Our first studio assignment involved dissection. But instead of carving up a cadaver to understand how it works, we broke down three page layouts from design magazines to find their underlying structure. To give us some insight on page layout, we read The Vignelli Canon, which basically described how to properly format different page layouts.
The first two dissections I did were pretty basic, although the pages I chose were pretty straightforward themselves. I used blocks to show where the titles, images, and text are. In the first dissection, the angle of the label on the boxes conveys how your eye moves across the image. The color of the blocks also correspond to the main colors in each of the images. I don’t think these two are very strong as they just scratch the surface of the dissection.
In Phase 2, our goal was to diagram not the layout of the page but the content of one of the articles we chose. We could not choose an article different from one of the three we already chose for Phase 1 in order to make us work with what we had. I chose the article “The Contrary Contextualist” which discussed how site and art inform two architectural projects by Tony Fretton. The article’s main point was that Fretton’s buildings both commit to and distance themselves from place. His buildings stand out, but they also look like they fit in with their surroundings. The author used two buildings as examples, Red House in London and Faith House in the British countryside.
I started by thinking about how I would lay out the page to best convey the theme of the article. Did I want to compare the two projects? Should they be on equal footing on the page? I made some small sketches to get ideas flowing.
After I got some ideas down, I wanted to decide on the style of the infographic. I decided on using vector graphics that I would create in illustrator. I sketched out a few of the graphics I would need.
From there on went on illustrator and made the vector graphics I thought I would need. I then decided to lay something out in inDesign as a first draft.
In a peer review of the diagram I was told I should consider the grid while designing the layout. I think it’s true that in this iteration, things are placed somewhat haphazardly and it can be confusing. We also discussed the importance of font choice and of color pallet. All of these things I took into consideration in my next iteration.
Though it’s far from perfect, I think this version comes a long way in placing the graphics and text in logical places. I think it also provides more meaningful information whereas my last iteration was pretty sparse. I focused on a complimentary color scheme with greens and reds which I think looks much more consistent than my last attempt. I also abided by a four-column grid system which makes the infographic much more pleasing to the eye.
For the final phase of our graphics exploration we were tasked with designing a cookbook page. We were to choose a favorite food and be mindful of our own history and relationship with the act of dining. The food I chose was potato soup since it is one of my favorite meals that my family makes. I got the recipe and then made some sketches to figure out how I wanted to lay out the page. Since I used vector graphics in my previous graphics project, I decided I would do the same here. Early on, I had the idea of showing all the ingredients falling into a pot at the bottom of the page.
From there I went on Illustrator and made all of the vector graphics I would need. I then put together a first draft in InDesign.
This page has the main ingredients falling into a pot on the right side of the page and the recipe on the left. I wasn’t satisfied with this because the pot looks very plain, hardly like a pot at all. I continued to iterate in InDesign.
In these next few versions, I shrank the text down and added some more ingredients to the right side. I also added detail to the pot. In the second page, I split the background to add some contrast to the falling ingredients although the pot that crosses the border still provides some continuity. I received feedback from my professor stating that the vector graphics were too mechanical and I agree that even though I do like the style of the vector graphics, a photograph would be better.
This final version has the text condensed to the left third of the page, contained by a beige box. On the right I have an image of the potato soup I prepared for our class presentation. The soup is inside my final paper bowl which is discussed in the Paperware section. I think this is my most successful cookbook page. The real photo gives the page a more serious tone, whereas the previous iterations looked somewhat cartoony with the vector graphics. I think it will fit in a lot better with my other classmates’ pages if they are all compiled into a book.