Tag Archives: black and white

Final Spreads!

Final Submission:



When writing the piece I realised that the tattoo was an important element of the story and so I had to make a decision as to where it would go and what I would take out as I think 7 images would be too busy on the page.

I decided to take the picture of Josh looking up at his Dad in the living room because Josh in the bath looking up at his Dad represents the same thing.

I considered taking out the top middle picture with the red walls in the background because I felt it was in danger of being too similar to the establishing page but I decided that the content was different enough and the unconcious mirroring of Paul and Joshua on the sofa was important. Also, they aren’t on the same page so having a similarity like that in’t really too much of an issue.





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The second page

How will my choice of establishing page affect the edit? 




If I am to choose this layout I have to sacrifice the following:


I don’t particularly want to lose this picture but I don’t think I can use it alongside the establishing shot. The scene is too similar despite being at different times of day. I think it’s unfortunately worth losing this in the edit in order to have the establishing shot as it is.



My original edit. I think these moments are more interesting and tell more of a story than the narrative of a typical day for Paul and Joshua, which is how I edited some of the layouts in previous blog posts. Words can easily describe the simpler pictures I’ve missed out but I think it’s pictures like some of these that give photography it’s place in art and storytelling, as words fail to describe easily these moments in our lives.

Second page design alternative




I think having six pictures that are all the same rectangular format limits the design as I don’t want to crop my images. I know in reality they might be cropped but I don’t really see a need and barely an opportunity so I’m happy to leave them.

I think between this and the original design, I prefer the original. The pictures need space between them as they work well in threes: the top being the activities and the bottom being at home.

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Longevity featured on Pig House Pictures Journal.

After a lovely and glamourous evening at our very own Press Awards at the Falmouth Hotel, where to my total surprise and delight I managed to be selected as the winner of the Documentary Singles and runner up of the Documentary Series categories for photographs feautured in Longevity – Pig House Pictures asked whether I’d let them feature my work, to which my answer was ‘Yes please!!!!!!!!!!’


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Second page designs

Original layout


This seemed to be the most obvious layout for 4 pictures of this format, where I felt one stood out as being more important than the others. It is neat and simple and leaves clear negative space along the right side where I have chosen to place my website.

I considered using this space to place a list of Figures but I feel like I’ve already listed what the pictures are within the main text and a list of figures might just feel like repetition. This is something I need to play around with though as I do still think I need a clear pointer that says ‘top right:…’ either within the text of in a list.

Layout 2



I really liked this layout but you can see on the page that the space left for text is awkward and the layout will not work as a result.

Layout 3


This layout works as it leaves a simple rectangular space for text, like the original layout but as you can see below, the centre gutter will chop the bottom centre picture in half, which I think will be too damaging to the picture story.


Layout 4



By making the three bottom pictures smaller I was able to avoid placing the bottom centre picture in the centre of the gutter, which I think is better but obviously not ideal.

I have then made the top image slightly smaller so it fits on one side of the page and have placed my pull quote in the gap, which is an element I like.

Unfortunately this leaves a larger gap for the story and I can’t fill the gap, which isn’t a massive problem but I’m just not sure I like the space it leaves.

I’ve tried putting in a list of figures to see how it would look on the page and I’m also not sure it works. It seems to make the design look too bitty.

Layout 5


I think having the Figures placed as a design element in this design works much better. My eyes are not searching around the design like they were in Layout 4.


I think of them all I prefer layouts 1 & 5. I need to look at the Figures and consider whether directing the reader towards pictures would work within the main text in brackets such as (top left) and such as (bottom right) without it breaking up the flow of the story too much.





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I knew I wouldn’t like this design, and I don’t.


I said back in my research that I often have a problem with text over image. I find it distracting and often the text looks as though it doesn’t belong on the page.

I thought I would still try it out as there is an obvious place to place text in this picture, which is inside the illuminated part of the wall. I placed a dropshadow on the text to look as though the lightbulb is casting a shadow on the text. I think despite this, I still have a problem and don’t want to use this design! …But at least I tried.




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New establishing spread design

Screen shot 2014-05-19 at 14.12.00


I wanted to do a design that included a full bleed on one side. This means that the picture has to be enlarged, if you are to stick to a design that is fairly conventional and ‘belongs’ on the page.

With a narrower column for text, I thought I’d tip the headline on it’s side and match the headline’s height to the picture, once again stretching the word like it’s meaning.

The text then looked odd as a block, but by stretching it vertically, it looks more as though it belongs.

Although I like the title on its side like this, there is something about this design that reminds me of a fashion magazine. Possibly the headline in capitals? I can’t quite put my finger on it but I don’t think it necessarily reflects the story as well as the previous designs.

I’ve also played around with the title of the editorial and the page numbers again and once again I think this works just as well as the other designs.

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First draft of double page spread

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 14.19.07

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 14.16.47


The content

As discussed on March 1st in the article ‘Choosing a Story’, I think of the five images selected for the story, Jean on the stairs has to be the establisher. It’s a visually striking picture that entices you into the story. The second most important is Hugh and Jean on the bed as it introduces you to the couple and their bedridden existence. The other three are important in terms of telling the story but are more detailed shots, which are talked about within the text.

I wrote this story back in December for an issue of 205dpi magazine and have found myself editing it slightly, partly through criticism of my own writing but partly because I hadn’t really explained who I was in relation to Hugh and Jean and hadn’t made it clear enough what was going on in some of the detail pictures.

Originally, this story was called ‘Mortlake Road’ but I have tried to be less objective and more suggestive and elegant with my choice of word(s) for the headline. ‘Longevity’ seems the perfect description for Hugh and Jean and I have tried to use design to mimic this by loosening the tracking.

I will need to play around with Figures. I can either direct you to the pictures within the main body of text ie (top left), or I can create a design element for them. The space on the far right could work well for this although I’m enjoying the negative space I’ve created in that column.


The design

This design is based on a selection of elements I found myself being particularly drawn to during my editorial design research. My aim is to produce two double page spreads that borrows these elements to create a clear vision for my work that can communicate the story clearly whilst looking attractive on the page.

You can see here that I like the design to be simple and minimalist with plenty of negative space, simple type faces and clean shapes. Whilst designing, I found myself being very aware not to create a design element purely for the sake of design, but to make sure that it had a benefit to the story or to the editorial itself. For example, I have named the editorial ‘Documentary Photography’ (invention clearly not my forte), and have given it an Issue number. This is something you would find in any art editorial and allows me to think about design. However, when I started placing elements such as lines around the design, most of the time I deleted them as they seemed to have no purpose and distracted me from the content.

As I seemed to be drawn to the establishing image leaking itself across onto two pages, I have started with this design. It gives a clear area for the headline and standfirst, it looks crisp and I don’t have to worry about the issues faced when placing text over the top of an image.

The lines around the quote I think help the quote stand out and are therefore justified. They also look aesthetically pleasing as the lines match the thickness of the crisp capitals of Futura Light.

Having assessed editorials to look at how many typefaces they use on average, I found that generally editorials use no more than three typefaces. Often, they use two but will use a few various typefaces from their font family, as opposed to using different fonts altogether. In my design, I have used three fonts: Lixus Libertine and Minion Pro for the main body text and standfirst and Futura for the other elements.

I particularly wanted to link the headline to the title of the editorial, page numbers, website etc because it tightens up the editorial gives it a stronger brand (were it real) and I used Futura for this because it seems to be a versatile font that is crisp and modern but classic at the same time.

A note of Futura:

Following the Bauhaus design philosophy, German type designer Paul Renner first created Futura between 1924 and 1926. Although Renner was not a member of the Bauhaus, he shared many of its views, believing that a modern typeface should express modern models rather than be a rivial of a previous design. Futura was commercially released in 1927, commissioned by the Bauer type foundry.

While designing Futura, Renner avoided creating any non-essential elements, making use of basic geometric proportions with no serifs or frills. Futura’s crisp, clean forms reflect the appearance of efficiency and forwardness even today.


It is interesting to see that I seem to have chosen a typeface that mimics what I’ve been saying about avoiding ‘non-essential elements’ with its efficient, crisp appearance.



Next I will be showing various versions of this design. The changes are subtle but nevertheless important!


All images © Amy Romer 2014

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Useful websites and tips before using InDesign

Thank you to Antonia Tangye who kindly helped me with my InDesign insecurities and passed on some very useful websites and tips that are particularly good to know about before cracking into the software, that I shall now gladly share.

InDesign tutorial videos


There are loads of lynda.com tutorials on youtube and they’re really easy to understand.


Although these are aimed at interior designers, there are some that are relevant to photographers and they’re really worth watching.

Free or cheap fonts


What I like about dafont other than the free fonts is that you can type in what you want to see in each font and see a preview, so you have a clear idea of what your headline will look like.

Before buying InDesign get the 30 day free trial 


Why not?

If working with headlines, google ‘top 10 fonts big’, it comes up with some pretty good fonts.

Tip: Before placing any images into InDesign, check your histogram. THere should be no gaps and it should not be off the chart. This all means you have lost information and when you go to print, blacks will appear like blotches of black with no tone or texture and whites will be blotches of highlight. This is worse depending what paper you are printing on so it’s best to make your life easier in the beginning.


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Editorial design and typography in Parallax Magazine, Behance

See the editorial here

Parallax Magazine on Behance is a platform that looks specifically at editorial design, graphic design and typography.

Moving away from some of the very traditional designs I’ve been looking at, Parallax introduces a more modern approach to editorial designs for photography.

This magazine features two photographers, Elliott Erwitt and Tatsuo Suzuki. To distinguish between the two lengthy features, Parallax have placed one of the features on black pages and one on white. I think this is really clever in a practical sense but also because both black and white can create very different feels to an image or layout as shown below:






What stood out to me about this editorial other than its contemporary design, which features much less writing than is likely in mine, is where the writing is sometimes placed, which I may not have considered before.


Unlike Pig House Pictures attitude towards design and typography, there doesn’t seem to be any reason I can think of to place the text slightly in the image like this other than for the sake of design – but I like it! And I like the amount of space on the page surrounding it too. It’s something I can play with with experimenting with my own designs.

Obviously this wouldn’t work in a lot of cases where there is too much contrast between black and white and it would probably be difficult to do on a colour image, but it may work in my Mortlake Road story and maybe the second story depending how I shoot it. Again, this is something I can consider whilst shooting as I am now shooting for the design.



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Frakcija 66/67 Imnnitet umjetnosti/The Immunity of Art

Frakcija is a Croatian performing arts magazine providing theoretical and critical support for projects relating to international mainstream media, theatre criticism, drama and theatre studies. Frakcija is published internationally once a year.




Again, these layouts are fairly standard but I’d say the content speaks more of an art magazine than a newspaper magazine such as The Sunday Times that I’ve recently looked at.

Firstly, the articles contain numerous fonts. Rather than The Sunday Times who want to keep a continuity to their articles in order to brand themselves, this magazine places the importance on the individual article. The font is dependent upon and therefore should compliment and describe the story.

I seem to have once again chosen an establishing layout that uses a landscape image that reaches both spreads and leaves a column to one side.

The difference this time is that the column not only contains the headline, standfirst and credit line but also the beginning of the main body of text. This is something I like, although I’d say it would depend on practicality and how much story you had to write about.

I think both font designs are work well. I like the more news style of the above layout with the use of lines to separate the credits, but I also like the centred simplicity of the layout below and the use of block capital Helvetica.

I also like how the magazine have stayed true to the black and white content of the photograph. It does not look at all worse than adding splashes of colour like what we saw in The Sunday Times Magazine.

Once again, e are given crucial pieces of information, this time just at the top of the magazine. This is a more modern approach as page numbers are traditionally at the bottom right of the page. I have nothing against placing all the information at the top. In fact, I think it makes more sense as it is all key information.



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