outcomes by looking into my target audience from the brief and magazine called ‘photography now’. My work is aimed at photographers who want to learn about photography, cameras, and composition.

I have experimented with a lot of media from sketches, photography editing and page layout designing.

I have made blog posts about what I have learnt from my research and how this has translated into my final pieces.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to explore photography more as it is something I enjoy doing. Editorial design is also something that I like creating so combing the two made for an enjoyable project overall.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

I didn’t enjoy writing the articles for the spread as I struggled with what to write about.


Final Print – Epson Paper Lustre

Today I have printed my final spreads after having them proof read by Tim and Sancha. Using the Epson printers in our room and A3 lustre paper brought from the college shop I started to get my files ready to print. Saving the Indesign document as a print .pdf to retain all my text and images as they are in the document.

Before printing there are a few different setting I have been taught to change when high quality printing.

Print Settings

Change paper to premium lustre

High Speed and Finest Detail selected


A3 – Scale 100%

For some reason preview likes to change the scale of pdf documents when opening so this always needs to be checked.

Final Spreads (Mock Up)

Articles from Spread

My Own Spread

Modified car shows and track events are an environment I have experienced many times before. I apporached my photography in a few different ways. Before visiting the BHP Performance show held at Lydden Hill race circuit I had looked into some famous automotive photographers and analysed their work. I waneted to get dynamic angles of the cars such as right down low with them, high up or direct side and front angles. This was a very busy event so I often had to wait a couple of minutes so there wasn’t a person in the picture spoiling the shot. I even had to leave some of the special cars to later on in the day so there were less people in the frame.

I kept compositional techniques in mind, such as rule of thirds and the fibonacci spiral to help keep the photographs looking professional and thought about. It also was a bonus that I could incorporate my own passion for cars into my double page spread and experiement more with my photography skills.        I enjoyed this project a lot as it has improved my abilities with my page layout and photography.

The main reason I chose the subject of modified cars for my environment is beacuse I have previous experience photographing cars. I have never thought about it as an environment before so it gave me a new angle and perspective to have when I was taking my photos.


Here are a selection of photos from a trip to Dungeness beach. At first I thought the area was bleak and run down, however from wandering around the beach and the surroundings there were perfect opportunities to photograph some of the hidden beauty of the area. These photographs were taken with a Nikon D3300 with an 18-55mm Sigma lens. Using low aperture I was able to capture the foreground detail and  make the background have a slight blur making the subject ‘pop’.  Dungeness is ‘chic not bleak’ is a phrase that I feel is an accurate description, it is easy to say the area is bleak at first glance but not until you explore and look for the finer details the environment has to offer will you truly notice this.

The Crystal

The Crystal was an insightful place to visit. My first impressions  came from the building as it was very sophisticated and modern. The sharp, clean, triangular lines that created the buildings shape are unique and the whole glass exterior makes it feel open and welcoming. I have captured this in my photography by using the contrast from the sky to show the buildings triangular structure compared to the surrounding environment, which is more natural with organic curves and lines.

Something I found interesting inside The Crystal was the information on electric vehicles and their growing popularity on our roads and the positive implications they are having on the environment around us.

Indesign Missing Links

Something I learned from doing a test print is that Indesign creates links from images placed in to the folder that they came from. Because I have been moving files from my macbook to the college macs a few files had been accidentally missed.

I discovered this on my test print as 3 of the photos from my ‘The Crystal’ spread appeared blurry and not as high quality as the rest, even though they were taken from the same camera. Tim informed me that it Indesign creates a good quality preview of the photo even though the software can’t find the full image, so it was vital I done this test print to find this out, otherwise I would of wasted the printing on good quality paper.Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.02.42.png

Test Print

Here are the test prints of my final double page spreads. This is needed for me to see what it is like printed out at actual size, and give it a proper read through to see if there is any grammatical or spelling mistakes inside.

This was printed on standard A3 printer paper, the quality of my photography still comes through but would be improved a lot printing through the Epson printers.


The Crystal Spread

As the Crystal trip was one of our firsts visits for this editorial project I didn’t have a great understanding of the type of photos I wanted to get or what I would actually discover whilst I was there.

It would of been helpful for me to do some quick research of the exhibits inside the crystal as then I could of focused my photography on one aspect rather than having to walk the entire way around and take lots of photographs of everything so I could decide later.

However I did achieve some nice shots from this trip, and I also found interesting the information they had on electric vehicles and how they are improving our environment.

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I chose to divide my spread into 2/3 (two thirds) for the main imagery and one third for my body text and smaller images. This is a layout I have seen used many times and something I liked whist sketching out my thumbnail ideas.

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Above is my finished spread. I’m pleased with how this spread has developed even though it was probably my least favourite to complete out of the 4 spreads. I think my typographic title with the use of contrast between the sans serif and serif type pairing works well as an opening with the photography of the crystal behind.

Complete Layout

Here is my complete spread for Dungeness. I have shown my layout using rulers inside Photoshop. I have thought a lot about the structure of my spread and tried to keep a uniform and professional look throughout. Using two columns to divide each page helped me structure my text and my images. You can see from my guides I have used that I have aligned my photos and text up to create a smooth and structured layout.

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Learning from Research

Throughout this project my research has be fundamental for me to carry out and learn from. Firstly researching into double page spreads helped my by understanding what editorial designs works well, what is used in professional current magazines and techniques and process that I can use. Looking at good and bad editorial work has helped me avoid any potholes that I could come across in my process, such as loosing text and imagery down the gutter of a spread.

Researching photographers such as Ansel Adams and seeing stark contrast in black and white photography from his work also helped me edit my own photographs, experimenting with curves and contrast to create rich blacks and bright highlights.

Ansel Adams (left) – My own edited photography (right)



Indesign – Building Spreads

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 10.14.53Here is my process on building my double page spreads. Firstly I created my document; the brief states each page will be 200x200mm. I used this in my document setup as well as a 3mm bleed. (Bleed is needed as I have planned to run my photography on a full page, so bleed allows me to do this as when it comes to trimming there won’t be any horrible white bits of the edge of paper)

I have also used 2 columns in my pages, this is because through my research I have found 2 column pages to be easier to read with smaller amounts of text. I wont be having full pages of text in my work so this would be suitable for me to use.

The first thing I done was load my photos I want to use into my spread. This allowed me to resize and reposition until I was happy with a layout. Looking at my quick sketches of layouts and inspiration from my double page spread research gave me helpful ideas to experiment with. I decided my best captivating image from the Dungeness trip was the Hillman 1984 Black Saloon car that was left abandoned outside a house near the seafront, as this has a lot of depth and emotion to it. Because of this I wanted it to fill a whole page so the detail can be seen by the reader.

Adding text to my page by drawing out text boxes and filling with type>placeholder text. This gave me another element of the spread to move about to help find my layout.

Drop Caps and Justification 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 10.51.03After writing out my text for my trip to Dungeness it was now time to set the text properly. I decided to use a drop cap of 3 lines as this is something that frequently came up in my research and is a traditional technique used in editorial design. Something we learned in Tim’s lesson was type justification (alt+shift+cmd+j); this takes word spacing, letter spacing and glyph scaling into consideration to create a more even and well presented column of text.

The settings I used are pictured above: here you can see what justification does to the text. It is only a very small and subtle thing to do to for my spread however it is the small things that make the overall professionalism of the layout, and other designers would also be looking out for this in my spread.