Updated Type Specimen Project

In response to the feedback I received on my type specimen poster, I went back to make various changes in order to try and improve the overall design.

Here is the final piece:


Based on the feedback I received, I have made a few alterations to the type specimen. The biggest change I have made is extending the letters behind the letter g to stop it feeling so restricted and confined. I have also given some space between the ‘Morris Fuller Benton’ and the ‘1902’ from the extended descender.

However, these changes were implemented not long after Christmas, after receiving my feedback, but upon further reflection now, I still think that the title and letterforms can be pushed further. I think that there are some changes that can be made to strengthen the piece further. I don’t think I fully explored the feedback. Something I aim to resolve.

Unfortunately, I went to try and refine it further but as my laptop has recently broken I was forced to use the computers in the Graphics studio, which did not have Franklin Gothic on any of the machines. Matt tried to help me resolve this but was only able to find one weight meaning I could not make the appropriate adjustments.

This is what it looked like:

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As its clear to see in comparison to the one above, this is drastically different and does not look anywhere near as good as the image above.

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.

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.


One of the workshops included working with pattern. I found the task rather simple and was quite enjoyable, however I did not fully understand the relevance of learning about pattern within Graphic Design.

I therefore did some research and learnt that patterns can help to enhance a design if used correctly. It of course does not have its place everywhere, but I do now understand that as well as being visually stimulating, it can help to underpin a meaning within a design. One article I read spoke of using textures within design, which can create a physical illusion to the audience. This can be accomplished through using pattern.




I therefore played with patterns myself and here are the results:

With these images, although I have only worked with two patterns and portraits, I wanted to try and push the patterns as far as they would go and experiment with the images to see what could be accomplished. I like how although there two sets of images with each set using the same pattern and portrait, each image has a very different feel to it and can be read differently to the other.

Personally, I feel the the top left image works well as the pattern seems to be apart of the model and therefore I feel enhances a personal connection between the two. I also like how in the centre, you are immediately drawn into her eye and so it immediately grabs the viewers attention.

With the repeated pattern work of the female model, I am happy with them on the whole, however I do think that the orange print is stronger than the blue. Originally with the orange print, the portrait of the model was untouched and therefore resembled the image of the blue print’s portrait. But after a discussion with Ray, he thought that the portrait was too cold in comparison to the colours in the print and therefore caused an imbalance within the overall piece. He suggested adding warmth to the portrait and so that is what I did. It is a very slight adjustment, but one that does aid the image rather dramatically. It allows the portrait to fit within the pattern much stronger.

This made me realise the level of detail required with images and to carefully reflect on whether all the elements work well with one another and if not, can they be rectified before being changed? It is about questioning the work and its legibility.

With the male model I wanted to try something a little different through placing the pattern above the portrait and altering its opacity. It gives a rather trapped feeling and allows the viewer to draw numerous narratives from it. I question its strength as an overall piece, but I do like the experimental nature of it.

On the whole I am pleased with the work created, however, I do feel I need to try and extend this and experiment with more and work on creating more patterns to see what can be created. I would also like to try and push my Adobe skills forward and try to work on creating textured pieces or patterns. Nevertheless, I do particularly feel that more work is needed and along with that more experimentation.

Here I have tried to experiment further and play with different pattern designs. I really like the geometric style of the patterns and I quite like how there is only a slight hue of colour in the two patterns. I do find these patterns slightly stronger than the previous ones, due to the higher contrast and the abstracted detail. These patterns are much more visually interesting as they are not as obvious. I decided to use the same portraits as I find them to be strong shots to use within my work.

I am happy that I have tried to experiment further with the patterns, but I did find that there are endless possibilities and I lacked a specific end point, therefore as this was simply an exercise I decided to stop with these. But this is definitely something to revisit further in the future, depending on the given briefs.