Cover design with Minion — Could really use your feedback!

James Deux's picture

Hey all.

See attached. This is for an annual for a student governance organization.

I am concerned that people will not know where to begin reading. I had one friend looking it over and she said that she was confused where to begin.

Additional thoughts? Anything is fair game.

See updates below!

SCR_Final_Cover copy.pdf90.65 KB
SCR_Final_Cover.pdf91.88 KB
microspective's picture

It took a minute for me to see exactly what you were doing. At first, I was distracted by the random inclusion/omission of "The" when I decided to just read it from top to bottom. Then I saw your trick.

I think a solution would be to have fewer styles. Don't do the italic and the negative indent. Keeping one weight and style throughout will probably do a better job in showing your layout idea as well as keeping it readable.

Lastly, the proportion of the copy to the page feels a little large and unwieldy.

Minion's not a bad choice for this, but let see how it evolves after more feedback...

James Deux's picture

Thank you! I will take note.

Fontgrube's picture

Yes it's not quite clear whether this is two columns or negative indent. You want the words STUDENT CONCERNS REPORT to stand out. But they are also part of the text if i got the idea. My suggestion: instead of using marginal text use a very bold (ultra or black something) sans face to stress them. In addition, you could use some negative indent, but not the whole word, but maybe you needn't. Andreas

William Berkson's picture

This is a clever visual idea, but it seems to confuse rather than communicate--a basic purpose of good design. So I think you need a plan B, equally clever, but that delivers the goods more simply and directly.

.00's picture

How about some change of scale?

All the type is the same size. The simplest element in information hierarchy is size.

oprion's picture

On close inspection, the logo looks like it was poorly vectorized from a bad scan.

James Deux's picture

Hey all. Thanks a bunch for the feedback! I have two new specs. They will probably need some additional tidying, but they carry the idea successfully. (That is to say, they continue my thinking.) Links in first post!

Fontgrube: Even though I wanted "Student Concerns Report" to stand out, I reasoned that removing those words from the block of text was more or less unnecessary. The title is repeated several times. EVENTUALLY, one way or another, the audience will be able to tell what the publication is.

William: I've streamlined the text. Now, the reader must begin where all good English texts start—from the top (of the text).

Terminal: I've gotten rid of the negative indent in one example, so I don't think a change in size is necessary. I have increased the weight in both instances, as you'll see.

Oprion: Amen. The logo is fine given that the wavy look could be reasoned as the designer's "intention." The text is unsalvageable. But changing the logo is not in my purview at this moment.

nina's picture

"EVENTUALLY, one way or another, the audience will be able to tell what the publication is"
Which shouldn't really be an issue to begin with.

It seems a bit like you're trying to very cleverly solve a difficult problem that you don't need to have. Which makes it seem over-designed to me. But maybe I'm just not getting it. What is the point of the repetition?

BTW on the spine, why capitalize one instance of «the» but not the other?

.00's picture

Compiled by Kyle
Picone, Chair for Student

Whenever I see a break like this I get sick.

channel_49's picture

Needs more hierarchy, looks more like an inside page.

.00's picture

If you are going to riff on repetition, at least make it memorable.

James Deux's picture

I am attempting to make a visually appealing cover with just typography.

It does require a little bit of flashiness for success. It isn't intuitive per se; the repetition does not support the meaning, only the design. The guiding light for the project has been "credibility" and as a designer, I have taken this to mean a cover that includes a type of minimal elegance using what is already present—in this case, typography.

I am reconsidering it though. I am straddling a fine line between boring and over-designed. I am trying hard to make purposive design, but it sits dully on the page and who will that serve but unresponsive conventions?

Still, a great much to consider.

Thank you all!

.00's picture

Mr Deux,

I think you are way off the mark. Your cover does not need to contain "flashiness" or "repetition".

Minion is primarily a test face. Perhaps it is not the ideal font to use in this design.

There are a lot of ways for you to solve this typographic design without resorting over wrought design devices.

How about taking the basic information you have to communicate and compose it in a simple and straight forward manner, paying attention to line breaks and logical clusters of information? Use scale, contrast and white space to create a bit tension on the page.

This isn't brain surgery. (Although it might be a bit of rocket science).

JamesM's picture

It's an interesting approach, but I found myself reading it top to bottom (since it isn't immediately clear what's going on) and getting bored after reading the word "concerns" about 12 times.

What about an alternate design that emphasizes "the student concerns report" by presenting the phrase in an interesting way, or creating a pattern out of it, or whatever, and de-emphasizes the other words (year, author, etc) by placing them separately (without repetition) just one place on the page, perhaps in smaller type?

JamesM's picture

Perhaps this is a little corny, but what about crafting the multiple lines to look like a big exclamation mark, with the little logo becoming the dot on the bottom? It vaguely reminds me of that already.

flooce's picture

as an amateur my opinion is that this design tries hard to be overly smart... Make it simpler, it is not an art gallery folder.

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