Unit 40 Typographic and Layout Design

magazine 4

magazine 2

magazine 3

magazine 1

These are a development on the layout ideas in the post before. By using actual text and images, it allows me to see the weight of different elements on the page. I’ve tried to utilise white space to keep it feeling clean and modern. I think this process has given me a better idea of the way images can be placed on the page, but I think I need to now go on-screen to start experimenting further as it gives me more flexibility to move things around and see how different layouts would work if a picture was placed somewhere else, for example. I also feel like by trying to use white space and trying to keep everything well-balanced, I’ve tried to push everything into the middle of the page, so on InDesign I’d like to try using the whole page and maybe trying layouts that are a little less traditional.


My architectural movement for the magazine project is Greek Revival. I am going to use images of The Great Court of The British Museum designed originally by Robert Smirke with a recent redesign by Lord Foster, The Capitol Dome designed by Thomas Walter and The Lincoln Memorial designed by Henry Bacon. For my own choice of architecture I am going to use images of modern architecture that consists of lots of clean, geometric lines.

edit: I have decided to use different images for my article on modern architecture as these weren’t high res enough.

I like how the covers of these magazines are designed to allow for any image, as the text is quite separate and the design is simple and not overpowering. I don’t really like the pink stripe though! In the second image, I think its clever how the photograph and type is placed together, it shows that they don’t have to be limited by each other. I like the simple design of the double page spread with lots of white space and the text that looks quite light and elegant on the page.

I like the design of this cover for how simple it is, with only a photograph and the magazine name. I think in mine though, I would like to try adding some sort of a contents so that I have more to work with. I think this works well at looking quite unisex, I’d say the font could be slightly more feminine, but used in this way it appeals to both men and women. As for the double page spread, other spreads in this magazine share a similar format, but using different typefaces for the titles gives each of them a slightly different look and suggests the feeling of the piece. I also like the use of a full bleed image, and obviously the use of lots of white space.

The double page spread here shows examples of ways images can be overlapped. I dont particularly like how the text has been laid out though, there seems to be no sense of heirarchy and just from glancing at it, I can’t tell where the starting point is supposed to be. On the cover, which is obviously very feminine, I like the bold title and image that includes some hand drawn typography.

I think I like parts of this cover the least out of the others here, because I personally feel that the title looks a bit stuck in the corner and isn’t well balanced with the striking photograph. I do like how a contents has been included down the side though. The layout of the text used in the double page spreads is quite unusual how ones wrapped round the other, although it doesn’t made it harder to read but I think I prefer just simple columns. I think its interesting though how the photographs on the next page sort of reflect the shape of the text.

The cover is this magazine works well because the black and white colours would likely look good next to any image,and because the text is separate from the picture, there isn’t the problem of trying to fit the two together without taking the focus away from particular areas. I also quite like how the issue number is made to be an important feature and that the features are displayed in a simple way, but that still attracts attention. I also like the way the spreads look, they allow for lots of breathing space, and the text is layed out in a way that doesn’t look intimidating, but is balanced enough against the images. The top article is about music,and the typography on the left page creates a visual representation of the flow of music. I hadn’t thought to experiment with typography to convey a message in my own design, but this is something I would now like to consider.

I liked this magazine for the design of its infographics that are seen throughout. The style of it is consistant throughout and uses the same set of colours and fonts. I like this approach, but I think this could make the use of photographic images difficult as the dynamic of a photograph can effect how the rest of the design looks and feels. Frogs seem to be used a lot in their articles, I think this is a nice idea – to have something associated with the magazine appear in the designs.

Shown here is the front and back covers of an issue of Nevertheless magazine. I like this because of the simple design and layout. All information needed, other than the barcode on the back, is placed within a white circle which means almost anything could probably be used on the covers and would still look good. This is something I have to try to achieve in my project and is why we have to create two different front covers – so that our design is able to work with a lots of different images, and still look good and inviting.

This design caught my eye because of the way the text fits around the image and how the image fades into the white space. Because the picture has a lot going on, I think this helps to bring everything together, stopping the text from feeling lost on the page. The bold header allows for a heirarchy within the different pieces of text, and the way it is positioned, to me, mirrors the shape of the skeletal mammoths head.

I really like the cover for this magazine as it includes information about the features, but in a much sleeker way than if it were to be all over the page in huge text. I like the use of white space, but I think it looks less interesting than some of the other covers here. In my own designs I think I’d like the image to take up the entire page, like in some of the magazines above. I like the simple header and folios at the top of the page too, as well as the way bold fonts have been used in places to balance out the design and images.

For this exercise, we had to experiment with possible layouts for a magazine spread. Here, the top half are symmetrical and the bottom are asymmetrical. Though theres more freedom with where things can be placed when the design is asymmetrical, I actually found these ideas harder, I think I find design easier when there are more bounderies and requirements as this gives me a starting point to go from. Even though these are just rough sketches, I’m quite happy with how they look – I tried to embrace lots of white space to keep a modern feel to them and experimented with picture size and position.


12pt, Times New Roman, Auto Leading: On screen, this looked completely fine, but once printed the size was obviously too big. This shows the importance of doing test prints after changes are made because on screen your sense of proportion can be completely off.


9.5pt, Caslon, Auto: We then changed the size to 9.5, this looked quite a bit better in terms of size, but was maybe still a bit too big.


9.5pt, Caslon, Italic: This looks okay in italic, but you wouldn’t want to read a whole page like this, italic is usually best for just small pieces of text or information.


9.5, Caslon, 16pt Leading: Large amounts of text appear easier to read with a higher leading as it gives the design breathing space and looks far less cramped than the previous tests.


8pt, Times New Roman, Auto and 8pt, Gill Sans, Auto: This was to see the variation is sizes in fonts when they are at the same point size. Here Times New Roman seems slightly bigger and easier to read.


8pt, Gill Sans, Auto, Justified: When making magazine articles, justified text makes for a much cleaner design. The gap left after the end of each paragraph allows the reader to see when the next paragraph begins.


4pt Indent: Adding an indent to the start of a paragraph is another way of letting the reader see where a new paragraph begins. However, here it seems to break the clean, justified line.


Return Line Space: A return space can be used to show paragraphs, but here I think it looks too messy as the space seems far too big.


2mm Paragraph Space: I think this space works much better as it is just enough to define each paragraph, but doesn’t break up the overall design.



Cross bar: A horizontal stroke connecting two stems as in A, H, or a simple stroke as in f and t.

Counter: The white space enclosed by a letterform, whether wholly enclosed, as in d or o, or partially, as in c or m.

Arm: Short horizontal strokes, as in E, F, L, T.

Ascender: The part of a lowercase letter that rises above the x-height, as in letters ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘f’, ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘t’ and ‘l’.

Bowl: The generally round or elliptical forms which are the basic body shape of letters such as C, G, O in the uppercase, and b, c, e, o, p in the lowercase.

Descender: Part of a lowercase letter projecting below the baseline.

Ear: The stroke attached to the bowl of the lowercase g. Some typographers use the same term for the lowercase r.

Stem: A main stroke that is more or less straight, not part of a bowl. The letter o has no stem; the letter I consists of stem and serifs alone.

Shoulder: The curved stroke aiming downward from a stem. The curve at the beginning of a leg of a character, such as in an “m.”

Serifs: serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols.

Sans Serif: a typeface that doesn’t have serifs.


Height: Nowadays, the point system is considered the standard method used to determine the measurement of type. One point is equal to inch or .35mm. 12 points are equal to 1 pica, the unit commonly used to measure column widths. Type can also be measured in inches, millimetres or pixels; most software applications let the designer choose the preferred unit.

Width: Letters also have a horizontal measure, called the set width. This is equal to the body of the letter, plus a sliver of space that protects it from other letters. The width of a letter is essential to the proportions and the visual impression of a typeface. Some have a narrow set width and some have a wide one.


Scale is the size of design elements in comparison to other elements in a layout, as well as to the physical context of the work. Scale is also relative, for example, 12pt type of a 32 inch screen can look very small, but 12pt type on the page of a book can appear too heavy. Changes in scale can create visual contrast, movement and depth and can express a hierarchy of importance.

Type Families

Roman: Plain/regular, standard upright version of a typeface.

Italic: Used for emphasis, often employs shapes and strokes distinct from its roman counterpart.

Small Caps: Designed to integrate with a line of text where full sized capitals would stand out awkwardly.

Bold: Added in the 20th century to meet the needs for emphatic forms.

Bold Italic: When designing italic and bold italic, the typeface designer tries to make the versions feel similar in comparison to the roman without making the overall form too heavy.

Mixing Typefaces

When mixing typefaces on the same line, the point sizes need to be adjusted so that the x-heights align. On separate lines, a contrast in style or weight often works well and creates a better impact. Mixing typefaces that are too close in weight or appearance often doesn’t work well as there isn’t enough contrast.


Lining Numerals: take up uniform widths of space and line up when used in columns. However, they can look big and bulky in running text as they are the same size as capitals.

Non-lining Numerals: have ascenders and descenders like lowercase letters and integrate visually in running text.

Examples: Text designed for extreme conditions, such as Retina, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones for use in the Wall Street Journal’s financial pages; include notched forms to prevent ink from filling in the letterforms when printed at tiny sizes.

Widows and Orphans

Widows and Orphans are stray words at the ends of paragraphs or the tops of pages that create visual holes in the flow of text.


Kerning is the adjustment of space between two letters. Some letter combinations look awkward without special spacing considerations. Gaps occur around letters whose forms angle outward or frame an open space (e.g. W, Y, V, T.) In metal type, kerned letters extend past the lead slugs that support them, allowing letters to fit together more closely. In digital fonts the space between the letter pairs is controlled by a kerning table that is created by the type designer. It specifies spaces between problematic letter combinations.

Metric Kerning: Uses the kerning tables built into the typeface. It is the spacing that was intended by the type designer.

Optical Kerning: Executed automatically by the page layout programme. It assesses the shapes of all characters and adjusts the spacing wherever needed.

The subtle differences between metric and optical kerning become more apparent at larger sizes.

Classification of Typefaces:

Old Style: The roman typefaces of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries emulated classical calligraphy. Sabon was designed by Jan Tschichold in 1966, based on the sixteenth-century typefaces of Claude Garamond.

 Modern: The typefaces designed by Giambattista Bodoni in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are radically abstract. Note the thin, straight serifs; vertical axis; and sharp contrast from thick to thin strokes.

Transitional: These typefaces have sharper serifs and a more vertical axis than humanist letters. When the fonts of John Baskerville were introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, their sharp forms and high contrast were considered shocking.

Egyptian: Numerous bold and decorative typefaces were introduced in the nineteenth century for use in advertising. Egyptian fonts have heavy, slab-like serifs.

 Sans Serif: The first sans serif typefaces date from early in the 19th century. As the name implies these typefaces are characterised by the absence of serifs. Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger in 1957, is one of the world’s most widely used typefaces.

Typographic and Layout Design


For a publisher, the best magazine is the one that sells the most. Just by looking at the racks in the newsagents you can see what the majority of publishers believe sells magazines. In short, a magazine publisher will try as many different ways to get you to buy, but few will use good design. As up to 40% of a magazines circulation depends on the cover, it is the part of the magazine that is most closely controlled, more often than not by the motive for profit, rather than any aesthetic ambition. For a designers, the best magazine cover is one that captures the imagination, reflects the message of the content and supports a lasting identity that can be remembered and identified from all the rows of happy smiling faces on the shelves.


Create designs for the new look design Architectural Review magazine. You must produce two front cover designs showing how the design will realte to a series. One of the covers must feature a lead article of tthe revival of a historical architectural period. You must also produce one double page feature spread, the title and nature of your feature should reflect the subject of one of the two covers. No advertising. You must use text from an exisiting article on a similar theme – no dummy copy. Your design must use a minimum of three pages, incorporate the title and use the five column grid as specified left. Rules, blocks and other graphic devices are allowed but use them sparingly. It is expected that your design will make use of white space. Start with thumbnail sketches and progress to hald size comps for development and refinement. You must use Adobe InDesign CS2 to create this work.

Learning Outcomes

1.Understand typographix and layout conventions used in the work of others.

2. Know terminology used within typographic and layout design.

3. Be able to use computers and other media to develop typographic and layout designs.

4. Be able to evaluate own typographic and layout design outcomes.