FMP – Designing The Briefing

Once the research was done, concept was figured out and content was on the move, it was time to do the hardest part of this project, the design. In terms of style I was always fairly confident in how I wanted it to look, but the most difficult process would be figuring out how to fit over 100 articles onto one sheet of broadsheet newspaper.

I always have an idea in my head of how the design is going look, if only a vague one. Most of the inspiration for the style came from The Independent resign, directed by Matt Willey. Even though it is no longer printed, it still stands as a beautiful piece of editorial design that manages to condense a lot of information while still being expressive. I was particularly a fan of the large serif headlines that drawn the attention to different articles.

Using placeholder text I started to explore different designs and layouts for the front cover. I quickly landed on the font FreightPro for the display, which is a very prestigious and bold typeface, especially in capitals. For the body copy I used A2 Type’s Antwerp, mainly at a light weight, as it is an incredibly intricate and interesting typeface that fits in perfectly with the style I was going for. Once again, having a style in mind always helps speed up the design process. I definitely could have explored more styles but figuring it out early allowed me more time to write the articles and figure out the typographic system.

After creating a visual style, I then started experimenting with different layouts and and compositions. The front page was going to have the bulk of the articles, while the inside was going to cover the stories in more detail. Unlike previous projects, I started to record all of my design attempts and break down the parts that I liked about each one. In terms of speed, it may have slowed me down a little bit but it allowed me to create a much more refined core design so I am definitely going to practise it in the future.

In the end I condensed over 120 articles down to the bare essentials, so needless to say that was one of the most time consuming parts of the project. However, as the articles were broken down over time I was able to keep working on the design and refine the typographic system.

 

The final design is probably one of the most intricate pieces of work I have ever put together and I am fairly proud of it. There are still improvements that could be made, but through my process and also from the feedback I received from my tutors I was able to create a strong piece of typographic design that was successful in what I wanted it to do.

Along with The Briefing, I also wanted to create a process book that would dive deeper into what my project is about, along with how I actually created the one sheet newspaper. In terms of design, the process book is far more expressive and bold in comparison to the more refined and detailed newspaper. This is mainly due to the fact that I was tired of designing in an intricate way and just wanted to create some expressive. The final design of the process book ended up standing alone as a strong piece of typographic design and I am pleased with how quickly I was able to come up with it.

This project has turned out to be one of my strongest, which I think is mainly due to how much I enjoyed breaking down the problems in modern news media. It got a bit tight time wise towards the end of the project, an area that I could always improve on, but in terms of the design and execution, I am very pleased with the final outcome. It will definitely go down as one of my favourite projects but I think the personal freedom of the brief allowed for that. I will definitely continue to pursue the concept and maybe see if there is a similar area of media that could use the same treatment.

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