Project 3 – Multi-page Magazine Spreads

PROBLEM – Magazine Spreads


For this project you will work as designer and author. I want you to write an article for a graphic design magazine about a designer or typographer. The article should be about a page and a half, and should tell the reader about the career and work by that particular designer.

Then, you move into designer-mode. I want you to design multiple two-page spreads (4 or more pages) for your article. It should show us work by your chosen designer, and should be inspired by that designer’s work. Consider the following details as you work: typography, color, composition, margins, photography, and hierarchy.

The use of a multi-column grid will be implemented into this assignment. See info here. We will look at this type of grid in class on Saturday.

Step 1

Research! Find out all that you can about your chosen designer! Visuals can come from any source, including the Internet, but make sure the quality is high enough to display well when printed. You may scan images or manipulate/alter/edit the image. 150 dpi or higher. (300 is ideal print resolution.) Choose compelling images and use them well. Think about size, placement, crop. Good photo selection is part of being a good designer, so know that I’ll be assessing your choices.

Step 2

Write! Put down into words all the incredible and amazing things you’ve discovered!

Step 3

Read over this  and watch this video about developing and using a baseline grid in InDesign.

Step 4

Develop sketches of layout ideas. Make sure you develop may of these.

Step 5

Develop InDesign document structure using columns . Create your document in Adobe InDesign. Each of the pages should be 8″ x 10″. Choose “Facing Pages” from the Pages menu to show them like a magazine spread. The number of columns and margins are yours to decide. 4 or more pages total. More could always be added or removed if needed later.

Step 6

Develop InDesign magazine spreads based from your sketches.

Print out the pages on separate sheets, trim them to the correct size, and mount them on black mat board with a 2″ border.

Due: APRIL 12th!

Links for these people:

Josef Müller-Brockmann

Paul Rand

Bradbury Thompson

Saul Bass

Erik Spiekermann

David Carson

Jeff Kleinsmith

Modern Dog

Michael Bierut

Paula Scher

Marian Bantjes

Milton Glaser

Stefan Sagmeister

Kyle Cooper


  1. As always, organization and hierarchy are critical.
  2. Use strong visuals.
  3. Design your layout as though it will be used in a bound magazine.
  4. Use the Paragraph Styles to define your basic type: body, captions, text heads, deck, even headline.
  5. Set baseline grid to the leading value of your body text size. Then turn on Show Baseline Grid.
  6. Pay attention to widows and orphans. Eliminate them.
  7. You must have both a primary and deck headline.
  8. Choose your typefaces carefully.
  9. The headline should attract reader interest to the design.
  10. Make sure you choose a contrasting typeface for captions so they don’t blend in with the body text.
  11. Use strong alignments. Remember factors of readability and legibility. Use roman/book weights for text.
  12. Create contrast for captions, headlines, text heads.
  13. Use drop caps if necessary.
  14. Don’t stretch pictures from their original proportions. Hold down shift.
  15. Control your space.
  16. Consider readability. Is everything legible?
  17. Edit, weed out, narrow down and critically evaluate everything.
  18. Have fun.

This is your formal presentation to communicate your thoughts and ideas behind your work.
Include the following and anything else you think will be useful:
Design strategy: No more than six sentences on how your design is meant to function
Typefaces: Why did you chose the type you did.
Style sheets: fonts, sizes, leading, and tracking for each different use of type
Margins: What is your grid? How many columns, how many rows?
Visuals: Talk about the images you chose.
Extras: What did you learn doing this assignment?

> Typography
> Content + story
> Readability
> Design + use of grid
> Internal + external margins
> Creativity
> Story-telling ability of the layout
> Use of pictures and other visuals, and design elements