Whether it's a magazine spread, a subway poster, or even a Web page, nothing connects or communicates like a great layout. Layout design, the art of what goes where on a page or editorial spread, is a creative challenge for any graphic designer.
In this intensive 3-lesson course, you'll tackle advanced-level layout projects that push your design skills to the limit. You'll learn how to build strong foundations for your page design, explore creative applications for lines and shapes, and discover how to break the rules while maintaining the underlying structure of a page. Case studies will analyze carefully selected examples of layout designs considered to be classics of graphic print design. Course projects include a 4-page magazine spread, a book jacket design, and a calendar.
This course is geared to intermediate/advanced graphic design students looking to stretch out and add distinctive print designs to their portfolios. Principles learned in this class can be applied to any layout design, from print to packaging, the Web, and beyond.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, the basis of creative layout design is organization. Lesson One explores the structural foundations of layout design—how designers use grid systems to unite text, images, and other page elements within an overall visual communication. Case studies on A.M. Cassandre and Josef Müller-Brockmann explore how the masters constructed fluid designs on firm foundations. You'll learn how elements such as margins, markers, modules, and flowlines help to unify a page or spread. Then you'll examine applications for the common grid systems used by designers: manuscript grid, column grid, modular grid, and hierarchical grid. In the exercise, you'll apply these concepts to the design of a 4-page magazine spread.
Order is a necessary element in all design and a complement to creativity. Lesson Two explores creative applications for a geometrical approach to page composition. Classic proportional systems are explored, including such as the golden section, golden spiral, Fibonacci sequence, root 2 rectangle, and the rule of thirds. You'll also investigate how to use lines and shapes as graphic elements to create a sense of order. Lines, curves, circles, angles, bars and squares, and patterns are all explored as possible tools for structuring a layout. The lesson concludes with a discussion on the importance of balance, negative space, and strong focal points. In the exercise, you'll apply these principles to a book jacket design.
Lesson Three looks at ways of moving beyond traditional layout structures and using a more intuitive, experimental approach. Unconventional structural approaches discussed will include contextual framing, page bleeds, layering, proximity, and hypnotic wandering. Type layout concepts discussed will include 3D type, chunking, text columns, and the vexed question of legibility. Finally, you'll explore some Post-Modern layout techniques: freeform, surreal collage, 3D environments, fragmentation, graffiti, cutouts, overprinting, and conceptual design. In the final project, you'll select an avant-garde technique and apply it to a challenging calendar design project.