Sunday, 7 August 2011

PwDP Part Two: Photography in publishing I overview

Part two: Photography in publishing I contains three projects and five exercises:
  • Using type tools 
        Exercise: Getting started
        Exercise: Applying a drop shadow to type
  • Choosing Type
        Exercise: Experiment with layouts
        Exercise: Choosing your imagery
  • Photographic book covers 
        Exercise: Conceptual cover design

Project Using type tools

In assignment two I will need to create a book cover so it's important that I familiarise myself with the Photoshop type tools. This project and following exercises run through a lot of the basics and gives links to some online tutorials. There are lots more available so it is always worth researching to find tips, techniques and shorts cuts.

Exercise: Getting started

Create a blank A5 file and make a centralised heading with a bold typeface, investigate if necessary, the grid to help as a guide. Using the Type Toll click and drag to create another dialogue box. Text from word documents can be copy pasted into Photoshop. Experiment with alignment and typeface and size. The layered file needs to be saved for the next exercise.

Exercise: Applying drop shadow to type

Open the saved Photoshop file , duplicate the heading layer and create a drop shadow. Layers>Rasterize>Layer, Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use the move tool to move the layer down slightly. Experiment with fonts, size, colour, opacity and blur.

Project Choosing type

For Assignments Two and Three the only thing I will need to use is the type tool, however the choice of fonts will be of great importance. Without getting to involved in the aspects of typography it is necessary to know enough about fonts to know what will work. Some general considerations are
  • Choose fonts which are easy to read
  • Intended use ie Display Font (large font) for Headings and Titles for books 
  • Serif typefaces are generally considered as easier to read for large amounts of text as opposed to sans-serif. 
  • Use of contrasting fonts for different kinds of text.
  • If in doubt stick to familiar fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia. 
  • Use no more than two or three fonts in a single layout.
Exercise: Experiment with layouts

Taking a simple layout comprising a picture, heading , body text and caption. Following a few more provided links on typography and thinking about the previous exercises produce three different versions of the layout. Which one is best and why?

Project Photographic book covers

I need to visit my local library and bookshop and browse through the photographic book covers. Note the images and think about the thought processes behind each one. The image has to have an impact, gaining the readers attention, holding it and be relevant. The next exercises focuses on the reasons for success.

Exercise: Choosing your imagery

Find an example of books featuring certain characteristics, trying where possible, to have an actual copy of the book rather than viewing the image online. Look for:
  • an out of focus photograph
  • an inverted photograph
  • an historical archival photograph where the subject is slightly obscured
  • a still life close up
  • a minimalist landscape or outdoor scene with a large area of sky
For each example write approximately 100 words describing why the publishers adopted this design. Have a copy of the example in the answer.

Investigate book cover design as an overview, consider stock photography versus custom made images, also the role of concept.

Exercise: Conceptual cover design

Looking at the six book covers provided this exercise is an analysis of the possible thought processes of the art director/designer. To know how clever or successful the imagery is I need to get hold of the actual books and familiarise myself with the content. Note which were easy to produce while others needed location and props.

Contrast the six books with three more that have a differing approach. Ponder upon the problems of copyrighting a concept.

Accommodating type

A cover image has to have sufficient space for the title and authors name, as well as any other information that may need to be included. An added sophistication is the ability to build the typography into the image.

Assignment Two A photographic book cover

The brief is to design a book jacket which must wrap around, include the front cover, spine and back cover. This will be for a work of fiction using my own photography and the image used must have been shot specifically for this project.

Choosing a book title

Chose from

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
Choice by Renata Salecl
1984 by Geroge Orwell
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Outsider by Albert Camus
The Remains of the Day by Kazu Ishiguro
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart.

So planning.....

Explore type tools in Photoshop
Experiment with layouts
Visit the library to get hold of specific books
Research links provided as a starting point
Further research re design layouts and photographic concept ideas
Once book/concept has been chosen plan photoshoot.

one .... two ... three .... go...

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