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4 Tutorials that teach Layouts in Context
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Layouts in Context

Layouts in Context

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In this lesson you will learn to analyze layout examples applying knowledge of principles and elements of design.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to today's lesson on layouts in context. For today's lesson, you're going to learn to analyze layout examples and applying knowledge of principles and elements of design. Specifically, this lesson will look at:

  1. GP Magazine Article
  2. Graphic Design Piece
  3. Book Cover
  4. Vanity Fair Cover
  5. Looper Movie Poster

1. GP Magazine Article

Below is an image from a GP Article

Like a magazine article, if you had both pages, you'd have a spread.

Term to Know

    • Spread
    • The term for two facing pages.

When you look at the article, first of all you notice that naturally hierarchy plays a huge role here. Elements of the page have been selectively placed to create a particular eye flow. Aside from the giant GP logo that just borders on big type style, you have a pretty clear headline, "PCTs restrict access to diagnostic scans." Nothing else in the page comes close to the size and weight of that line of type. Then you have columns of body copy below that. You even have a lovely image of that man in the MRI machine with a caption below it. Notice around this page the very clear margins, the separation between the text and the edges of the page. You'll also notice that the type here is justified within the columns to make it easier to read.

Terms to Know

    • Hierarchy
    • The organization of elements according to importance. In typography, hierarchy is achieved by placement, size, color or style.
    • Eye Flow
    • The path of a viewer's eye.
    • Headline
    • In a layout, a main heading above a block of text.
    • Column
    • In a layout, a defined block of space that contains type or image. Columns are bordered by margins.
    • Caption
    • In page layout, lines of descriptive text positioned under a graphic or photograph.
    • Margins
    • White space which frames the elements in a page layout.
    • Justified Alignment
    • Lines of type which are spaced to align along both a left and a right margin, creating a block.

So there's a lot going on here and it could easily be overwhelming, so it's important to take all the things that you've learned and apply them in a way that will be able to provide the reader a nice aesthetic, a very easy flow and readability.

Term to Know

    • Readability
    • How easily words and blocks of words can be read.

2. Graphic Design Piece

Next is a graphic design piece that reads "when triangles make friends, you get a hexagon."


The first thing to notice here aside from the graphic was the centered alignment, as opposed to left or right alignment, there's also a nice sense of mirroring here. Both the top and bottom portion of the text have two different typefaces being used.

Terms to Know

    • Centered Alignment
    • Lines of type which are aligned along a central axis.
    • Left Alignment
    • Lines of type which are aligned to a left margin and ragged on the right.
    • Right Alignment
    • Lines of type which align to right margin and are ragged on the left.
    • Typeface
    • The complete name of a type family member, typically containing the name of the publisher, family, weight, posture and width.

So "when triangles" and "you get a" have the same typeface being used. Likewise, "make friends" and "hexagon" have the same typeface being used. The position and size of these two particular words establishes a certain flow as well. Your eye is drawn to the type with larger size and weight, so your eyes kind of tend to scan "make friends" and "hexagon" really quick before the rest of you sort of catches up and then goes through the design as a whole. So "when triangles make friends, you get a hexagon."


3. Book Cover

Below is a design cover for a book entitled Martian Time-Slip, written by Philip K. Dick.

This is very basic and simple, but hierarchy is evident here again, and really important. The name of the book is the most important bit of information on this cover. You need to know it and you want to know it. You want to know what it's called first. Of course, the large text with thick strokes is going to help achieve that. Even though you have that bright eye-bleeding ribbon above that, your eyes are still drawn to Martian Time-Slip and Philip K. Dick.


4. Vanity Fair Cover

There's a lot going on in the Vanity Fair cover below.

With the exception of a few elements of type in this particular example, particularly the bottom lines here that read "the Hollywood Issue," the rest of the type appears to be identical but in different weights and sizes. This helps tie everything together and provide unity. As you can tell, the text alignment is all over the place, so very free-form, definitely not something you'd want to see in a book. It does provide some dynamic qualities to this cover. Notice how they establish those levels of hierarchy on this cover. "Vanity Fair" is bold, large, all capitals. It nearly takes up the entire space edge to edge. Then each body copy has its own head or rather subhead.

Terms to Know

    • Free Form
    • Lines of type which do not appear to follow a strict justified or right, left or centered alignment.
    • Sub-head
    • In a page layout, a heading smaller and of lesser importance than a headline.

It says "10th Anniversary Portfolio" and then "400" and then "pages of moms" et cetera, and then "Michael Jackson faces the music," and then more information and then "2004 Hollywood Issue." Despite how busy it is, it's actually still quite neat how they use it to their advantage.


5. Looper Movie Poster

This movie poster for  "Looper" is quite simple, but very effective.


There are great graphical elements and everything fits really well together. All the type is positioned in areas that your eyes can easily and quickly catch, read, and absorb, and provide that sense of unity by the use of the same or similar typeface, the capital letters across the board, and this really nice balanced layout, kind of equal distribution of visual weight, that large type below that half of the page and that reads "Looper." 

Then you kind of collect the smaller-size type above that's a bit more spread out. On top, there is a more dynamic distribution of the type, almost creating a triangle. Below you have type that's centered as far as alignment goes. You can see you have your "written and directed by Ryan Johnson," and then "Looper" is centered. Then more body copy below that that's centered as well. Most importantly, it's easy to read!

Summary

Well, that concludes today's lesson on layouts in context. This lesson looked at the majority of the layout elements in a variety of contexts, including: GP Magazine Article, a graphic design piece, a book cover, Vanity Fair's Magazine cover, and the Looper Movie Poster.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Typeface

    The complete name of a type family member, typically containing the name of the publisher, family, weight, posture and width.

  • Readability

    How easily words and blocks of words can be read.

  • Margins

    White space which frames the elements in a page layout.

  • Eye Flow

    The path of a viewer's eye.

  • Free Form

    Lines of type which do not appear to follow a strict justified or right, left or centered alignment.

  • Left Alignment

    Lines of type which are aligned to a left margin and ragged on the right.

  • Right Alignment

    Lines of type which align to right margin and are ragged on the left.

  • Centered Alignment

    Lines of type which are aligned along a central axis.

  • Justified Alignment

    Lines of type which are spaced to align along both a left and a right margin, creating a block.

  • Spread

    The term for two facing pages.

  • Column

    In a layout, a defined block of space that contains type or image. Columns are bordered by margins.

  • Hierarchy

    The organization of elements according to importance. In typography, hierarchy is achieved by placement, size, color or style.

  • Headline

    In a layout, a main heading above a block of text.

  • Sub-head

    In a page layout, a heading smaller and of lesser importance than a headline.

  • Caption

    In page layout, lines of descriptive text positioned under a graphic or photograph.