Changing Faces Editorial Design – The Articles

We have 10 articles from which to choose from, these being:

  1. Silicon Valleys Quest to Live Longer.
  2. Is Fat Killing You? Or Is Sugar?
  3. Everything will change.
  4. Can President Trump Handle the Truth?
  5. Can a French Friar End the 21st Century Slave Trade?
  6. About a Boy.
  7. A Decade Lived In The Dark.
  8. I Took The AI Class That Facebookers Are Literally Sprinting To Get Into.
  9. Aaron Banks: ‘Brexit was a war won. We won. There’s no turning back now.’
  10. How an Anarchist Bitcoin Coder Found Himself Fighting ISIS in Syria.

I have read all 10 articles and with each article broke it down into some simple bullet points in order to break down the large body of text and to try and see the potential each one has.

From here I selected the articles that stood out the most to me. These included: ‘Everything Will Change’, ‘Can President Trump Handle the Truth?’ and ‘Can a French Friar End The 21st Century Slave Trade?’

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Everything Will Change:

I chose this article because it surrounds the issue of climate change, something which immediately caught my attention. However, what I liked most was the tone of the article. Unlike the others, it was not written about someone else or looking through an individuals perspective, it is as if the writer is writing directly to the viewer – creating a connection with said person. There is a sense of pleading and despair throughout.

But what worries me with this article is that there have been so many visualisations of climate change, I worry that the design will be something very cliche. For example, mark making could be done with materials such as oil and coal, but I feel that this is something that has been done before – how do you create something different?

Can President Trump Handle the Truth?:

I selected this article because I found the topic interesting. It is known that Donald Trump makes many allegations that have put not himself but the people he has spoken of at scrutiny. What caught my attention with this article was the idea of truth and deceit – a concept I think can be played with within the design of the spreads. Although the writing style is not the same as Everything Will Change, upon reading the article I found that there are quite a few key statements that could be pulled out, highlighted and played with – creating more room for experimentation.

I do worry with this article whether it will be too constraining and whether I will struggle to develop several concepts to play with.

Can a French Friar End The 21st Century Slave Trade?:

This was the final article that stood out to me. To be honest I found the article quite shocking because I didn’t realise the severity of slavery across the world, not only in South America. As well as that I didn’t realise that there were so many different slave trade’s to be found, reading of the dangers people like Xavier Passat the French Friar have in trying to stop slavery made it more real. It was clear through reading the article that not enough is being done about slavery. I therefore thought that this would be an interesting article to design. I thought that it might be interesting to try and create imagery depicting slavery – not explicitly, but by perhaps through an emotion, where colour choice and material choice would be key.

This article would need a lot more research as I do not know anything about the slave trade and I worry that I will spend too much time researching and not enough time focusing on the designing. I feel at the moment it has a wide scope because I do not know much about the subject and depictions of it, which may make it difficult to narrow down in the time I have to complete it, potentially making the narrative confusing and difficult to read.


Changing Faces Editorial Design – The Brief

For our newest project we have been given a brief to combine all of the skills that we have learnt throughout our first year into an editorial design. This will mean combining typography with image making with narrative to create three double page spreads. We will have the option of which article we would like to design around, based on current issues taking place in the world.

As designers it is indicative that we have a firm understanding of the world around us, both locally and internationally.

Editorial Requirements:

  • 3 double page spreads or 2 double page spreads and 2 single pages (total of 6 pages).
  • Minimum size requirement for each page: 315mm x 225mm.
  • Minimum word count: 1500.
  • Article should be backed up with additional research and original images.
  • Concept is key! Explore several concepts before committing to one.
  • Consider: typographic hierarchy and detailing, grid systems, image hierarchy, legibility, colour range, font choice, paper choice.
  • Evidence of creative and innovative thinking is key.
  • Design Sheets – you will develop a number of iterations of your double page spreads, these must be printed ad bound and evidenced.
  • Print off proofs throughout – as this is a print project.
  • The target audience is you.


Keynotes Term 2

02/02/17 Purple Haze – Art Nouveau in 60s Psychedelia

This keynote focused on how past concepts can resurface in new forms and is something which applies to every discipline. Although it focused on Art Nouveau in 60s Psychedelia, the key message was that we should not take work from the past and recreate it, but to take the concepts and features of past work and fuse them with your own style to create something new.

Art Nouveau in 60s Psychedelia was used as an example of this process. Art Nouveau was an era that began in the 1890s until the first world war. Its distinct style include swirls and natural motifs – no geometric shapes can be found. There were also women integrated into the design causing a confusion in the image as to where nature begins and the woman ends. The patterns of nature were also often abstracted.

The theme here was Metamorphic: The integration of the human figure and nature.

Key figures that displayed the style of art nouveau were explored in the lecture. It began with looking at Gaudi’s work, a famous Spanish architect whose work reflects the nouveau style within its structure from the curvature of the buildings to the beautiful stained glass windows.

There was also William Morris, a famous textile designer whose works were highly influenced by nature. He incorporated that through distinctive patterns creating abstracted forms.

Aubrey Beardsley was another, an illustrator whose work reflected anti-establishement. At the time the drawings were never really celebrated, but came to be of importance in the 1960s.

During the time of art nouveau it became known for its exploration of sex and sexuality and altered states of mind. This was known as metaphysics. There was a level of freedom and going against society.

This resurfaced in the 60s. One example is an image of John Lennon and his son standing next to a reworked Roles Royce. The Roles Royce traditionally symbols upper class and wealth, however, the painting alters that states and almost makes a stand. Another example is Lewis Carols’ Alice in Wonderland piece which has been influenced by Aubrey Beardsley’s work. This was the beginning of when past work was taken and restyled.

Even the typography began to change. It went beyond the obvious and went against the rules of legibility and its effectiveness to communicate was sacrificed for a visual representation of the experience of a rock concert. These were of course important aesthetic decisions, but the psychedelic patterns and exploration of the sub-conscience were all anti-establishment.

As we can see from these examples that the original art nouveau style was not simply taken and remade in the 60s, but was taken and reworked and reimagined, with the addition of a new style, creating something new and unique. The concepts and symbolism of art nouveau remained the same, but elements of its style did not.

This is something that we as practitioners should aim for within our own work. To look at the past and take elements and concepts and merge them with new ones to create something original and exciting.


09/02/17 ‘No Sex Please, I’m Sherlock’ Applying Academic Theory and Writing to Your Ideas

This keynote focused around ‘Where do academic ideas come from?’

As a case study Dr Ashley Morgan looked at the TV show Sherlock on BBC. In the clip shown, it revealed Dr Watson trying to get to know Sherlock through asking if he has a girlfriend or boyfriend. Sherlock, does not know how to socialise and thinks that Dr Watson is asking him on a date, which he states clearly that he is only interested in his work. As an initial introduction it reveals that Sherlock is an asceticist.

Asceticism in the past was mainly religious; i.e. when people would become nuns and monks and give up sex. Contemporary asceticism revolves more around the body; i.e. giving up chocolate or wheat etc.

It is questionable whether Sherlock is asexual (has no sexual desires or feelings) but it becomes clear throughout the show that he has a sexual nature and therefore we can deduct that he is an asceticist.

Sex is a symbol of masculinity. But how is masculinity portrayed on TV? It is often portrayed in a fixed manner – we understand them as masculine and heterosexual.

Heterosexual male values: married, employed, sometimes violent, wear suits and ties. Examples of this can be seen within other detectives on TV such as Lewis, Luther and Alec Hardy.

However, Sherlock does not fit these profiles yet we do not really question Sherlock masculinity. He demonstrates this through his homosocial partnership with Dr Watson (a relationship that falls just before sex), he is a hyper-intellect, he is a narcissist, takes drugs – but is not addicted, he has mastery over drugs and his clothing – it is ascetic and ambiguous.

This case study revealed the amount of reading taken around the subject and original idea and has allowed it grow and develop into an argument. It explores both sex and masculinity that began from watching an episode of Sherlock.

From this I have taken that as an academic student I need to around areas of interest. You am unlikely to find books or papers which directly relates, if so then you are simply replicating what someone else has said. It is important to make links between academic readings and your idea with your own writing.


16/02/17 Sustainable Design Thinking  – Key Strategies

We are living in an economy that has certain characteristics . The Linear Economy: Take, Make, Waste – this is not sustainable practice as it is based on fast consumption and intensive resource throughput. We as consumers consume on a fast rate.

If everyone on the planet consumed as much as the average US citizen, four Earths would be needed to sustain them.

The circular economy closes resource loops, slows consumption and therefore allows  sustainability.

80% of environmental impacts of a product or service can be locked-in at the design stage. This shows the impact and influence that designers can have on the economy and how people consume products.

Strategies to Employ

Rethink and Eco Innovation – Identify new and better ways of fulfilling customers requirements which are also better for the environment. It is about questioning the products to solve the problem in order to reach the final destination.

Dematerialising – replacing products with services or potentially services supporting products. Airing as opposed to buying products susceptible to technological obsolescence. Rethinking the benefits of services such as laundrettes rather than buying a washing machine. There are concerns that dematerialisation is an additional service, rather than replacing products.

Products are Important. We live in a physical world and so need physical objects, therefore what about extending the life of objects? This could help sustainability and reduce consumption.


Technological – when new models are introduced into the market, such as phones and iPods etc the old models are no longer needed or wanted. Also some products are designed to have a certain life span, meaning after that time they cannot be repaired, only thrown, leaving the customer going back to buy another.

Psychological – there are so many on products on offer that people feel pressured to buy something new and also are unhappy with what they have.

To conclude, if we keep in mind the impact that whatever it may be we are making has on the economy, consumption and the environment, then we can become more sustainable. We can do this by enhancing the relationship people have with their objects because it is harder for people to dispose of items when they have developed an emotional connection.


30/03/17 – Writing Your Essay

This session revolved around the essay itself and key pointers to note for when we come to writing.

  • You have to apply theory to a visual thing – something in the world.
  • Always think… What are you doing? How are you doing it? Why are you doing it?
  • The essay must have an argument – don’t just review ideas.

3 Key Things the Essay Must Have:

  1. Question/ Argument/ Enquiry
  2. Subject Matter
  3. Theoretical Context

You should aim to Describe, then Support that and finally Synthesise.

For each concept you should have 1-2 sources/ references to support it.


Reflexive Writing:

  1. Looking back at something.
  2. Analysing the event or idea.
  3. Thinking about what it means to you.

(either reflect on constellation or constellation + other things i.e. subject)

  • Reflection is an explanation of events.
  • Revealing anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as strengths.
  • Select most significant part of the idea.
  • Reflect forward into the future.

Final pointers for the essay:

  • Draft your work.
  • The intro is the last thing you write.
  • Say one thing well rather than lots of things badly.
  • Simplicity is key.

Protest Project

Based on the lecture we received regarding protests and the power within image, word and narrative, we had to go and make a piece of ephemera protesting for our manifestos.

As our manifesto was regarding the environment and sustainability, we decided that rather than keeping it broad and general, we would focus and a certain issue. This being deforestation.

We chose this issue because it affects every aspect of all our lives. Without trees we cannot live. Simple. Through completing research we found some facts about trees and their impact within the world. We then looked at examples of ephemera protesting in aid of the trees.

Overall we liked the idea of combining a human element alongside the natural. Personally, I think that it allows the viewer to have more of a connection with it as it forces you to realise the impact it has on you. It is a topic that is so easily forgotten about because we can’t see it happening in front of us. Therefore through physically combining it with a human element you are forced to confront it.

We therefore decided to take the lungs and do a double exposure style with the trees. We created two variations; one rather explicit and the other more implicit.

On the whole, I am very pleased with the two outcomes. I believe they both represent our issue of deforestation and reflect our manifesto. Personally, I prefer the poster on the right because I like that the lungs are more implicit in nature, the simple graphical shapes are suggestive. I also like the grey tone because I think it helps to keep the piece simple but impactful. In regards to the type, I really like how the word breathe resembles a breath – you can feel yourself breathing when you read it. Nonetheless, I also like the  design on the left. I like the consideration of the type; it is bold, clear and the colour has a nice resemblance to the trees, the message itself is also very powerful and to the point. The shape of the lungs is much clearer here, which although works, I think could be a little less explicit to make it that bit stronger.

I think that within the time constraint the pieces have a high level of professionalism attached to them. I think that we worked well as a group as we worked on the ideas together before creating the pieces. I do believe that these could be taken further again, a suggestion that was given was that perhaps the lungs could be animated to breathe – something which I think would work well, especially as they are designed to be on screen. This decision was based on the hypocrisy of using paper – a resource made from trees.

Protest – the power and impact of word, image and narrative

Todays lecture explored the power of protest and the rippling impact it can have within society. Both historical and contemporary examples were explored.

Historically, examples from the suffragette era were shown. This is one of the most well known examples of successful protests where women marched for the vote. It is thanks to these efforts that I am now able to vote and it can be something taken for granted at times. Generally, the ephemera created was beautiful hand braided banners and in a slightly more subtle approach teacups with the words ‘Votes for Women’ on them were created. The contrast to this was the ephemera created for anti-suffrage; where by they would demonise women in order to frighten people to prevent women from having the vote.


Along with that was the famous movement of the Anti-Vietnam protest in the 1960s. The ephemera created here has a much more immediate feel to it. They are not as beautiful as the suffragette ephemera but they are just as powerful and impactful.

Coming back to 2017 we are still seeing large protests being carried out particularly against Donald Trump. Nowadays we are seeing an array of ephemera pieces being created; some immediate pieces and others that are more considered and designed. This shows that both styles work within a protesting nature.

Three of my favourite examples shown from the presentation were Occupy London, Protest at Westminster and Anthony Burril.

Occupy London design ephemera to stand against globalisation and capitalisation. They particularly stand against banks. This is created from making tweaks to existing things such as typography. Through using hints of typography found in well known newspapers it creates an instant connection without being too explicit. I really like the thought of using something which already exists but altering its context.


I found Protest at Westminster to be an extraordinarily powerful image. It forced people to notice the devastation of the refugee crisis. Through placing life jackets; each with the name of a deceased refugee, across the grass from Westminster, it gives a brief insight into the scale of the problem without being too loud or brash, unlike most protests.


Finally, I really liked Anthony Burril’s piece because although it is a simple typographic poster, the process of its creation gives it a real impact. Through using oil cleared from the Mexican Gulf, it gives the words on the poster more meaning and context. The type alone is rather powerful in my opinion, it is simple and bold and immediately grabs your attention, but the careful material selection gives it that extra impact.


Overall, I found the lecture to be quite interesting and insightful. It does make you think of all the styles of ephemera created for a protest and how they differ. The style of tone changes and the target audience changes with it. From a design approach, it is interesting to compare the considered pieces with the immediate ones. They both do their jobs successfully and achieve the same goals, but through exploring different channels.


First Things First Manifesto


The First Things First Manifesto was written in 1963 and published in 1964 by Ken Garland and received 22 signatories. Its influence quickly gathered attention from newspapers, the BBC and was published in numerous magazines, with copies even being requested as far as Australia and the United States. It made a large impact in the design community, so much so that it was revisited and republished in 2000.

Upon reading the document my understanding was that it brought to attention the urgency to reflect upon the route that graphic design is taking. We are immersed in a consumerist world and design seems to only serve the purpose of selling and advertising. It questions our views on design and what its purpose is. He does not say that we should abandon advertising or designing as persuasion, but to not solely think of that as the main pursuit within our careers. As designers we have the ability to effectively communicate to audiences around the world and with that can make beneficial changes within communities. In an interview for Eye magazine when asked about his manifesto he stated: ‘It’s not anti-advertising. And it isn’t primarily about our ethical attitude. It’s not that I discount ethics, but I was talking about what seemed to me to be a political and economic point, about the way we spend money. That was my concern.’ 

Although he states that ethics were not his main concern, I personally gain the sense of a strong moral obligation as a designer to do work that can really make a difference and an impact on the world. I feel it boils down to the question of do you simply do work that pays the bills and nothing more or look beyond that and not let consumerism take over. It is a powerful piece of writing that has understandably stirred conversation and differences within the creative community.

About the author… Ken Garland is a graphic designer and a key figure in the development of graphic design from the mid-twentieth century. I reviewed his artwork in order to gain a sense of what Ken Garland was about. I found his work to be eye catching and bold. It seems to combine the Swiss’ disciplined style of design along with the American’s freer style of design which I think has a well balanced feel to it. He manages to combine discipline with playfulness effortlessly with strong attributions towards colour, contrast, layout, type and hierarchy.


Both the 1964 and 2000 manifesto’s were then reviewed by Rick Poynor, a writer, critic, lecturer and curator who was the founder of Eye magazine and co-founder of the Design Observer. He specialises in design, photography and visual culture.

I feel that even Poynor was taken aback by the manifesto; ‘First Things First struck a nerve is clear.’ He points out that newly emerging designers only seem to focus on how cool and ad looks rather that what it is communicating to the audience. This being a key problem. He enforces that the manifesto speaks of the growing issue of consumerism and how we are submerged within it with design struggling to break free.

It is a piece of writing that certainly provokes thought as to the type of designer one wishes to be or become and what is it that’s at the heart of what we do. For me it has really made me think of the various areas within graphic design and has made me question the sort of designer I wish to become. What legacy do I want to leave behind? I want to make a difference in the world, but in this day and age, how do you make your voice heard above all the noise?





Ephemera Project – Hierarchy Recap

Today we had a recap of hierarchy within editorial design. It was good to have a refresh on the elements needed and the considerations that are needed in order to ensure good design is achieved.

During the morning we completed two workshops, the first focused on our leading and rag when we had to rearrange a paragraph of text.


I found the task to be quite challenging, but overall was fun and really got me thinking about the finer details in type that will need to be considered for this brief. I am pleased with my leading and was given very positive feedback, however, I do think that the rag can be improved and is something that I did not consider as strongly when completing the task.

The second workshop focused on layout and completing both symmetrical and asymmetrical layouts. We were asked to create either two portraits and a landscape piece or two landscapes and portrait piece.

I really enjoyed the workshop as it embedded what we learnt in the opening discussion about layout. It allowed me to really understand the difference between asymmetrical and symmetrical layouts and the visual impacts they both have. I now also realise the impact that negative space has on the page. It can really aid and improve a design and is a key element to remember when designing for my given brief.

Out of all the pieces I created, my personal favourite is the top left layout. I like how the typography has been used to emphasise what the text reads and I also like the negative space, which helps to create a flow from the top of the page to the bottom as each element on the page connects to one another.

We then had to work in pairs and select a piece that our partner had created that we thought could be improved.

I worked with Ffion and the image on the left is the original. I felt that on the whole the piece was symmetrical, but I thought that it was too linear, reading from top to bottom. Therefore as can be seen in the image on the right, I made a simple change by rearranging the elements on the page. I thought the heading worked better in the centre to grab the viewers attention. After discussing the change with Ffion she agreed and said overall it had more of an impact.

This was the piece that Ffion improved and as can be seen clearly, she has moved the image and heading to be next to the sub heading. I much prefer the change she has implemented. There is a stronger flow between the elements and it reads much better and is not as disjointed as the original design. I also prefer the negative space in the improved design.

Overall I feel I have benefited from the workshops completed, it has introduced me to designing layouts; something I have never done previously, and to remember all the considerations that need to be taken such as the detailing in leading, the rag etc. hierarchy and the overall layout. At first it was overwhelming but when broken down feels more achievable and so are all things I will remember to consider for this given brief and future briefs.