Tag Archives: typography

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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Sticking with Futura

I know I used Futura in the last design but I think this design is different enough in the content, design and how I shot for the spread that I don’t mind that I’ve used one of the same fonts. I just think I love how neutral and elegant it is, whilst not being too suggestive and giving the spreads a professional, modern finish. You can really do what you want with it as there are 20 versions of the font and each have a very different feel, which is why I think it works on different levels for different stories!


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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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Design 7: Longing for Joshua


I always thought this picture would work as an establishing shot as it shows a beautiful but quite an emotional moment between Paul and Joshua making it a strong picture but also descriptive. However I wanted to try and work with the others first as I knew I could do more with them in terms of design.

I’ve also tried to think of something different with the title by placing a strip of picture behind it and turning down the opacity – something very simple but potentially effective.

I like the design but somehow it has more of a feeling of being a film poster rather than the opening of a photographic picture story…I might be trying too hard when actually, simple is best!




I thought I’d see how it worked on my original design. Using the picture from Design 5, I cropped it so that both faces were in the strip, which are then opposites of the two establishing shots above, emphasising the meaning of the headline.

Again, maybe this is too busy? Is it necessary to try and be clever like this and will the busy page just lose the attention of the reader?



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Design 4: Longing for Joshua, full page bleed


Whilst working with this shot on the establishing pages of designs 1-3 I was aware that there was enough space in this image to use it as a full bleed to place text over the top of it.

You may remember from my posts whilst researching editorials and designing Longevity that I was fairly against the idea of  placing text over the top of image. I find it’s often done badly and as a result is really distracting to both the image and the writing, making me as a ‘reader’ too aware of the design elements than of the story/image.

BUT…I need to give it a go and I did shoot certain shots with this in mind to see if I could achieve a design that was a little more out of my comfort zone in terms of aesthetics and design.

In fact, placing the text over the top of this image does not bother me at all and I think it works really nicely.

Never Lazy Magazine, ISSUU

Below is a similar head and shoulders portrait that has been used as the establisher to a photo story. In this example, I find that the headline kissing his face and quote that overlaps his shoulders is distracting, despite the portrait being decent.

Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 12.39.07

What I do like is how the headline mirrors the tones of the picture, so I’ve tried some for my own:


Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 15.42.55 Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 15.50.48


Although the colour below looks more fitting with the tones of the picture, ‘Photography and words: Amy Romer’ gets a little lost in the picture. Looking back at the black headline, it certainly looks more defined and jumps out at you more than this.


I left the title of the magazine at the top as I like the design element but also because there isn’t enough room at the top of the image to place it within the frame.

The problem I faced when designing this was thinking up a headline that made up for the absence of Paul because this picture alone does not really tell us too much about the story. The headline therefore needed to be descriptive.

I’m still unsure as to whether this is enough to lead someone into the story. I think the picture is strong but I wonder if there are too many questions without Paul in the frame? Or maybe the focus on Joshua is a good thing and it’s as though the viewer is looking from the eyes of Paul?

I think it’s something I’m going to get some opinions on before deciding.

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Design 3: Two Establishing Shots


A minor change from Design 2 as this time I have joined up the two images in the central gutter. I think for the establishing page it could be a good thing to do as these two pictures stand for one thing. They are not two separate elements to the story and neither are they the beginning of the narrative; they just act as a collective summary.



I’ve tried to see how the story works if I limit the amount of pictures within it. Below are the pictures I took out:

_MG_0394 _MG_0213

I took these two pictures out as they don’t contribute to the story as such. However, having taken them out and looking at the four that remain, I do think they contribute to the overall story about the relationship between Paul and Joshua. They are the quieter moments, which can be as important as the ‘doing’ moments.



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Rearranging Design 1


I just wanted to see what it looked like to have a more vertical second page to match the first page but I still think I prefer the way that the pictures work in a lengthways three.

I’ve also taken out two pictures that I thought could potentially be replaced by pictures I was considering. I think this picture story creates more of a narrative but I prefer the two pictures I’ve taken out to these. The question is whether this narrative is strong enough that the compromise is worth it.

This story opens with ‘Me in You, You in Me’, which tells us that the story is about the unconditional love between father and son. The detail of the tattoo also suggests that there is a story behind their relationship, without telling us too much – (hopefully just enough to make you want to turn the page!)

On the second page it is suggested that Paul has picked up Joshua and they are walking together happily into town where they get some food from McDonalds. They then go to Paul’s flat where they will spend the evening, have bath time and an intimate embrace as the day comes to an end. The story then finishes with the absence of Joshua.

If I were to use the other selection the story would be more about the relationship between father and son rather than a linear narrative of the weekend. Either can work, I just need to figure out what is more interesting and how I can write the story for it.

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Design 2: Two Establshing Shots


In Design 2, I have very simply switched the vertical layout to become horizontal. I don’t think one works better than the other, it is just a matter of preference. However, I do think that layout 1 reminds me of my final design of Longevity due to the writing being on one side, pictures on the other with lots of white space surrounding and for that reason I’m leaning towards Design 2 which has it’s writing spread across the length of the page.



I’ve kept the same layout for the second page because I think it works better when coupled with the second establishing page design because they are both horizontal layouts and flow into each other nicely.


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Design 1: Two establishing shots



In my last post I explained that I was trying to work out whether these two images work well as an establishing spread to the story of Joshua and Paul and I’m pleased to say that I think they do!


Although the content of the two images are fairly different, i.e. a detail and a close-up portrait, they are similar in the way they are shot – with a 50mm lens and large aperture so there is an aesthetic similarly and they both have connotations that tell you what the story is about as opposed to telling you any denotation. For example, the tattoo is a sign of commitment and love for his absent child and the portrait of Josh with its neutral colours and detailed perfect skin is a portrait of innocence and beauty.


What really marries the two images together is the headline (thanks Dad). It gives both images purpose as one is lost without the other – which is indeed the case with unconditional love.



Having made the establishing page, I had a think about what pictures I could use for the second. These six pictures seemed to hold a balance between them as three describe their activities together (the top three) and three are beautiful moments between the two of them. On the left, Joshua looks at his Dad with love as he gets him ready for bed. The middle picture shows them playing a game in the bath and I have captured a moment where their hands form a beautiful similarity. The third shot shows a moment of equal emotion and love in the form of an embrace between father and son.

I’ve placed the pictures in places I think works. I saw a clear division in content between the top and bottom images, which is how I divided those and then I thought about what would start the story – a picture of them walking along the river, which reads as Paul picking Joshua up and them both being very happy about it.

I placed the wide shot of them on the sofa in the middle as the other two are in different places other than the flat so it seemed to make sense to place it in the centre.

The bath shot went in the middle because it holds a neutral, lighter colour that separates from the other two, which are both in the flat and similar in ways.

I’m also aware that by placing two pictures through the centre of the spread will mean that the centre of the image gets slightly cut into the gutter of the double page. However, this is done in many editorials and I think that as long as you don’t place a picture where the centre of the picture is critical to the image then it is not a problem. Both my images contain subjects at the sides and I think therefore it is okay.

The Design

I’ve tried to keep the design simple and crisp as I did with Longevity because right now I am concerned with content. I just did what I felt was best as a starting point. This means using Futura for the headline again and this time using Courier New for the poetry, page numbers and title of the editorial, which I didn’t use before but I would still conifer it a crisp, classic and modern type face.

William Wordsworth

As I haven’t written the story yet I was trying to think of what to write on the page to avoid filling with placeholder text so I started looking at poetry about fathers and sons and found this perfect verse by William Wordsworth.


I have a boy of five years old;

His face is fair and fresh to see;

His limbs are cast in beauty’s mould,

And dearly he loves me.


It mirrors both the headline and the images when I read it and so I feel it has a belonging on the page to help establish the story between Paul and Joshua. Although I do have a concern that it might be necessary to describe the story on the establishing page as I did in Longevity but as I am more free to experiment with this spread, I am happy to run with it for now.


I’m going to continue having a play with this layout to try and get the best from it before using other establishing images in order to make a comparison and further develop the design and write the story.

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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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