Author Archives: nathancowles

About nathancowles

graphic design student

mailer work book

Sydney map Travel Australia wyndham key card2 Travel Austalia rain stick

The map/info page I made was well disgusting and i should have spent more time on the original ones. It looked so unsought out because it there was no system in place. The key card was a nice idea but needed work. I looked back and credit cards and what was in my wallet. Pretty much all are unified front to back and are the same colors on front/back. I decided to do that. I also punched out the QR code so it would not distract as much. QR codes are tricky animals. They are helpful but take alot of space and shout look at me so punching them out helps with that. The instruction sheet I was always satisfied with but tried to make more clear by putting the bag of been on top instead of bottom. Idea of pouring it in. Also the repetition of the flip mechanic was hard to convey. I wanted my instructions to be wordless and simple so  child could assemble this and figure it out. I learned from that part that if you dont need words to say what you need dont say it. If you can have an image say it for you do it instead. If you cant show exactly what you mean with image alone then as needed use text. Luckily it wasnt assembling  a some assembly required cabinet which words are needed. The biggest thing hurting the original version of this mailer was the plain completely disregarded outside in contrast to the function being so fun and the map page being so thrown together.


aborigini poster PACKAGING LABLE Travel Austalia rain stick2 wyndham key card Sydney map2

The poster I put on the outside and croped and repeated for the pull away top was great. It is traditional to do dot paintings and that fit the rain stick idea of dots and holes so that when the holes are punched it will not distract from the image but complement it. The label I made for the top and bottom of the tube to bypass needing a large sticker from the post office but I still could not get around needing the smaller labels but they did not distract as much. I also made sure to tape the ends together before putting the posters on. This was to not have tape torn off the poster ruining the images. I redid the instruction page to be a bit more clear and simpler with a turn symbol as in illustrator.

The key card took a bit to fix. I had to make a system for the card and information sheet. I chose wyndhams logos for colors. The logo is close to 1/3, 2/3 proportion so I went with that for both. It gave unity but did allow for veriety. The map page I chose more outback theme images this time and was more careful about placement. It turned out much better.

The packaging itself was shrink rapped and turned out much better than zip lock bags. It allowed the beams to be more compact and so come out easily rather than get stuck. The same for the papers. Easier removal from the tube and just looked much more professional. Luckily was minimal waste with the shrink rap.

The changes to the project were mostly small but everything was reconsidered this time. It was mostly refining from what I knew did not work the first time and how I could make it work the second time. I learned that if I had really been on top I would have test mailed the object to myself to know about the mailing stickers ect then do a production version. I also did not do a stick holding it shut being they are breakable and not practice.

finished magazine

Equiped  equiped phone

Once I got the system down it was quick work. Like any thing in graphic design it is getting the concept hammered out that takes the longest and is most important. I decided on black covers and insides because I noticed most images of DJs are dark because they are playing in clubs. It fit my theme and for daft punk their sample article was black with white text. I decided pages of white text on black is hard to read no matter what you do so I gave the feel of it being dark with out it all being dark. After many tries with the name of the magazine I went with equiped. Early on i noticed how E and D conected can form a shape of a cord. I experimented with many words starting with pluged but plugs arent used as much now with wireless but equipment will always exist so I chose that. I had the cord go under the mast head to give it contrast and something to sit on. I later added a small plug connecter to the middle for the issue date. It fit the theme.

Contents page I had the cord theme move around and plug into different articles giving the most attention the the main feature and a main department with size. I mirrored the contents page to give it the feel of flowing but not chaos. I used the plug idea on other pages for the number folio running from page to page. For departments I used a red backdrop being the magazine color and for the features I used white to have more contrast.

I gave space for the images. I found less text worked better. Allow for white space and dont bog the reader down on the first page. The first page should have a fair amount of open space to encourage them to read it. I also used the center spread to feature a large image since it is the center fold page. I chose adds that would complement the magazine and the readers being music creating. On the back covers I mirrored the covers for the mast head, date and feature story so any way you look you know what magazine, when and whats the main thing of that issue.

I tried for a simple layout with 3 text columns that did not do anything to crazy. Ive faltered before by going to crazy but should have done more. This was my first time doing a 12 column and 20ish row grid. It can be hard to look at and get confusing but it did help decide where to place things on the modules.

The phone version was translating it to a new version. It would not be incredibly hard but at the same time how do you present it. On a phone you zoom in so the screen proportion will not be the magazine proportion.

Most of all i learned you through failure to succeed you need to do all you can in every season. Meaning if you have 20 minutes to sketch then do it. If you have time when not having to think, think about your project and what you plan to do when you get to you tools again.

I spent a lot of time collecting magazines. I analyzed the ones of which I could get two of the same publication but different issues. This one national geographic is good for parts and not for others. The two issues of 26 years apart but show how a magazine can stay the same yet change. Several things stayed the same. The yellow and boarder on the cover remained. The masthead remained the same. Placements of cover features stayed the same along with the call outs of the issues. It is one of the few publications with page numbers on the cover. I realize national geographic is very different from other magazines. It is not the normal pick up at a news stand. It is sold but not at checkouts. It is intended to be subscribed to. The covers kept the serif font but changed which sans they used. Both have lines dividing topics. Also it has a hard spine. The spines remained similar with the mast head at top. There were changes to font size though. The old spine had 1 size for its text and the current had smaller size for the non mast head and let it stand out more. The modern cover also had a larger mast head and was not afraid to have the image overlap it. The new had better use of scale change of mast head then feature article then call outs then other lesser things. The old had medium-big, medium and small. New had large, medium, and small. The newer was also cleaner and less cluttered allowing for more hierarchy. The old had much more competing things for hierarchy such as the old top view logo of their globe and frills. I understand the serif masthead. Being subscribed they dont have to worry as much about being a super fast read with some sans. It is more about refined and shape as nature.

There symbol used was and I remember from a child a yellow out line frame now it is a filled in a box. They kept the shape and purpose but its not a frame any more. This issue uses it in key places to signify all sections besides features since they have custom made pages but it works well for the repeating things issue to issue. It helps unify and let you know where things start. This issue reserves the serifs for features since they are text heavy.  The old used  serif for all text inside.  The base size of magazine stayed the same but the grid changed. This issue has much more white space built in. The top line where images and text start besides full bleeds is much larger for much valued white space. The old feels much more like they were trying to cram as much text in as possible. Where myself and others love national geographic for the graphics not the stories.

This is one thing they do is often have editor statements but not always. It is interesting look into the view of the designers.

I expected to have only 1 content page but it had 2. One is features and second is departments. On two pages but not on the same spread. it helps break things up and not get overwhelmed by so much content. They do use the red text but only a very few times. The featured a feature but not the main one.

A thumbnail of some of this issues departments. I like the simplicity of the page and being centered since it is such little content helps it fill the page without it being really end heavy and it allows the images to be more dynamically placed.

The feature are very short and just give a little though but focus on image. Most of very large images but not all.

Chose this for having more text and several graphics. The bottom right side text does not bother me since it has some room to breath and is boxed in but by round images.

Chose this for putting in a pull quote. Almost every page has clear easy to find page numbers but not on full bleeds. They chose for the quote to make it evenly spaced from top to bottom instead of putting as many words as possible on each line to make it feel more structured. They do use colors of parts in features but the color is not distracting.

Use of image and tag line. The space between around the tag line is fitting to make it feel separated from the body but not need to be super exaggerated.

They broke the collums grid but it makes it more interesting.

Use of image and text on the same page can be hard but they do it well. Without alienating ether element.

One thing better about this issue is the red accent color of text. It is only on the cover but at least a few spots. The new one only has 1 spot of it in the whole issue and on cover. I like the image layouts much better in this one but dont like the grid as much if that makes sense. They changed from the sans on this to a more geometric one that just reads better. They only used the sans on the cover. The rest is all serif.

I liked the 3 column letters to editor better. Made fit better and also having ones only 3 lines long makes them feel insignificant. 3 column made them feel bigger but not daunting.

The contents page is just thrown in with the editors statement and makes the page very heavy and discouraging to read. They should have split it onto separate pages. Also with no color it feels dead.

This magazine had a disgusting amount of adds and annoying things before even getting to the content list page. It is 11 before getting to the letters to editor and 17 before the content page! I understand why. They put all their adds at the very front. The new one put the adds all before the feature but spaced by their 1 page departments, letters to editor and content page so it did not hurt as much going through it. Also with all the adds in 1 spot it makes the reader very aware what you are doing and just flip them as fast as possible opposed to having a department on 1 side and add on the other keeping you on the page for more than 2 seconds.

They cut into the body copy in a strange way they cut into it barly and would wish it would line up with other column of go in more not just this is the biggest the image would get so we did it this way. Feels poorly resolved as that part.

This is what I ment. The text description and image dont align with the body but it feels more deliberate.

They split the page 2/3, 1/3 with image. Gives enough space for the text and a second small image.

Dont like the orphen and then only 1 line before next section. Liked elen lupten and others though dend sentences on page or end sections on pages. Over all the publication became much better through the years. They game the images more relestate and cut down on text at every turn. Funny how things can change so much but still stay the same. Both still say same brand but just the modern does it better. Not sure if the old issue I showed was a special issue with not departments or if that was not created yet or what but it basically only had features and if you didnt care about those few features why pick it up. The new at least has more features and departments to appeal to more people.