Shiqi’s Magazine Design

Shiqi's design
Click it to see the whole project.

While having more freedom over the magazine design project, this project definitely requires more work than the last one. To get started, I began with the main article since that story would set up the theme of the whole design. By choosing the sculpture story, I decided to produce a modern art magazine that targets the urban audience with design and modern art interests. To better serve the target audience, I created series of visual design to achieve this purpose.

Based on the headline, “Edge of Madness”, I chose Helvetica and Didot to create the sense of modern and madness. Since this is a story of sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti, I used geometrical shape to cut out part of the initials so as to create the modern art sense. The rest of the headline created a massy feeling by adjusting the kerning.

For the opening spread, I placed the CVI at a golden ratio and left a lot of negative space. By doing so, I hope to create the sense of modern and also mimicked the setup of the modern art gallery. Besides, a visual motif with the 2 two theme colors was created to set up the entry point, and it was carried through the whole story. For the sidebar of the main story, I created a gallery-like invitation for the upcoming exhibition at Tate, which also offered me an idea of the cover design.

I found the cover image online with a famous Tate spider. The image really showcases the sense of modern art, which perfectly serve my target audience. The font choice is Didot and the color choice was inspired by the main story (the mustard). As you can see, I reuse the font and color in the ASF and main story to create the consistency.

I designed the ASF at the very end and this is the most challenging part of the project. I had several sketches for the ASF but I struggled with the best way to showcase the ranking. I believe the list is a good way to demonstrate the ranking but we have 5 album cover to introduce. I wanted to create a hierarchy. After trying different combinations, I decided to place the winner at the top of other four, and use digits to demonstrate the ranking.

Wrapping up the project, I learned the power of layout, font, motif, color as the visual language. Keeping all the design principles in mind and be creative and brave to break them is the thing I need to practice more in the future.

Shiqi Zhang’s Newspage

Shiqi's newspage
Click to see the full design of this page!

This is my first time designing a newspaper front page. While scanning through those mature newspaper design in class, it did not look hard at the very beginning. However, when I actually started the project, it became more difficult than I thought. As we learn the principle of good design in class, it is actually quite hard to closely follow all the rules at the same time. Although I kept them in mind when I was designing the page, I often found out I had to compromise sometimes.

During the design, I encountered several difficulties. The first thing is choosing typefaces. I had a hard time to find the appropriate font for my page. I spent so much time on decision making. In order to find fonts that can live with each other, I looked up the handouts and slides, and also, I just tried out different combinations. Now, I become more comfortable with choosing a typeface. In addition to typeface, placing images requires a thoughtful decision-making process. Picking a strong piece for CVI is not hard, but a bad placement of image for secondary stories can ruin your design. In my case, I tried my best to keep the hierarchy of the images and also kept in mind that I needed to balance the whole page while giving enough visual attractions. So I have three levels of image: centerpiece (the largest), runner (secondary), voting and Rosie (the third level). Besides, I also experienced difficulty while designing headlines. In order to fit the headlines into one column, I changed the suggested headlines of Rosie and Gerrymander.

I also made some design decisions. I left extra white space for the centerpiece, and its headline is all capitalized. For the decks, I used San serif typeface to differentiate it from headlines and body text. For images, I zoomed in the center image and placed the red “DANGER” at the middle to demonstrate the importance of this story. When it comes to the image of the gerrymander story, I cropped it and left the lady walking out after voting. I made this decision because I wanted to give a visual hint of the story that is about voting, but the infographic was too big to fit in one column. Other than images, the choosing serif typeface for headlines created a serious style.

Lastly, I learn that it always needs several iterations after you have your first draft. I usually set my project for a while and iterated it with fresh eyes. I also sent it to Professor Layton, and he gave me a useful suggestion.