Transforming websit article to Magazine Spreads


Final spread 1


Final spread 2


Magazine Spread 1

By starting off the design process of the first spread, I created a master grid system with six column that will be used within the two spreads. By setting the baseline grid, guide rules and guidelines for column and margins (see screenshot 1-3), it allow me to stick with these layout during the whole design process.

Before visualising the layout, I made use of rectangle frame tool (see screenshot 4) to orgainise the text and image , so it gain me an impression on how the final output will look like. With the typography, I have experiemented with text scale and colours to create hierarchy, leading readers to focus on the book title and image in the first piority by attracting them on the content. The title text was also in a large scale in order to create a striking effect. For the colour choices, I have chosen a simular colour palette with a combination of pink and black that have similar use in the website, which make the magazine more engaging and bright-looking (see screenshot 5 & Resources 2).


Screenshot 1: Baseline grid and guidelines


Screenshot 2: Baseline grid, Margins and Columns setup


Screenshot 3: Create layout master (rectangle frame tool, snap to guide)


Screenshot 4: Insert text and image


Screenshot 5: Adding shapes, line & colour


Magazine Spread 2

In the second spread, I adapt the same grid system to show an alternative way to layout the image and text. By seperating them into three columns (see screenshot 6-7), also experiment with text allignment such as centered text, It features each promoted book with a clear and readable description in a formal while attractive way.

I continued using different font size, as well as pink and black to create hierarchy among text. Pink rectangles are used to decorate and highlight the images of book (see screenshot 8).

At last, I futher adjust the typography by adding intent to group the text with better legibility , and end up as my final design (see Final spread 1-2) by switching pages between spreads of the second and fouth page as to prevent mountain of texts.

Screenshot 6: Alternative layout 


Screenshot 7: structuring last page 


Screenshot 8: designing spread 2

Software Tutorials

The software tutorials that I make use was mainly from Adobe website and Youtube. In previous project, I have some experiences using Indesign in struturing text by paragrapg style and master page, while lack of knowledge about structuring both image and text.

In the initial stage of struturing the text and image with layout grid, I watched Dansky and Stephen Kelman’s Youtube tutorials , which I learnt to use guidelines and rules with margin and columns setting to create a grid system and organise content properly. Stephen futher demonstrated about how to use the three column grid systems that I used to created for my magazine spread. In Adobe tutorial: Align content with guides, I then learn to use the snap to guide to easily making text allign with the grid system that I created. Another adobe tutorial about wrap text around objects, it helps me to create equal margins to seperate the image from text by using the text wrap tool.

Futhermore, The youtube streaming: Erik Kirtley streaming the design of magazine spreads was also useful on helping me with the baseline grids and guides that align the context properly. The streaming also shows tools to change colour of the image within Indesign, which I haven’t used this tool in my design but found it quite helpful in creating interesting visual effects within magazine spreads.


Resources for research and inspiration

By planning magazine layouts, I mainly found inspiration from Pinterest, which provide loads of layout ideas with their composition of text and images. Creative market website involve professional magazines designs spread, which I was inspired by one of an example (see Resources 1) that create an effective and simple layout using basic visual elements with colour and shapes. The original website (see Resources 2) for the design task also inspired me to make uses of a simular colour pallete of pink and black.

For articles that help me across, 10 Tips for Designing High-Impact Magazines shared few tips that inspired my magazine spreads, such as tips like ‘stick with few colours to make the magazine spread looks balanced and stylish.’ and ‘A single pop of color shouts the loudest’. Some of the most effective magazine designs used color very sparingly, proving a simple pop of bold color can be more striking than a palette of rainbow brights. It encourages me to experiment with the technique sticking with two to three colour and making a poping colour to the text.


Resources  1: Inspiration of magazine spread 


Resources 2: website: Rule Breakers: Ten novels that broke the mould

Learning across the module

From the quiz result, I can see tiny improvement in the knowledge of the software, which reflect I still have space to improve my software skills. I have lack of knowledge about exporting image and chosing to work on a right software in some case. However, I thought I have learnt quite lots of techniques and gain some experiences with the software across the module.

In Autumn term, I mainly focus on generating ideas through task include podcast cover, postcard and stickers. As I would like to practice using in Adobe indesign in the spring term, I have spent more time and was more confident in using  adobe indesign working on timetable and magazine spreads design.

To further develop my software skill in future, I will start from using photoshop, as to improve my photography editting skills in more professional.

Screenshot 9: Quiz result


Typo Stickers for PODCAST!

Design ideas and design process

Coming up with the idea of combining typography within the ‘talking mouth’ was developed during the design process. My initial thought was to create simple and identical stickers using symbolic and geometric shapes. After considering adding several shapes and images, e.g., microphone, dialogue sign, headphone, etc., I finally create the idea by turning the literal meaning of ‘taking about typefaces’ into graphics, by shaping the typography into the shape of a ‘talking mouth’, which shows the designs in below.



Design 1 (final design) (mainly with hand drawn illustration)


As I would like to practice drawing illustration in Adobe illustrator more flexible, I have spent more time on the first design than others to practice drawing smooth lines using the pen tool. My first design (Design 1) then ended up being my final design. By watching Youtube tutorials that teach how to use the drawing tool, I have further learned to use the width tool to adjust the stroke width, as well as the appearance panel to make changes separately and recover things easily. Besides, I have learnt to create wrap text by envelope distort effect and puppet warp tool (Screenshot 1), which these tools is efficient to create stylish typography. As I was aiming to create stylish and more recognizable stickers, I have chosen an analogue colour scheme with bluish-purple and pink, contrasting with a yellow margin. Hopefully, it was more attractive.


Screenshot 1: Wrap effect to the text (envelope distort effect & puppet warp tool)


Screenshot 2: Making the text with lips shape (knife tool to cut the curved shapes from circle > replace the shape with text by Ctrl+Alt+C > puppet warp tool to shape the lips) 


Screenshot 3: Drawing illustrations for decorations (pen tool)



Design 2 (Experiment with 3D text)


Further developing the idea of making the typography into a mouth shape, I then created a 3D version using the blend option (Screenshot 4), as well as shaping the 3D text by using the puppet warp tool that learnt while creating the previous sticker (Screenshot 5).  I remain to choose an analogue colour scheme of Cyan and purple while using gradient colour for the tongue to make it look more realistic. It ended up quite successfully.


Screenshot 4: Creating 3D text (Blend option & puppet warp tool)


Screenshot 5: Apply the 3D text into a curved stroke (blend> replace-spine) ; Shape the 3D text into a mouth pupplet wrap tool



Design 3 (Playing with shapes, letter forms and gradient colour)


In Design 3, I have developed skills in constructing text and adapting gradient colours within designs. I came up with another approach playing around with the composition and different letterforms using the pathfinder tools. The background was filled with gradient shapes and colours using the gradient tool, also drawing of  simplified graphics are added, such as the book in rectangle shape, and the typography pen, both were drawn and constructed with the pathfinder tools.


Screenshot 6: Constructing the text with different letter forms (pathfinder tools)

Screenshot 7: Creating background with gradient-shapes (gradient tool)

Software Tutorials

By learning the fundamental techniques in Adobe illustrator, I began with watching a few resources from Adobe creative cloud for a tutorial like creating monograms and adding texture to illustration, to learn how to write text within a circle using text on a path tool and scissors tool.

For specific techniques, I watch a tutorial from Linkedin learning: illustrator 2021 Essential training by Tony Harmer,  which I found useful and more organisable. It includes a tutorial on almost all tools and even a specific aspect. In Design 1, I have learnt to use shapes and line drawing tools to create a variable-width stroke. It also allows me to develop skills in constructing shapes and forms using pathfinder and shape builder tools. (Screenshot 6)

The most useful technique I have learnt from these design tasks will be using blend options, which I have learnt from several Youtube videos. In How to design a wave shapes gradient background, I learnt to adapt the gradient shape effect using the blending option (Screenshot 7). In Warp Text Into Shapes Illustrator Tutorial , it allows me to further adapt the technique in my design by creating the 3D typography with shapes of talking mouth.

Resources for research and inspiration

I mainly found inspiration from Pinterest (My Stickers inspiration) (Reference picture 1), which provide loads of sticker designs with any styles that allow me to make references with their composition of text and graphics. Furthermore,  99 designs also provide professional stickers desigsn for me to observe how they manage to create an attractive sticker.

By exploring how others shaped the text to a mouth, I found quite a lot of designers have been using the idea (Reference picture 2), so I only make references with the shape of the lips while shaping it with my text and typography style. Lastly, reading the article ‘Top 13 Tips To Create And Print Sticker Designs That Stand Out‘, teaches us how can creating efficient sticker designs. It is said that stickers should look simple while funny, and make things super large to create readable text, so I enlarged my text in my Design 2 as much as it can.

Reference picture 1: My pinterest board (stickers inpiration)


Reference picture 2: By googling ‘Typography mouth’


By reflecting on my design, I think it was not quite successful in my design 3, as the text looks a bit messy with too many small objects, I can improve by unifying the text by using the same gradient colour similar to the background, so it may look more harmonious. Another solution is to enlarge the object and remove the non-necessary part.

At the time, my sticker designs are lack of funny elements to attract the audience. In future design, I need to improve on the skills of developing creative ideas and reflect on how I can create more eye-catching stickers with simple graphics. For example, I can use contrasting visual elements, line strokes or simple characters in order to make my designs more interesting. Besides, I may get more inspiration from other artists. To develop my skill further, I still want to practice using the pen tools and other tools that I haven’t used in Adobe illustrator.

Subtle variation in typeface

Task 1

For the first task of filling in missing part in the word ‘aden’, I was able to learn that individual letter have difference structure and characteristic. For example, different features include stroke contrast, x height and many other aspects varies to specialise a typeface. While sketching the word ‘aden’ in serif font, I have messed up with the aperture and serif in lowercase ‘a’, which I thought it would be better if I emphasis in the negative spaces by the next task.

Task 2

In the second task , we were told to write random letters ‘abcdufrtg’ in given font . It is more challenging to me, as I was using a brush pen rather than a calligraphy, which affect the stability in strokes. It is also important to further determine in each letter’s spacing as well as characteristic in structure and shape.


By reflecting my sketching in letters, I can improve by paying attention in contrasting stroke, and accurate proportion to the serif. While sketching out and guessing the type shape, Gerry suggested us to recall how we write letters while we was a child. As designs may mimicking natural handwriting within typeface, such as the letter ‘u’ with serif in the ending. In these tasks, I realised that it is a complicated and long process to design a typeface. It was an useful practice for me to understand what typography elements a typeface designer need to determine and reserach while designing a typeface.

Autumn Film Festival

  • Draft 1: traditional (for retired people with old Hollywood passion)

The first draft is design for retired people who have free time to watch film. By grouping films according to month and date, they won’t miss any filming date in schedule. Besides, retired people or someone who have passion for old Hollywood would extra focus on the context of the film, so I add a quote below each film name to attract these audience and priority their interest to the film. I also use a traditional and decorative font to the title of Reading Film Theatre and add text of High rated movies, so as to suit their characteristic and appeal my audience.

  • Draft 2: mordernist (for international / busy people/ families)

The second draft is a more modernist design. As I would like to focus on the target audience of international and busy people, so I designed the flyer to be clearer and simplicity. Rather than grouping the movies by months, I distinguish them according to the film genre include classic, thriller and family friendly movie, which makes it easier to choose specific genre and relevant information for first prioritise, correspond with their own interests and to have a faster decision.

  • Peers feedback

From the peer’s feedback, there are many typing and structure mistic that I can’t found by my own, such as wrong punctuation, type spacing, force line break to respect the cast, and repeated information found, which will be a serious mistake in real life situation, so I should be more aware on it for alternative designs.

Final decision

After adjusting the typing mistakes, I decided to combining the two designs above in mordernist way, as I reckon that it is better to benefit a wider range of target audiences, include retired people, families, internationals and people who have Hollywood passion,ect. I abandoned the month grouping version as the date is actually easily to find. I remain the film quote as to introduce the film little more and appeal different audiences.

As to let my audiences choose what information they prioritize to look at, I haven’t particularly emphasis on a single title or information. However, I group the text by intrinsic and extrinsic information, as well as slightly change in font colour, weight and style to separate different information, so it will be easier to read. For example, I use red font in country which helpful for international user, bold text for the quote to have emphasize effect,ect. Lastly, modern font are used, also a red frame is added to create focus point to the information in middle.

By reflecting on my flyer design, I think I can improve in the informational grouping and idea of structuring the layout design in terms of hierarchy. It is a bit vague to read and boring for now, as it better to have featured layout style for an appealling first impression. I can look at peers work in achieving a more stylish flyer later.

1870s Vintage Sheet Music

Background information

The collection I chosen was a sheet music cover from Frank Laughlin: The Orphan, illustrated by T. W. Lee, and published by Chappell & Co Ltd (New Bond Street, 50 – London) in 1870.

Illustration: Cat and sheet music in 19th century

The reason I choose this sheet music is that I was appeal by the drawing of the kitten, which is realistic and cute. From the picture, we can see a woman that put on noble clothes and accessory was holding a wretched and little kitten by whole hand, which correspond with the title ‘The Orphan’ above. The picture creates a sense of sadness and helpless of the kitten, which I assume the target audience may be upper class woman, and the illustration arouse their sympathy and appeal them to listen the music. Besides, the text is in different typography style, which is decorative.

In 19th century’s sheet music cover, there are quite a lot illustrations found using cat as object.  It is said that animals were often used in advertising caught on in Victorian times, as using anthropomorphized animals in human activities more clearly demonstrates to the viewer an aspect of the character’s personality, thereby making the consumer more sympathetic with the animal in question.

Printing technique: Lithographic

(An example of lithographic stone for printing music. The music is written backwards on the stone.)

Lithography is invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, and was first used to print music in 1796 and the earliest music sheets to be illustrated by lithography were produced in this country in about 1820 and were coloured by hand.

According to the video on lithographic process and website of music printing history, the process involved drawing an image or text on a smooth piece of limestone with an oil-based ink. Then, acid was poured onto the stone to burn the image onto the surface. A water soluble solution was then applied, sticking only to the non-oily surface and sealing it. For printing, the water adhered to the gum arabic. The oily ink, however, repelled the water, thereby allowing for the printing of the images.

Overall, I have learnt the complicated printing process in lithography, the asthetic of vintage 19th century sheet music, and how illustrator attract the audience by animals in sheet music cover and advertisment. These advance me a lot in the history of printing and future album covers design.

The Great Gatsby

Through the online class, I have learnt the fundamental skills using Indesign. One of the techniques I found MOST vital is to create paragraph style to the text while making different adjustment like tracking and leading in one panel. I have also learnt loads of useful shortcuts that will be useful to adapt in future designs, like holding shift to achieve perfect move and scale objects proportionally, as well as shift+alt to copy an image.

The hardest part will be working on the cartouche that at the top and  using shapes to crop it out, but the pen tool help me a lot with it at last. Overall, it’s such a great practice copying traditional book design and step in using Indesign.

My 90s Logo

I was inspired by the 90s graphic designs that was full of abstract graphic elements and patterns influenced by fashion and the colorful 80s. It is appealling to me with its combination of colour palette and geometric shapes. Therefore, I create a mood board that shown above, in which I want my logo to have an energetic and colourful effects and adapt them in my final logo design.

  • Vibrant colors with bright yellow, pink, cerulean blue, etc, as to achieve a bold and eye-catching effect
  • Abstract shapes with bold, abstract, geometric shapes
  • Making the logo three dimension by dropping shadow behind.

Besides with the 90s style inspirations, I also tested out different combinations to my logo of my initials ‘KT’, and I finally choose the one which is more geometrical and recognizable.

The Little Prince


Inspired by the penguin book cover, I create my messed up version for the famous fiction storybook ‘The Little Prince’. I did quite a lot changes from the penguin book to make it more mordernism, but still remain the basic font and elements. There are few insprations and variations compare to original penguin book in my design:

  • same font of Gill Sans Nova and paragraph style are adapted, while the headings are in wider tracking to fit with the childlike story, also used italic words in the book descriptions to emphazise the sentences
  • changing position between the author name and book title, so as to try emphasize the both maybe
  • illustrations of the little prince and fox are added to make it more appealling and visualize the story plot
  • the logos of penguin book are put in the right hand corner as it can grab less attension and let audience focus on others main elements

To review my book design, I could make it better by showing more influences from the penguin book, as it now looks a bit different from the original one. For example, making  funny variations to the penguin logo by adding the crown from the little prince, etc.

In these mini Indesign tasks, I realized that designing a simple book cover is much harder then normals expected, as there are so much to decision and progress go through with the layouting of text, as well as graphic to best communicate ideas. It is easy to mess up by making it looks too empty or complicated, and lot much to be considered. For now, I felt more respectful for the book designers and still have a long journey ahead to design like a pro.

Signs Observation

By capturing all the signs found around the typography department, I have been more aware of the environment around that I usually not pay attention to. In these days, variety of signs, logos and numerals were designed to make our life full of convenient unknowingly. More signs are designed. For example, instruction signs designed to remain our behavior of social distancing and washing hands due to virus.

I categorized all the images according to their colors with particular functions. Primary colors that match with black and white letters have contrast effects, as well as use sharp paint to grab people attention.

  • PROHIBITION signs mainly in red

  • WARNING signs mainly in yellow

  • SAFETY signs are in green; MANDATORY signs are in blue with positive instruction

Besides the function of colors, similarities of signs are that it designed as simple as it can by linguistic and symbolic lettering, we can always get the message behind the signs in less than three seconds without hesitation. I compare them with tiny observations:

  1. Simple geometric shapes using in outshape of signs, and common symbols within signs are arrows, banning circle, exclamation triangle and recycling sign.
  2. Font of Sans serif are used in almost every sign due to its readability.
  3. Material and placing position are different between indoor and outdoor signs: Indoor signs are mainly placed on the wall with eye levels and using removable materials like binding metals or stickers, while outdoor signs are mostly bigger in size and use weather-resistant materials, as they are mainly designed for pedestrian and drivers.


Infinite Labyrinth

The story of Labyrinth is about a family that trapped inside their new house with unexpected spatial characteristics. They start a journey to find the front door. My initial idea is to create a pop up book with structured pages like a labyrinth.

To represent the story and my idea visually, I designed both for the book cover and inside pages:

  • The word of ‘Labyrinth’ are cutted out asymmetrically as the book title, which symbolize the shifting rooms.
  • Symbols of keyhole added to features infinite doors to pass through.
  • Colour scheme: Red and black are used to represent the mysterious story plot and anger of the family getting lost.
  • Book pages: Geometric rectangles are cutted out randomly and create a sense of confusion. It also visualises their journey of finding the front door in the house of labyrinth.

Overall, I have experimented with drawing and cutting techniques on the book materials and played with the structure of the book. Although the result is not that well as I expected, I have gained experience of communicating and representing an idea through design but not just emphazise on its aesthetic.