I’ve started with what I consider a more standard editorial layout. The Sunday Times Magazine is known for its in-depth journalism and high quality photojournalism on a range of subject matter.
Although I’d say the design is fairly safe, it does its job and is sympathetic to its content. The pages speak well to its audience with full bodied journalism that is tidy on the page and photo stories often involving much more negative space for interpretation and contemplation.
I have chosen numerous spreads from The Sunday Times Magazine that contain elements I like and elements I don’t like.
These first pages are stuck on my wall as they contain elements I particularly like. FIrstly, I find myself drawn to establishing images that don’t fill the page but cross over like this, linking the two pages and leaving a natural column for the headline and title and possibly even the start of the story.
The headline is placed underneath the standfirst but is still the first text the eyes are drawn to as it is a more familiar headline font that is bold, larger and a darker colour. I think its clever how a quote is used as the headline, giving the article a sophistication.
I like the choice of colour for the standfirst, which compliments the green that sits alongside the text and brings out the similar tones of the subjects face, hair and in particular her eyes strengthening the imagery and overall layout.
The space at the top and bottom of the page is important I think as it places the content well on the page, as though it’s meant to be there. I think it’s a similar psychology to photographers cropping subjects too close to the edge – it creates an uneasy feeling when looking at it.
There is crucial information contained in the far corners of the page, that tell the viewer everything they need to know without needing to leave the page: the title of the magazine, the page number, who has written the article/who the article is about.
The left alignment of the text is classic but I don’t think on this occasion it would work aesthetically in any other way as the picture doesn’t leave enough room for it to be centred and a right alignment would create an odd space in between.
This simple story page contains a few essential elements that I’ve noted such as a captioned image. The image alone would not be informative journalism.
The quote gives a black and white page colour making it a more visually dynamic and less intimidating page, where the content is a text majority.
Similar to the establisher page, the content is aligned to the left creating negative space to the right, separating the article from the advertisement and keeping it neat as well as not overwhelming the reader. There is also a similar space between the quote and main body of text which has the same affect on the page.
I prefer this style of establishing layout less than the previous as I think it’s difficult to make text look good on top of a photograph in this editorial style. I also enjoy seeing white around a photograph, which places the image on the page.
If I’m honest, I find it difficult to describe why I dislike this style of layout. It’s more of an unsettled feeling that I am trying to justify that knowing the objective reasons as there is nothing ‘wrong’ with it. It becomes about personal taste.
I think it is because I am too aware of the text and its placement on the photograph. My mind becomes a cursor, moving the text around the page to where I might have placed it instead, rather than being able to just absorb the image and read the words.
I do like the simplicity of the headline, standfirst and credit. The designer could have chosen the writing to be in the vibrant red but I think that the impact would have taken away from the polar bear. White is clean and simple, as the picture says it all.
Unlike the journalism article, the picture essay article contains much less writing and more negative space. The emphasis being on the pictures telling the story.
There are eleven pictures in total. I have chosen this page just to show the style of layout. I think it is because of the amount of pictures, the writing element is less necessary. If the story were to be these three pictures alone, we would need more explanation.
My article will only be two double page spreads long and contain maybe three to five pictures so more writing is going to be necessary to carry the story – I think.
I’m less keen on this layout in the same article about Sally Potter. I find all the gaps of space unpleasing to the eye, as there seems to be no structure to them. I also can’t figure out why the Judi Dench text is aligned to the right as opposed to Julie Christie and Jude Law, which are both alligned to the left.
I wanted to use this an example of headline style I really dislike. Boxes in pictures is something I think looks really intrusive. I can see that it is useful, for images that don’t contain enough negative space to drop text on top of, but I think it looks awful.
To me, this whole spread looks overcrowded, which is probably due to the huge adverts, forcing headlines on top of pictures and dropping text anywhere that’s left.
Photography or art needs to rule the page and at the same time allow space for reflection. Luckily I won’t have to deal with any compromises such as advertisements.