I am asked to choose a magazine, newspaper or journal and work out the grid that they have used and develop it further. I went through a few magazines and chose a Polish magazine called ‘Polityka’, every few months they publish the special issue that is dedicated to one topic. The issue I have is about languages, how they formed, their history and how languages changed overtime. There are a lot of articles and different grids in the magazine, but there was one grid that repeated a couple of times throughout the issue.
It was a double page spread with a 2 column grid on each page. It consisted of a heading and subheading in the top left corner on the first page, an image is placed on the right of the heading and subheading. The 2 text columns fill the bottom half of the first page. The second page consists of 2 text columns that fill the whole page. The 2 pages are A4 size. The top margin is 3cm, bottom margin is 1.5cm. On page 1 the left margin is 3cm and right 1.5cm and on page 2 left one is 1.5cm and right one is 3cm. The 2 text columns on page 1 are 13cm long and 7.5cm wide, on page 2 they are 24cm long and 7.5cm wide. The gutters are 2.5cm wide.
I like this layout. It is very straight forward, making reading it easy. There is quite a lot of white space, which makes the design clean. The only thing that I would alter is making the white space between the pages larger and reducing the size of gutters between the 2 columns on page 1 and page 2.
As for the typefaces used, the closest ones I found for body text were Floris SP and Norlik Condensed and for the heading That Book and Imperium. I cannot really recognise typefaces myself as there are so many of them, so I used myfonts.com to get a close match. The results are not exactly the same as typefaces used in the article, but they are very similar.
I drew up a 2 page spread using the same grid as in the magazine.
I will base my experiments with the grid, typefaces and images on the article called ‘Poliglotyzm stosowany’, it is an article about polyglotism. The image in this article completes it, giving it a slightly playful feel. I found a few images online that suit the subject and I will try to experiment with the grid, images and typefaces to present this article in a few different ways.
The first version of the article is directed towards a younger audience. The playful heading font combined with the colourful images allude to the informal nature of the piece. The heading and subheading is written in Kristen ITC Regular font, I moved it to the centre of the page, there is a large and colourful image underneath. I also placed a smaller image on page 2 to break up the article and to add something vibrant to the page. I made the text columns wider and made the margins and gutters similar size. Stretching the columns allowed me to fit 2 images without changing the font size which is 7pt as in the mock-up. I also kept the Constantia Regular font of the body text, as it is easy to read and is suitable for continuous text. The body text is justified.
The second version of the article about polyglotism might be suitable for a magazine for adults who do not take themselves too seriously. The layout of the piece is quite classic, but the image used might attract readers with a sense of humour, alluding to the relaxed and lighthearted content of the article. I made the heading quite large and kept a bit of white space around the heading and subheading. I changed the layout of the text columns and added the image on page 2. The blue line on page 1 separates the title from body text and links the pages by the use of the same colour as used in the image on the opposite page. The heading is written in Corbel Bold and body text in Cambria Regular and it is justified.
The third version is quite formal looking, without any playful or humourous accents. It might suit a magazine that concentrates on dry facts, with a somewhat academic feel. The image added is quite predictable and safe. The heading is written in Microsoft Sans Serif Regular and body text in Minion Pro Regular. I also increased body text size to 8pt and aligned it to the left.
In all 3 versions I stuck to the popular rule of using serif fonts for body text and to having 2 columns of text on each page. This exercise allowed for further experimenting with layouts. It showed how different elements can change the feel of the publication. The choice of typeface, layout or image depends on the kind of readership.
I like the second version best. The first page looks clean because of white space around the heading, page 2 has text columns which are same size and a humourous image on top indicating that the article will not be too serious or boring.