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Awesome: 'Storybook format for webcomics, does it work?' by MagicToaster

MagicToasterMagicToaster Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in [2008-2012] Awesome Posts?
Hey, welcome to the boards!

Well, tell us more about your project; what do you want to do with it? I suppose that you're printing it because it says "Staple here".

I'll be judging purely the technical aspect of graphic design, so I'll skip what I feel about your project idea and focus only on the visual aspect.

I'm not liking the over all appearance, it looks somewhat like Frankenstein's monster. There is no consistency in the style or elements that you're putting together. There is a black,squigly, uneven frame with a feathered edge and then crisp vectors that line up neatly. The images are also framed in a perfect square that's thrown off by the by the previously mentioned black, squigly, uneven frame. I'd replace the black frame for a cleaner looking one or give the same treatment to the rest of the elements otherwise it's gonna look like a jumble of elements from the web put together thoughtlessly. Why is the stripe on page 5 stretching way to the left but it is centered perfectly on the rest of the pages?

This, however, is only part of my grief. The layout itself is boring. It's a letter/A4 style document with Garamond type. Garamond is a fantastic type face, but it looks strikingly similar to Times New Roman. This combination of page format and type face make it feel like someone just chose the default settings in a word processing program. As a matter of fact, this looks like it was done in a word processing program.

Graphic designers need to justify their value by creating something that is beyond the skills of laypeople, if your layout can be accurately recreated in Microsoft Word or Power Point, then there is no purpose in having a graphic designer. This is my personal measure which I use to push myself to make me valuable as a resource.

I'd experiment with different page sizes. Try making a giant squared page or something that is not a commercialy available paper size. I also encourage you to experiment designing on page spreads (i.e. one page next to the other) rather than single pages. Books are not individual sheets, they are spreads and sometimes what looks good as a single sheet doesn't look good as a spread.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you built this in Photoshop (judging not only by the feathered frame, but also by how the type is rendered). If this is correct, I highly encourage you to give InDesign a chance. It's not as intuitive but if you're familiar with the workings of Photoshop you should be able to figure out what most things do. InDesign gives you a myriad of tools that you won't find anywhere else, the most relevant to you being the ability to make multiple page documents in single pages or spreads.

I believe that if you try a different layout, give more thought to the arrangement of elements and use your typography more effectively this can look very good! I'd also avoid using black as a main background because you may end up with streaky black spots when you print... unless you're using a press, which will leave black resideu on your reader's fingers.

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