In this blog post I wish to explore in detail creative review, which my brief states I have to create a front cover and double page spread. I wanted to better understand the page layout of the magazine so I could replicate this in my design.
The monthly magazine was started in 1980 and was produced to be inspirational, informative, and stimulate debate over advertising, and visual communication. The magazine contains adverts, graphic design, illustration, and all forms of visual communication.
I started by looking at the front cover of the latest Creative Review, which shows an illustration center of the page. The image is a good example of what I talked about in a previous blog post about page layout. The image has a lot of redundant space around it, with the sea surrounding a boat just off center. This focuses the eye to the boat and has a strong visual impact. This is important to note when designing my front cover, that blank space shouldn’t be feared. This simple eye catching design makes the reader wonder what the image is about in relation to the magazine, and as there is no text leading them to the article, it makes the reader open the magazine to the contents page.
The header is positioned above the main image, and has clear alignment, with a 7mm gap to the left and right. Interestingly the typography is a modern typeface, with strong contrast between thick and thin strokes.
I looked at this double page spread inside creative review to look at the alignment, typography and imagery to gather research for my own article. There is a clear grid system used to create the article, and strong left alignment seen in the first column.
The spacing is clean and clear, with clear separation between information. This grouping of text can be seen at the top left of the page, with two relevant pieces of information displayed in a different typeface, with the spacing in keeping with the rest of the article. The gap between this grouped information and the start of the first article is larger, clearly distinguishing between the two.
A clean thin black line segregates the the first column from the second, which gives a stylish modern feel to the design. The second column is center aligned with a circular image below also center aligned. I think they have center aligned this as the text is a quote and in bold, and center aligning it separates it from the body of the text next to it.
Rule of thirds is loosely applied, and can be see in the image as it takes us almost 2 thirds of the page, focusing the eye to the subject of the image, which happens to be a modern car on a historic backdrop. The crease of the double page actually cuts a third off the image and spills over onto page one.This draws the eye to the car and makes the reader what to know more about the purpose of the double page spread.
I also looked at the page layout of a different double page spread. I noticed that each page can hold a maximum of four columns, all 5cm in width. This gives continuity to the whole magazine, and some I should show when designing my own double page spread.
More than one image was used, and I noticed the scale of the images, and how they all worked together. Hierarchy can also be seen in the scale, with the main image larger and just off center of the page. Incidentally, this image is one of many that spills over two pages, with a third cut off it. The redundant imagery shows the audience the purpose of the article, transport.
Another double page spread I found visually stimulating was piece about landscapes and exploration. the main image fills page two and a third of page one, which draws the audience in . The contrast between the dark image and the white space where the text is works well, and produces a clear segregation between the image and the information.
Something I also found interesting was how the typefaces contrast from the header to the tagline, bold to light. I also noticed the scale of the headline, which shows hierarchy of information, and clean thin lines separate the text from the tagline. White space is used in between the tagline and and the body of the text, and interestingly the width of the two columns is the same width as the lines separating the headline and tagline. This makes the eye follow down a channel, and this is good as the natural way to read is up to down.