This was my second design of the September issue. I vividly remember the pain I had to go through while creating this…it was awful!
Since this story is informational and lacks any student quotes, I knew that the design would have to be graphic based and could not depend on a photo for a dominant element. I remember pretty clearly that I was struggling to come up with an idea for a dominant element, but I eventually thought to create a globe. I created the map out of tiny circles on InDesign and placed the circles over a photo of a real map to make sure everything was in the right place. It took a very, very long time to put in all the circles, but I’d say it was worth it.
And why did I choose to make the world out of circles, you ask? Well, circles were a pretty big trend in 2014, duh! Also, it was a lot more work than making a plain shape, but I think it turned out looking fairly modern and clean.
The one thing I don’t like about this graphic is that the large circle around the map makes it seem more 3D, but there’s no perspective on the small circles, so that part seems flat. If I were to make this dominant element again, I would either make some of the small circles ovals to make the graphic look more 3D (which would take FOREVER) or I would change the graphic to be a large map instead of globe- I think I’d choose the latter 🙂
Aside from the fact that making this graphic was very time consuming, adjusting the size of it took forever as well. Of course I grouped all the objects together, but every time I changed the size, it would take forever to load and InDesign crashed a few times. Furthermore, I didn’t know that the “Type On Path Tool” existed! So those letters wrapped around the globe? Yeah, I placed those individually…
The main thing I don’t like about this spread is that although the dominant element is fairly clean, the format of all the briefs is very repetitive. I dislike how I put the sidebars in the same place for every brief, and how I stuck to exactly what the Design Library was and didn’t change things up a bit. I think the “Fast Facts” side bar is just plain ugly- it comes off as text heavy and the design is too busy rather than clean and sleek. Furthermore, the “By the Numbers” sidebars look the exact same and are placed the same on both pages.
Instead, I would place these sidebars in between the columns to split up the text and make it more reader friendly. Furthermore, I would make the subheads bolder to further contrast from the body text and split it up. I think I would also add a pull quote to capture the reader’s attention.
I also dislike how the mini globes were placed where they are. I remember I placed them there to get rid of some extra white space, but I think they should’ve been placed more strategically to match with each brief. Instead, they look awkward and they come off something used to take up space (which they were…).
Overall, I would say this design was pretty good considering it was my first one on staff. I definitely spent a ton of time on it and it hit the design trends of the time. However, of course, there is stuff that could be improved.
Thanks for reading!