Sunday, 21 September 2014

Exercise - Two images on the same page

This exercise continues with developing the skill of page layout and design, asking for two images on a page that are of the same subject, but different in scale or viewpoint. The picture combination is to be balanced and complimentary, resulting in a page that is cohesive. I have chosen to include areas of text as this is an important design element and when combined with the white space an integral part of the design.

Page 1 is a simple layout with photographs of a covered market in France now in use as a café. Suitable for an article on the architecture of the country it shows a large image to contextualise the building and a close up of the timber roof structure. A text panel is fitted with the rectangle of photograph edges. The Focal Centre is in the half to one third above the centre, leaving a large area of white space below the images.

Page 1
Page 2 takes us to a remote and rather unusual building on the Norfolk coast. "The Retreat" is built on the beach amongst the Marram grass and is the holiday home of an artist. The photographs once again rely on a large image to bring the context of the location and the smaller image of the seat with name board to name the building. The page could be used as a stand alone small piece on the building or as part of a larger article on the artist together with interior images and portraits etc. The text at right angles and some white space below the small caption deliver a contemporary feel that is mirrored in the architecture. The Focal Centre is again above the horizontal centreline although not so obvious as in page 1.

 Page 2
Page 3 is a rather simple layout showing a lighthouse on the island of Menorca. The building and the tower are geometric and this is reflected in the style of the layout. The text box is sized to suit the adjacent photograph and there is an overall symmetry in the layout.
Page 3
Page 4 has two photographs of a construction site. At the time they were taken we can see that the structural frame is being erected. The tall thin image on the left is shot as a silhouette and shows no detail other than to inform us that tower cranes are being used. Visually it is graphic whereas the main image below shows detail of a reinforced concrete frame and would be suitable for an article on structural engineering. The large text area is essential for a technical publication as there is often considerable detail that needs to be revealed. The overlap of images is included to tie the layout together and breaks up the large expanse of sky in the lower image while allowing the long tall image fit on the page without cropping. 

Page 4
Page 5 has two images connected in some way to food, drink, hotels, corporate hospitality or any number of similar or partial connections. There is no text and the page would be suitable for use in a corporate publication of some description relating to the above industries. The layout is driven entirely by aesthetics and has no intention of being anything other than a notion of potential for high end cuisine.

Page 5
As discussed in the previous exercise there are no hard and fast rules for page layout but there are a number of well developed guidelines that should be adhered to. The western world reads from left to right and the page should have a L to R connotation delivered either in the images themselves or the layout of the images. The Focal Centre does need to be considered and works better with some layouts than others. If the brief is that you only have space for two images then the choice is difficult especially for the specialists subject matter, where one will be needed to contextualise the article and then one other to satisfy some detail, especially when the text relies upon the illustration.
The five example I have made above I rate as follows.
Page 1. Simple and conventional.
Page 2. Suits the content in that the layout is more complex.
Page 3. Not particularly interesting, but a specialist subject.
Page 4. Graphically interesting with contemporary photography.
Page 5. Ambiguous but likely to be used in a high end publication.

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