Category Archives: Self-Initiated Project

Newspaper Mock Ups

I noticed that the Hunting magazine was the wrong kind of environment to best demonstrate these ads, so I created some newer mock ups. This time I chose a generic newspaper and I think this is a much better home for them to show themselves off.



The Comp

  • So, I have spent the last few days creating my ‘Cross-Ratio’ adverts. I began to form a natural hierarchy between the elements. I was worried that I would have to activity force different elements to keep a relationship and (through this) create a familiarity throughout the series of adverts. But as it turns out, after I created the first two compositions (Full Page & Spread) there was an unspoken rule for how to lay each one out. 
  • I knew that the logo & name should be sat in the bottom right corner and the plea and ‘donate’ link should sit in the left. There were occasions where this rule had to be overwritten, for example in Spread & Quarter Page (Banner) if I stuck to the rule the ‘donate’ link would sit over the images focal point. So I had to use my brain to try and keep a similar relationship, I just opted to split the image into thirds and by doing this I think it has kept the same vibe.
  • Spread is split into thirds with the image tacking up 2/3rds of the pages. I did this because in Full Page it is the focal point and I don’t want to disturb the relationship.  The only one that doesn’t focus on the image so much is Half Page (Portrait) and this is because of the aspect of that particular adverts and it’s relationship with my image. But over than that, I think I have got a good, universal, understanding within the series. I have balanced the focal point between image and text well.

The Image

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“Access Graduation”

01 Full Page

I decided to make the laptops image a graduation, as I know British people will understand this (unlike the problems that arose when I was trying to understand what African children might get). I opted for 7 caps to be bursting out of the laptop as this is a number linked to spiritualness, wisdom, fixing and luckiness. The laptop is almost like a portal between the two worlds.

In one of my previous posts, I show how a different image on the screen ditattaches itself from the landscape. There is no relationship between the two countries and it seems to cause a distance between the laptop and it’s environment.
I showed it to a peer and he suggested I give the laptop a desktop background. When I asked “why” he told me it would help make it clearer that it is a laptop. I don’t think I need to make it clearer, this advert is going in British magazines and British people know that that is a laptop!
Also, by putting that in there I take away the idea that this laptop transports education into their world..

I’ve made the laptop screen brighter to represent the literal idea of brighter futures.

How to Deliver a “Cross-Ratio” Relationship

I wanted to make sure there was a relationship between the singular pages, the spread, the quarter and half pages. They are all to adapt different ratios and aspects but need to feel like part of the same family.
I started to design the pages and quickly realised that there was no point designing the single full-page if I had no knowledge of to approach the others. It needs to be well thought out, with a guideline (for things like margins and font sizes etc.) and then I can begin.
I took a look at how other people have done this…

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New Image

I have taken quite a drastic path to decide upon a final image for the adverts. Below are the original starting points and below that is the one I think I am most happiest with.

The issues with the original images before were:

  • It seemed to not hit the right vibe. Charitable campaigns appear to all be about the emotional response and the original images seemed too dark and too basic. There was no escaping the fact that it felt like a composition of many different elements and this compromised the emotive response, I feel.
  • There is a personal detachment, which creates a tension and anxiety, over the lack of seeing a person. It doesn’t feel warm enough.

I tried the below image, as it was suggested that I perhaps just ignore what I was trying to do before… What I wanted was to make it seem like this laptop had transported something that represents education and placed it into the scenery, this was to demonstrate the ease of access created by the laptop.
I don’t think this was very apparent in my explanation during tutorials because I was told to try it, like I have below, with a bright blue sky. I opted to desaturate the background image, to help emphasise the idea that the laptop brings brighter future. This seems to be a poor direction to take as it is almost miss-selling the idea, I don’t want it to seem as though the laptops are a ticket to a brighter place, rather that they offer access to that ticket. (if that makes sense…)
Not a complete waste though, the desaturation of the background implies an idea of bleakness and “a worse place” << use this trick!
Also, I noticed that the background has trees and shrubbery in it. I want to make the contrast between the baron landscape and the life that the laptop brings slap you in the face. A rocky, sandy landscape compared to something that is bright and full of life (within the laptop) is the way to go!


Below is the next stage of progression with my adverts imagery. Personally I think this is a hands down winner!!

How does this image resolve the previous issues?

  • I’m not sure whether the stock imagery work better together or whether it is the introduction of a person’s body (not just two hands), but  the image feels as though there is a much more naturalistic element. It no longer feels like a collage of different images, rather a single photograph.
  • The very subtle grittiness of the image works well with your senses to force an involuntary curiosity. It needs to be looked at, I feel.

Change in Specifications

I have just realised that the spec size for the magazine I used as guidelines is an A5 magazine, just for personal preference, I would rather create a slightly larger sized page.
I measured an issue of Men’s Health I had (as this is more of a regular size) and so I will have my document size at 215 mm x 284 mm. Every other detail will remain the same!

New Specs:

  • Colour Mode: CMYK
  • Bleed: Minimum of 3 mm
  • Margins: At least 5 mm
  • Resolution: 300 dpi
  • Format: PDF (w/ crop marks & bleed)
  • Page Sizes;
    Full Page: 215 mm x 284 mm
    Spread: 430 mm x 284 mm
    Half Page, Horizontal: 215 mm x 142 mm
    Half Page, Vertical: 107.5 mm x 284 mm
    Quarter Page: 107.5 mm x 142 mm
    Quarter Page, Banner: 215 mm x 71 mm

Developing Further


This is the next image that I created but I am now beginning to dislike it, simply because I don’t think it is very clear. I wondered how I might find a way to recreate it in a similar but highlight the following points:

  1. Bridges the gap between the developed and developing countries,
  2. In a more visually stimulating,
  3. And has a clearer emphasis on education.

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Above are some examples of current adverts; below are some examples of adverts that are no longer popular and feel quite dated.

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