Monday, February 1, 2010

Critique: Previewing Spring and designing departments

Our assignment last week involved coming up with a concept and design for VOX's Spring Preview issue, an issue that highlights the cool things going on in Columbia this Spring. We didn't have any photos to work with — that and preview issues are normally done as illustrations on the front and mucho photos on the inside.

I went the springy, flowery route, which probably wasn't my best idea in the world, but I think the cover turned out really well. I used Photoshop and Illustrator to imitate a springtime image.

I wanted to use bright colors and highlight my favorite parts of spring, especially the sky and clouds. I took the brackets I used on the front to be inspired by the inside as well.
Looking at all of my classmates' designs for the inside compared to mine, I felt that I had the most newsy feel than the others. I'm not sure if that is good or bad though. Clearly, I also used the flower on the inside. My idea was to use a different spring flower for every month in the season. I understand what Aimee said about not representing them on the cover then. I would have definitely rethought that part. Looking at what the final layouts were for Spring Preview and how Lauren's design was very flexible, I understand why mine wasn't chosen. The feature ended up being 8 pages long and months were more than just one spread. Mine would have been hard to convert to that.

This week was also my first stab at department design. I design the music section for VOX, which is usually only one page, so it's not too difficult. Well, not only did I only have to design one page this weekend, but it also had a half-page ad on it. I tried to fit a story, photo, infoblurb and sidebar on the page... yeah, it didn't work out.

It wasn't hard work though. I have had enough experience designing on deadline at the Columbia Missourian that this was incredibly easy. The only detrimental difference was the VOX computers' lack of paragraph styles. I think Aimee said they were going to work on that though. I was also thrown off by the lack of style rules in regard to spacing. I get that some things can be eyeballed, but I have been trained to look at things differently. For example, text at the Missourian is supposed to go p6 beneath the descender of headlines. Some call it nit-picky, but some things should be uniform, right? I guess it all depends. I'll get used to it.

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