Module 6

Introduce | Learn | Apply


Topic 1 | Topic 2 | Topic 3 | Topic 4

Read the material below and any additional resources listed for this lesson.

This section shows four types of sketches used for brochures, posters and magazine layouts. There are many ways to do RAPID VIZ layouts and you will see many more methods in MOD 7. Use these and others you will see next week as your guidelines for sketching layouts for graphic design projects!

Topic 1

Simple Layout Format .

Example #1: This drawing shows a simple markup for a magazine spread done as single pages in a very simple style with no images in the image boxes. This is an example of the type of sketching designers do in preparation for doing digital work. Art Directors, don't like to pay designers to jump right onto computers until they see some "ideation" sketches that are indications of what a project will look like both conceptually and visually. This method of layout, can be done in traditional method with pen, pencil and other drawing tools or in the newer digital method of using tablets, iPads and other devices to actually draw on the computer.

  • All text is marker lined in paragraph or block formats, indicating indents, paragraph format, fonts, layout, positioning and style. Notation is brief and simple but gives an indication of information that is not visible in the sketch.
  • The graphic on the cover page is done as outline art for spacial layout purposes. Many artists use only X's to show image positions, while those that can draw use quick sketching methods to indicate some of the images, locations, rotation, cropping, and more.
  • All images including the article banner ar eX boxed in and used as place holders. It is done using a ruler for most of the layout.
  • In many cases, the designer does NOT know what the images will be until the photographer completes the photo shoot so Xs may be a typical solution for this.
  • Image place holders are used instead of real images or detailed hand drawn the images. If you can do rapid indication of the images, and know what images may be used, it's a good idea to include a rough sketch of the images to show the basic overall look and feel of the layout.
  • It's fine to use X's as placeholders.
  • In some cases the designer cannot draw the images because their drawing skills are not adequate enough yet. This causes a "crutch" like situation, where the designer "jumps on the computer" to solve the design. It's best to resist this temptation and to do the thumbnails first, show them to the client or supervisor, and then get approval to move forward.
  • Some designers will scan in rough layouts done in pencil or pen, and then "comp" in placeholder images. This gives a more personal feeling to the layouts, and sidesteps the mechanical look and feeling of the boring boxes that are created in most layout programs with X's in them.
  • All the methods above work fine for layout before designing a formal digital mockup using Adobe or similar layout software.
  • The most important aspect to remember is to GET APPROVAL before you commit many hours to a digital layout or mockup. Remember that all studios have a different workflow and what one studio may expect, is usually different from another studio. There are no real rules.
  • Remember to constantly check in with the client or "boss" for feedback and approval before moving ahead with final comps.

Quick layout process for page layout.

GID Design Archives ©

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Topic 2

Notation Intensive Layout Format:

Example #2 is a very rough drawing that uses notations to communicate most of the information.

  • This drawing is rough, fast and loose indicating images with x boxes and column layout with text lines.
  • This drawing is filled with notes of all kinds to help the designer communicated to the layout artist or the digital layout designer.
  • Notes become very important tool for communication in this example.
  • It is very fast and rough layout. It is also done BEFORE the digital layout is begun by the designer.
  • This fast method can save hours of work that takes place on a computer.
  • Sketch layout time is cheaper then computer layout time.
  • This technique gives the designer lots of information to work with as the digital rough is created.
  • The Art Director was able to give the nod of approval to begin the work from the client.
  • The information was adequate enough to approve the next step in the design process.
  • Notes are given for color, size, type, layout, text, etc..... as needed to explain the layout to the client.

Image showing intensive notation on page layout.

GID Design Archives ©

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Topic 3

Image Outline Format:

  • This layout uses a mixture of outline drawings and x boxes to place images. A few notes help the designer layout the page.
  • Note the use of DISPLAY text layout in the major panels with simulated type face for the headings..
  • The text is placed with wavy line stroke techniques and the bold text is done with a marker
  • The designer did not try to draw features on the images, only outlines. It is very effective to see the position and angle of image shapes that are used as bleed images and are fitted around text boxes.
  • Designers that learn to sketch in outline form can do amazing work with just a few faked in outlines that allow the client to get a good idea of the designers concept.

Image showing 8 mini page layouts with minor notations

GID Design Archives ©

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Topic 4

Marker Layout Format:

  • This example is a called a marker layout.
  • All image boxes are filled with markers in a variety of tones from medium gray to black.
  • X boxes are used to indicate some image placeholders.
  • A key image is drawn in silhouette using two or three shades of grayscale markers.
  • Notes are concise and use arrows to point to information references.

Image showing marker based page layout techniques.

GID Design Archives ©

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What Next?

Go to the Apply section of this lesson by clicking on the Next button below or by clicking on Apply at the top of this page. In that section, you will apply what you've learned so far in this lesson.


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