Tag Archives: Futura

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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Alternative establishing spreads for Longevity


I’ve created a few different versions of this layout, with fairly minor changes, such as the headline font and position of the title/issue/page number of the magazine.


I think the position of the title/issue works on both layouts and what I choose would be a matter of personal preference. Placing the text across the top might be a slightly more traditional position and highlights where the centre of the pages are, which you might say works less well for a layout like this where the images and text aren’t placed centrally in relation to the page but it doesn’t bother me.



Placing the title of the editorial, issue number and title of the article together like this condenses the information more and works with the idea of a minimalist design.

I’ve also made the establishing image smaller so that it doesn’t bleed over to both pages. This design is more reminiscent of Aesthetica magazine. The benefit is that the picture does not get obstructed by the gutter, although the photograph does not contain important detail at the centre of the spread, so is ideal for a design that is spread across both pages.



I think the content is strong enough on the establishing page that the size of the picture is not important. All my designs give the same impression of what kind of magazine you are reading and what kind of story/photography you are viewing.

Both fonts work well but I do have a preference to Futura for the headline, because it looks beautiful as a large font and because the editorial becomes less of a copy of Aesthetica, which uses a font very similar to Palatino, as does Pig House Pictures.

I also think it makes sense for the headlines to be the same font family as the editorial titles, and for the main body text to be a more traditional serif font like Palatino or Times New Roman.

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Futura: a couple of interesting articles

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Font study: Futura


This is an in depth study of the font characteristics and also looks at its historical context and finishes with a series of beautiful poster designs for the font.

Know your type: Futura 


This shorter article looks more at the font’s historical context and how it is used in culture and society today.

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First draft of double page spread

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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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