Pace and contrast

Week 10-11

Compare the design (in terms of pace and contrast) of an online magazine, blog or website to that of a printed magazine, book or journal. What differences can you see between the kinds of design strategies used in the two formats?

For this Learning activity, I’m going to compare the Spanish edition of Elle magazine, March 2020, both their printed and online versions.

Cover of the printed magazine

Home page of the online version

The cover of the printed version uses one big photo that can also be seen on the homepage header of the online magazine. The logo is present in both versions as well.
On the printed cover, the designer has used a combination of typefaces -serif and sans-serif- to catch the attention of the reader. The online magazine also uses a mix of serif and sans-serif typefaces and similar colors as the printed one. The difference is, of course, that the web version is interactive, and the information can be presented differently. There is a menu just below the header with some fixed categories that the reader can click to get to the desired information. If we scroll down the main page, we see the same categories with some of their content, showed in a grid design with pictures and the title of the article they link to.

Printed spreads

Online article

The design for the printed magazine has a lot of pictures to make the read easier and more dynamic, and so does the online one. The difference lies in the way the text and photos are distributed in the article. In the images above, I show the same story in both paper and online. In the printed one, the designer uses a 3-column grid where they add large pictures, some even taking a whole page. The web article, on the other hand, has a unique column, and the photos are inserted in between the lines, more like a blog post, since the reader will scroll down to read the piece rather than turn the pages on a more traditional magazine.

The way a reader navigates a magazine is very different for printed and web, and it is essential, as a designer, to consider that aspect when designing the layout and the way the information will be presented.


Basic Principles of Layout

Week 10-11

Take a magazine, newspaper or book that includes images and text. Lay tracing paper over the top of three spreads (both left-hand and right-hand pages). Using a pencil and ruler, carefully trace the grid underlying the page layouts. Remember to remove specific text elements or images, and to only draw the grid lines. Note column widths and margin sizes at the top, bottom, and to the left and right of the main body of text. Is your document based on a two-column, three-column, or another type of grid? Which elements stay the same on each page, and which change?

I decided to use the magazine Hus & Bolig. The three spreads I chose are based on a three-column grid, like most of the pages in the magazine. All the pages selected have a mid-range amount of text, which works well with this type of grid. All three spreads have large images/graphics; the first and the last one have an asymmetric distribution between picture and text, while the second one is symmetrically divided.

Column width: 5,7 cm
Column hight: 25,4 cm
Top margin: 2,2 cm
Bottom margin: 2 cm
Left margin: 1,5 cm
Right margin: 1,5 cm
Gutter: 0,4 cm


Week 10-11

On five A4 landscape pages, I had to draw four equal squares in each. Then, I draw one or two squares or rectangles in each of the empty squares to achieve the following visual effects:

  • Entering left
  • Movement to the right
  • Movement to the left
  • Movement downwards
  • Movement upwards
  • Balance
  • Tension
  • Symmetry/asymmetry

Entering left
The rectangles placed close to the left end of the square gives the impression that they are entering the page on the left side. The fact that the rectangle closest to the edge is only partially shown helps enforce that effect.

Movement to the right
Placing both pieces on the right side of the square gives the impression that they are moving to the right. It doesn’t affect if I use squares or rectangles.

Movement to the left
In the same way, placing the squares or rectangles on the left side of the page suggests movement to the left.

Movement downwards
In order to show the effect of movement downwards, I decided to place the squares and/or rectangles close to the bottom of the big square.

Movement upwards
Placing two rectangles on the top of the square gives the illusion that they are moving upwards. It works if the blocks are in line or in parallel paths.

Two squares with the same size placed in opposite corners of the page suggest balance. The same happens with two equally sized rectangles on each side of the square.

In the first drawing, the small rectangle is place in such a manner that seems as it was about to fall, creating tension. In the second example, the contrast of shape, color and orientation, as well as the fact that one is place on top of the other also creates tension.

Two equally large shapes mirrored to each other create symmetry.

The different sizes and shapes in the first example create asymmetry. In the second drawing, even though the squares are the same size, they are not mirrored to each other, which makes them asymmetric.

Idea Development – LA – Q3

Week 2

Question 3 – Practical assignment (problem solving)


You are given a teaspoon as an object. Now apply each one of the SCAMPER techniques to it and give a brief explanation of what new product comes of this and how it can be marketed.

S – Substitute
The first thing I thought of was to substitute the material or the color of the spoon, but then I thought it’d be better to replace the handle by a straw. This way, you can add sugar or other condiments to your drink, mix it and drink it, all with one item. It could be of interest for cafes and restaurants.

C – Combine
I thought of combining the spoon with a fork at the other end of the handle. It could be marketed to people that take their lunch to school or work. It’s also useful when traveling or going out in nature. No more single-use plastic cutlery.

A – Adapt
Making the spoon foldable makes it easier to carry it with you. If we combine this option with the previous one – spoon + fork – it’s an even better solution for portable cutlery.

M – Modify
I modified one side of the bowl of the spoon to give it the shape of a serrated knife. It would be useful for eating certain fruits, like kiwi, without the need to peel it. It could be sold at any store where silverware is sold, or next to the fruit section at the supermarket.

P – Put to other uses
Another use I came up with for any metal teaspoon is to roll up metal tubes in the kitchen, like those for mayonnaise or cream cheese.

E – Eliminate
If we eliminate the bowl of the spoon, we are left with a stick to mix drinks. The advantage is that it takes less space to store than a regular teaspoon. It could be marketed to students or people who live in small apartments and need to save space. It’d probably be interesting for cafes and restaurants as well.

R – Reverse or rearrange it
By linking the handle of the spoon to both sides of the bowl, we could use a simple spoon as a bracelet. It could be aimed at coffee/tea lovers and sold at cafes, for example.

Rice packaging

You have to design packaging for rice. The packaging has to be different from what is out there in the market. Apply each one of the SCAMPER techniques and do a write‑up on your findings. Then choose the option that you think would work best and do a sketch of what the packaging would look like.

S – Substitute
The most obvious substitution would be to find a new material for the packaging. For example, glass, metal, fabric or even leaves (which would make it biodegradable and more eco-friendly).

C – Combine
It would be easy to combine the rice with salt, spices and dried herbs to make the preparation easier as it eliminates the need to add them afterward.

A – Adapt
I usually cook too much or too little rice as I find it difficult to calculate the portions. One way to avoid this problem is to adapt the packaging to include a measuring cup. The top part of the cardboard box would detach from the rest of the box and could be used as a measuring tool. It would also work as a lid while storing the leftover uncooked rice.

M – Modify
The package could be modified so it includes a dispenser that would release one serving of uncooked rice every time you push it. This would be useful in the same way as the option above.

P – Put to other uses
The box could be made in such a way that it could be reused once the rice is finished. One application could be to store different products around the house or even to use as blocks for kids to play with.

E – Eliminate
What if we eliminate the packaging altogether? We would be left with only rice, and the customers would need to buy it in bulk and bring their own container from home.

R – Reverse or rearrange it
Usually, the rice packages are opened near the top. We could rearrange it and have the box open at the bottom part. If we combine this solution with the dispenser explained in the Modify section, we have a better solution.

Some of the ideas presented in this exercise already exist on the market. Adding a rice dispenser to the packaging would probably result in a price increase. The option of using part of the packaging as a measuring tool gives you the same results; however, it would be cheaper. For that reason is the design I picked. Here is the sketch.

Rice packaging sketch