Ephemera – The Process

From completing all of my research I am now more confident about tackling this project. I am constantly referring back to the brief to ensure I complete it to the highest standard. I therefore began with creating some sketches of brief designs to see what could potentially work. I also placed the text into an InDesign document and began to play with it to see how it could all fit in.

I found that there was much more text than what I’d anticipated and so I found it to be a struggle to fit everything in nicely. I found Jessica Walsh’s interview to be the most problematic as she had much more text than everyone else. To overcome this I thought I’d place her over three pages and try to fit one of the other designers on to one.

At this point I had a tutorial with David, he said that my layout had a nice pace to it and liked my experimentation with the typography, especially with ‘Sawdust’. However, he did say that I needed to work on my type detailing and asked whether left align would work better, but if I were to go for justified text then I would have to work on the detailing. I found the tutorial to be really helpful, he gave me useful points to think of and it gave me a chance to reflect properly on what I had done. I was happy with the system I had put in place, but really needed to start considering the finer details to make it stand out more.

One thing I wanted to address was the typeface. I used Helvetica. I really liked this choice because it was a large font family, giving me more options to play with the weights to help gain a sense of hierarchy. However, I did find that it was a large typeface and when looking at some of my peers work  they managed to have more space on the page due to their choice of typeface. I also had a lot of type detailing issues. From this I decided to change it to Gill Sans, another strong typeface in my opinion. This gave me more room on the page and also helped with some of the type detailing issues, although more work is still needed with that.

As well as altering the type I also wanted to play with the quotes I pulled out. I really like the outcome of these as I feel they pop on the page and are much more visually interesting in my opinion. Furthermore, I tried to resolve my d=type detailing issue, but found that justified text was simply not working.

I also had a group tutorial with Neil and some peers. I though on the whole it went well, however, Neil did pick out some key points and questioned the feeling that justified text gave and where we would normally find it i.e. newspapers etc. Upon reflection part of me felt that this piece of ephemera is designed to be informative and for that justified text works. On the other hand left align text has a much more humanistic feel to it and I thought that as I was dealing with real people, real designers that it should have a more human and fluid feel to it. My peers also pointed out that there was a lack of consistency with the placement of the ‘CINEMA….’ text on each page making it slightly difficult to read. This is something that I will definitely address. Going away from the tutorial I realised that each decision made has an impact of some sort and that I must consider the feeling or emotion that the choices I make have on the audience. It comes down to having a deeper understanding of people and society in general. This is not a mindset that I am used to having and therefore I believe that with practice and time this will strengthen within my work.


Changing the alignment of text does give the ephemera piece a different feel, through feeling more relaxed and fluid. However, I still found that there was more work to be done with the type detailing, such as ensuring the rag was to a high standard etc.

I felt that once I’d corrected the errors, it was a great improvement. I was given pointers by David to look out for widows and orphans and also lines that ended with one word as the start to a new sentence as this prevented disjointed reading and are important elements to note with type detailing. He also noted that there was a lack of consistency with Felix Pfaeffli and Eike König compared to the other names due to the kerning, hence the change seen above. I agree with the comments David made and I am happy with the change. Although there is now a consistency, I still feel there is a variety between the style of typography between each designer, which I am pleased with.

The final element of the booklet was the back and front cover. Initially I was pleased with my designs. However, after speaking to David, he said I should place the both the designboom logo and chapter logo on the back and that the social media links didn’t need to go along the side, although he could see that I was trying to create balance. With the front cover he suggested I play with the hierarchy a little more, especially with the text in the bottom left corner. He also made a point about playing with the words ‘presents’ and ‘festival’ through rotation perhaps.

I took on board all of the comments and played with the two covers. I am much happier with these. I feel they are more refined and stand out a little more as there is a stronger sense of hierarchy.

Here is the final piece. I printed on to light green coloured paper as I wanted the text to stand out and felt a bold colour would detract from that. Although the print quality is not great on the whole I am pleased with my design. I feel it is clean, has plenty of negative space to aid the design. I am also pleased with the experimentation of typography, although I do wonder if I could have pushed it further. I also think that the type detailing has been executed well, although there may still be areas I could work on.

On the whole, I have thoroughly enjoyed this project and the restricted parameters given to work in were a challenge and I like a challenge. I have never designed or been faced with a brief like this before and therefore it has been a huge learning kerb for me. I now understand why there is a need for a grid system and have gained a deeper understanding into what is required when designing for a client and target audience. I felt Neil really opened my mind into a different way of thinking and approaching a given design brief, which I will take with me whenever I am given a brief.


Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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