Newspaper Project

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For the newspaper project I'm in a group with Jack and Ollie.
 
The subject of our newspaper is going to be 'Characters'. With each of us taking a segment of the topic each to study creating a double page spread. Jack is studying the evolution of characters over time and Ollie is looking in to concept art character design.
My area of study is archetypes and how each character can be generalised and how these generalisations are necessary within any narrative.
 
For my page design I'm going aiming to create a design which features different sectors dedicated to each archetype. The archetypes I'm going to study are: 
  • The Hero
  • The Villain
  • The Child
  • The Wise Man
  • The Anti-Hero
 
Through studying each of these archetypes I'm going to attempt to steer my choices towards inspirational and iconic illustration choices where possible as I can show how there character types are represented in different illustrative styles.
 
..So, after we had decided all of our roles, we realised there was no real communication within the group and with the deadline looming, we decided that as a group we would be better working seperately and individually. Initially I was worried about the prospect of working alone due to the workload but it provided me with the oppurtunity to not have to worry about my design fitting in with other peoples work etc. and just focus on churning out work. knowing Jack had completely changed the subject he was basing his newspaper on, I decided I would keep the theme we decided on, to follow myself as I felt i knew alot about the subject to write about it.

rSo with a subject already chosen I began to think of design aspects and a possible theme I could follow. Being on my own meant I could assure a consistnet design throughout the whole paper much easier, which gave me the idea to go for something a bit more radical.

With the subject of character archetypes, I decided a comic style design theme would work well, especially seeing as the concept of using a limited colour pallette and 'halftone dotting' was something of which I was very interested in learning and applying to work at the time. So with a theme in mind I began creating some studies based on each character archetype, in a western comic style, or my interpretation of anyway. As is the way I normally create studies I started with a pencil study, which I scanned in to the computer, where I would turn up the levels to contrast the pencil (black) to the paper (white), before using the image trace tool in illustrator as well as well as some freehand line refinement work to ensure the linework was to my liking before I started applying any colour. Something which I changed with my regular routine when creating these images however was, that I didn't 'redraw' the image over the top of the original how I sometimes do, to ensure the smoothest line i can get, instead I kept and in parts highlighted the imperfections of my pencil lines, to try and create a more rustic feel, with teh aim to make the work appear more 'vintage' and more hand drawn.
I also drafted a front cover graphic using pen as well as penicl, I actually created this image first before the characters sketches. It used similiar techniques like thickened lines and a similar block toning style but I think it wasn't completely the stye I was aiming to achieve, as well as having too many imperfections for me to spend time fixing on the computer. I felt my time was better spent elsewhere. 

During creating this graphic however, I decided upon a title for my newspaper 'Eyes On News' which was probably more poignant when shown alongside an image like this but I decided I still liked it enough to carry it on.
The images above are all basic pencil sketches hence the imperfectons and pencil marks.
After uploading my first few character designs and refining the lines it was time to start thinking about colour. the colour for each design I felt was partiucularly important as I wanted to keep a consistent colour theme with my newspaper, as I felt the design would flow alot better and look less disjointed. The colour scheme I opted for was Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black or CMYK. They're a common print colour set as they can be laid over each other to create different colours but I think they also contrast and compliment each other very well as well as fitting well with the style I have chosen, in my opinion.  From looking in to 'Skate Art' and the bold graphics the colours are used to create in that industry I felt they would work well with my similar graphic style. I wanted to incorporate the use of a 'halftone dot', something which i feel is very symbolic of comic work and pop art, like Litchtenstein's work. In order to do this I used a gradiented soft brush on photoshop and used the filter effect 'halftone dot'. The sizes of the dots are changable and I'm not quite sure yet that I'm fully happen with the sizes I've selected but I think the images are quite strong and overall I would say I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out.
I decided to create studies before desigining the layout of my newspaper because I felt as though my layout could be adjusted to fit the images easier than the other way around. So I had no limitations in the shape I had to design the pictures in. As the majority of the pictures feature a single character I decided to include a background pattern in most, so they appear more striking as an image. I especially liked the background on the 'underworld lord' i created, the skeleton looking character to the right now. which had a dot gradient as well as a white streak pattern, which I tried to make look like a lightning effect to try and highlight how he was an evil character. 
So, with a few images created I decide to start working on layout designs. I created a mock up page layout using scrap paper which I folded and arranged. I decided against the trend of creating 12 pages,
to opt for a more managle 8 seeing as I am working alone so I decided to give myself a more managable amount. Especially seeing as I was creating original images per page. Including fake adverts. In terms of adverts however, I also spoke to my course members and was kindly lended a few designs I coud use where of course I have credited them. 
A few examples of a mock-up booklet, with quick sketch placeholders and layout ideas.
Through studying newspaper layouts in school, in English years ago as well as having a mother who worked in the industry, I had a rough knowledge of general typical layout of pages. However, I still did some roug online research, where the main thing highlighted was the use of collums for text. Which I think stylistically made my designs look alot more 'newspaper-like'. I also worked on image placement, working on the theory that two images shouldn't fall directly next to each other and more so diagonally opposite to one another. 

On my front page design I featured some leaders to artictles, small paragraphs with headings, suggesting what page you could find teh article. The actual titles and articles don't actual apply and are all fictional, this is something i deliberated and wasn't sure whether they had to be accurate, I may change this before final print.
Here are some of the page designs. They were created in photoshop, where I created a template they all follow. Within the template, I have tried to vary the poistioning and size of every element that makes up the page, like the text, images, heading, etc. Just to make the pages different and make the newspaper overal more interesting to read as it's less repetitive. 

In terms of choosing the font, I wanted to go for something that was big, bold and fitted the newspaper theme, i deliberated making it very stylised and opting for a more radical choice of text but I like the novelty of choosing a more suitable text. I used the bolden tool on the headings as well as sometimes free hand transforming them, like stretching them to be longer, to fit in certain areas as well as have a more dramatic effect. obviously most are placed against a solid white background so contrast and stand out. However, in some pages, I have used a black header with white text, to create a more interesting page layout design. Also I have added an element of colour on some with a halftone gradient and 3D effects. 

The most challenging part of the page layout was thinking of ways to fill the gaps. So I had to plan what I would place there. Most gaps I filled with basic adverts I made up using basic shape and text tools. But I also made up other graphics, like page indications, missing cat adverts and website adresses. The whole paper follows the CMYK colour scheme.

to prepare for print, I tried to prepare all of the pages and images in colour layers so they coud easily transfer to colour runs. But this is something I hadn't fully resolved yet as I wasn't fully sure how I would print the newspaper and whetehr this woud actually be a factor I had to take in to account.
I decided the 'HEROES' and 'VILLAINS' pages were most suitable to the first double page spread of the paper as they are the most prominent and well known character archetypes.

I featured some of these images on the front page as I thought they would act like a window to the articles.

I wrote the articles in a chatty style without taking them too serously, I didn't feel like they needed to be serious nor was the project focusing too much on the written content so i decided to have fun with it.
I tried to keep the styling of the pages constant but with specific changes on each page to draw attention and angle the theme of the page toward the subject.

I made every header different, and based the style and colour choice on the subject in question.

I used the same font for the text throughout, to keep the consistency and flow of the paper.

I varied how bold and bright my adverts were and whether they featured on certain pages, for instance I used  large advert banner in bright yellow on the bottom of the 'Damsels In Distress' page, but I think it actually compliments the page even though it is so bright, as it follows the CYMK colour scheme.
I think the 'Mentor' page is one fo the weakest, it only has one relatively small imge in comparison to the others and alot of text. However I think it is probably a bit more like a real newspaper in terms of text volume, I think it falls flat compared to the other pages I have. at this stage of desigining the pages I began to struggle more with ideas how to fill empty space, I decided to create a smaller story which i suggested continues online.

The anti-hero page I'm actually pretty happy with, I was running low on time by the time i got to creating this page so i managed to redesign two existing line drawings I had, one which I'd used for a past project, but coloured and editted very differently and one I'd completely scrapped. It was quite rewarding to see this image put to use as I thought I'd wasted time making it initially. 
Similarly to my previous page, I managed to redesign and colour an existing line drawing I had, applying the Cyan colour that features trhoughout my newspaper, in the halftone dot style - I think it works and fits well. I used a very large eye-catching header on the backpage, as I know with real newspapers there are often big stories on the back and this is the message I tried to portray with the sheer size of the image and header.


From a negative aspect, I feel as though some of the pages fall short of one anotehr and the weaker pages are quite obvious. Also, the CYMK colour scheme has managed to alter slightly per page which I think ruins the flow of the paper slightly, I also wish I distrubuted the colours better as some appear a bit dull compared to others, especially the 'mentor' page.

However, on a postive note, i think the style overall worked well and is eye-catching and hasn't been done by anyone else as far as I know. Although it could've been applied better and with less incosistencies I like the CYMK colour scheme a lot and I think it really draws the eye of the reader.
Before taking my page designs to print, i decided to make a dummy book, using InDesign, to position the booklet. i created it in a much smaller scale than I plan on creating my actual newspaper. My InDesign skills are severly lacking so I struggled in working out how to print the booklet from home. However, after a bit of frustration and trial and error I managed to make a booklet...
Although, it was even smaller than I expected and the print wasn't double sided, so I had to use my initiative and use scissors and a gluestick to combine the pages and create an even rougher dummy book than I first predicted. I didn't feel it really mattered though, as the dummy book would serve the exact same purpose no matter how rough it was.
As mentioned, the booklet was thrown together pretty shoddily, I also used cotton to stitch a seam but I don't think this really alters the purpose of the dummy book greatly, as I still got to view the quality of the images when they were printed. I used it as an oppurtunity to highlight any erros or areas I felt I should touch up or add to before taking it to the final print stage.
Finally, I took my newspaper to print at university, where I created a double sided A3 print on newsprint paper. I folded and arranged the pages accordingly. 
Overall, I think my newspaper was successful and I was happy with the end result. When the paper was actually printed in finished format I was even more pleased and felt making the decision to use newsprint paper really complimented the style. The images, when creating them I was always careful to create them in the correct size and/or as vector graphics so they didn't pixelate, which they didnt and they held their quality well. The colour scheme, although it became less specific, I felt worked well and was eye-catching. 

As a project, I actually really enjoyed it, I could defnitely work on my time-keeping and organisational skills in the future on similar tasks but I also feel though I worked well and created a good project on the whole.