Category Archives: Part 5 Layout

Assignment 5: notebook pages

Assignment 5: website mockups

Mockups for website home page, here goes… firstly structure > this is the basic container for web page content, based on the simple grid:

simple layout for web page based on the proportional grid

Adding boxes into the grid areas, to hold the content:

showing content boxes arranged in containers

Thinking about how the boxes will behave in the containers when the web page is resized in the browser (think wide screens, tablets, phones here).  My idea is to make the top menu and footer containers fill the width of the screen, with the content centred on the screen.  Ideally, boxes in the main content areas (article, footer, sidebar) will re-arrange themselves in the horizontal space from left to right, and top to bottom.  Non-essential boxes can disappear if there’s not enough space.

narrower layout to show re-arrangement of boxes in smaller containers

For the mockups, I’ve used 3 sizes:
GAFS web mockup – medium
GAFS web mockup – widescreen
GAFS web mockup – phone

For the home page, the main article space under the header (in the blue box) would have an intro section at the top, and updateable news items underneath.  The right hand sidebar green box would contain key links to the main areas of interest for users and volunteers.  Essential details are in the footer boxes. Medium sized screens would display like this:

website mockup

Wider screens  would have more detail in the header, and the articles container would be wider, allowing for a bit of re-arrangement of boxes:

website mockup

Smartphones would see a single column display without the furniture header illustration to use the space better:

website mockup

Assignment 5: logo and business stationery

coloured version - green and blue text

black and white text

This is the final logo, with an alternative black and white version.  I’ve tried to get it so that it’s ‘furniture store’ that hits you in the eye, and the ‘gerald anthony’ is a supporting act.  The black and white version doesn’t quite work like that, but it looks more interesting using the white text.  Both look ok really small, and really large too.

3 coloured and 3 b+w logos in 3 sizes

Business cards: GAFS business cards (pdf).  I’ve done these double sided, so as the brief is for generic cards, there’s room on the back for someone to scribble their name and phone number.  They’re meant to be printed on good quality recycled matte card, in preference to Vistaprint freebies.

Headed paper: GAFS headed paper (pdf) and GAFS headed paper b+w alternative (pdf) I initially did these with the Century Gothic font – but for some reason it looked dreadful on the black and white version, so I swapped to Myriad Pro.  I’m assuming the headed paper is most likely to be used as a template file in the printer, so it would have to be ok with different types of paper, which that font should be.  Here’s a couple of more contrasty versions of the coloured header: GAFS headed v2 (pdf) and GAFS headed v3 (pdf).

Assignment 5: the 8-page Annual Review

This is an 8 page ‘annual review’, which I’m anticipating will be printed as an A4 booklet, medium quality. I’ve designed it as a spread to be printed double-sided onto A3, folded and stapled.  The covers need to line up therefore. It also needs to work as a downloadable pdf document.   As I’m trying to decide if my design process is really working,  this is a step-by-step pdf history of how I put the report together:
GAFS report v1
GAFS report v2
GAFS report v3
GAFS report v4
GAFS report v5
GAFS report v6
GAFS report v7

At this stage I made some more changes and reviewed it… Review point notes
And this is the final version: GAFS report v8 – final version

final front page layout

The statistics: the infographic on page 5 is part of the brief to make the financials look a bit more interesting. There aren’t enough items to play with really (4 for the income, 3 for the spends) so my idea was to use a basic recognisable graph convention > block graph, bars, pies – and illustrate it with a piece of furniture in relative sizes – these were the tryouts:

1st graph layout for income and expenditure

2nd graphic layout for income and expenditure

Basically, the block graph doesn’t make for very interesting shapes, and the bar graph wastes a lot of space, and looks tedious… decided to turn the bars round to fit the page space better, see below. The furniture shapes were added for emphasis later, on the page layout > see page 5 in the final version, above.

3rd graphic for income and expenditure

A note on fonts: I’ve used Century Gothic as the lead display font – also chosen for the (final) logo as it looks nice and clean and balanced with that particular set of characters. My second display font for the annual review is Chaparral Pro – as a heavy and chunky contrast, it’s mainly used for the ad on the back. The body font for print material is Myriad Pro as it works best at small sizes (Century Gothic doesn’t) – so this also works for the business cards and headed paper. I’ve used (safe choice) Verdana as the the body font for the web page. I’ve also used Minion Pro for the annual review footer (not sure why) and Stencil Std Bold for chunky-and-legible numbers on the stats graphic. Century Gothic numbers are a bit pathetic (in this context anyway!)

Assignment 5: Visuals – logo, palette, illustration

The brief doesn’t give away a lot of clues, so I’m playing safe and following my research – aiming not to be gimmicky and evoke ‘crisp, clean, friendly and efficient’.

Logo – trying to avoid using images of vans and sofas.  Can’t think of any better images to use, so just play with the title text, which does have a nice ring to it.  Play with the acronym and the full name, and decide against using the acronym because it’s meaningless, and a bit counter to the idea of being ‘friendly’.  I like the font Century Gothic for this, as it’s open, clean and bold, and works well with this particular combination of characters (especially the ‘G’ and ‘A’ together).  However, can’t find anything I really like so decide to park it and come back to it later.

various logo designs

Typical photos – I’ve collected a set of photos from the websites/publications of similar organisations, aiming to be a representative sample of the photos that are likely to be used to describe this sort of organisation. Some are professional, some are not.  Colours and styles vary, and the furniture doesn’t look very appetising – but I like the idea of people being able to use their own photos, possibly taken on their phones – as a visual diary of their day to day activities, particularly for the website and flyers.  So, I’m looking for a way of making them look interesting and connected.

Colour palette – I wanted something fresh and clean to make the website attractive  to the  customers.  Preferring IKEA style and green/blue.  Thought about an alternative warm and welcoming red and orange theme, but having looked through my set of  ‘typical photos’ and looking at all the musty pink and brown sofas, I’ve decided to stick to the blue/green colours.  Later, I noticed my palette staring back at me from the kitchen windowsill…

picture collage of typical photos, furniture graphics, and blue-green palette

kitchen windowsill with blue and green labelling on soap and washing up bottles

To illustrate, I thought about using furniture symbols/icons, and looking around found a nice characterful set of furniture brushes I could use.  I also made my own set, but they didn’t look nearly as good.

hand drawn furniture images

drawn furniture icons

blue and green chairs

Assignment 5: Grids and boxes

The focus of this chapter/assignment is layout.  The task is about designing a logo, letterhead, business card, annual review and a website front page mockup – presumably to a house style.  This means a generic design layout idea that can work across a range of mediums and sizes, and given it’s a small charity, it hasn’t got to be expensive or complicated.  It’s got to be adaptable and fit into all manner of rectangular shapes, basically.  Also thinking about the logo which needs to be the most adaptable of the lot.   Keywords here: flexibile, stretchy, responsive, proportionality, balance.  Looking for a method…

To start with, played around with some basic box shapes:
layout ideas with circles and rounded rectangles

layout ideas using coloured circles and rounded rectangles on blue background

Thinking about the tools: websites often start with Photoshop.  Indesign is basically about boxes on grids – the boxes are stretchy, the grids are fixed.  Pixels and vectors – fixed and stretchy. Looking at web grids and the whole debate about working to fixed widths, or flexible relative widths, or some combination. Basically it’s about building boxes within boxes and creating the rules for what happens when there isn’t enough horizontal space for all the objects contained within a particular box.  Paper deals in fixed sizes, but designs usually have to work across a range of proportional sizes – ie A4 > A5 portrait > A6 landscape postcard > business card. So it’s pretty much the same.

Thinking about grid systems and proportionality, the ubiquity of the rectangle, and the biology of the eye… did a bit of reading round looking at grids based on the golden section (for proportionality).  I picked out one grid design to try out for the report > A4 spread and A4 single page:

grid layout guide

grid layout guideSource: http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/five-simple-steps-to-designing-grid-systems-part-2

I tested the grid by adding the basic shapes to see if it works (ie creates balance) and it looked quite promising: A4 grid tryout,  A4 grid tryout 1A4 grid tryout 2A4 spread tryout.

I also picked out this more-basic-than-basic web design template to try:
2 column proportional layout grid

Source: http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/five-simple-steps-to-designing-grid-systems-part-5

And finally a couple of ratios for reference: A4 paper > 1:1414, Golden section > 1:1.618