26 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2012 7:33 PM by manda0812 RSS

    Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?

    manda0812

      HI, I have been asked to design a poster (see attached) it just has soooo much text and I want it to look sort of like subway art. so am thinking of pops of colour but the sentences need to stay in full. any suggestions?

       

      Farmers Creed Landscape.jpg

       

      this is doing my head in.. they don't want it too big so original size was 700mm x 500mm thinking square might be better.. any suggestions I would really appreciate it as they are not paying me much so need to get some ideas before I spend too long on it!

       

      thanks so much x

        • 1. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
          Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

          manda,

           

          It is possible to change the appearance in a large number of ways, from simple to complicated, or to leave it more or less as plain as it is.

           

          It rather depends on the balance between appearance and contents.

           

          How to change the appearance also depends on the application.

           

          In Illustrator you may create it as live Type with the Type Tool or the Path Type Tool, and you may look at the overall changes available in Effect>Warp (Arc, Warp, Flag, etc), or you may use Object>Envelope Distort in some way, or you may try a great number of other things, some of them requiring a considerable amount of work.

           

          Maybe you should make a few simple changes of appearance and ask them to consider whether changing the appearance (too much) makes it better or just makes it seem silly.

          • 2. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
            John Danek Community Member

            I'd scrap the subway idea being this is a farm / farmer themed poster.  Your attempt to get the long text line jammed in to fit the width is killing the poster's readability.  This may be an excellent opportunity to use different font styles per each line.  Are you constricted to a certain size parameter?  How would a square solve your problem?  What is the view distance?  The only parts that are easily read are the first and last lines.  Part of the strategy?

            • 3. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
              manda0812 Community Member

              Thanks Jacob it is in Illustrator.. some of those ideas might take too much time for the $50 they are giving me ;-) but good to have those tips nonetheless x

              • 4. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                manda0812 Community Member

                Thanks John, I didnt think of alternating the fonts, this may solve readability issues.. re size, yes they don't want it much bigger than tea-towel size which is quite limiting. I did show them this and told them it was too busy.. but I will try and fonts and see how we go.. Thanks ever so much guys x

                • 5. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                  John Danek Community Member

                  Please post the end result here.  I would like to see your solutions to this problem.  I wonder if you should have declined the project?  $50.00 is nothing.  However, if you are trying to establish a working relationship and building for future work, then I can see taking a hit like this.  Could also turn out to be a fairly decent portfolio piece if you come up with creative solutions.  I'd also be interested in your time sheet and how much time you spent on the project.  Good luck with it.

                  • 6. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                    manda0812 Community Member

                    Hi John, it is for a friendut 's sister and a rather personal project for them (as someone passed away in their family that this creed means a lot to). But you are right, it is a difficult one that's for sure. I am just starting out as a stay at home mum so I will take a huge hit for this, I think it will take me hours! I will let you know how much time I spend on it.. as I am all new to this, I am not really keeping timesheets yet as I just charge a flat rate. My lawyer told me I am too cheap but I am happy with that for the time being until I have more time on my hands (at the moment I can only work at nights and some nights it's the last thing I feel like doing).. so just taking my time in establishing and trying to take on easy work which makes up for not making any money on other jobs Appreciate your advice, it means a lot. Cheers Manda

                    • 7. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                      Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                      Manda,

                       

                      When I first read the creed, I actually liked the way it required an effort beyond an easy read and thereby promoted contemplation..

                       

                      For the purpose in question I believe that may actually be an additional strength.

                       

                      And for that purpose you may consider this relatively simple change of shape (View>Smart Guides are your friends, especially in step 7) :

                       

                      Depending on whether you start anew or have the text as Path Type,

                       

                      1a) Create the rectangle for the type, hide a copy of it, write, and hide the original,

                      1b) Create a rectangle identical to the one used for the Path Type and hide the original,

                       

                      With the empty rectangle selected,

                       

                      2) Effect>Warp>Arch (you may use 50%, and you may (re)try with other amounts),

                      3) Object>Path>Add Anchor Points, just once so you get a mid Anchor Point in each original segment,

                      4) With the Direct Selection Tool drag over the top and bottom mid Anchor Point (avoid the others),

                      5) Use the DownArrow key to drag them down until you like what you see,

                      6) Object>Expand Appearance,

                       

                      If you wish it to be more like an open book,

                       

                      7) With the Direct Selection tool, select each corner Anchor Point, then click drag the Handle to make it horizontal (Smart Guides will show when you are there),

                       

                      Finally,

                       

                      8) Unhide the original Path Type, select both, and Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object.

                      • 8. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                        manda0812 Community Member

                        Thanks so much Jacob, I will print this out so I can try and follow the instructions and see what effects this has on the poster.. I really appreciate the input. I will be purtting it aside for a few days as have a few things on but I promise I will share what I come up with (when I get my head around it!!). Cheers Manda x

                        • 9. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                          Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                          You are welcome, Manda.

                           

                          As John said, we look forward to it.

                          • 10. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                            manda0812 Community Member

                            ha no pressure much!

                            • 11. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                              manda0812 Community Member

                              Hi Jacob and John, my helpful supporters.. I decided to try the quick option first.. by making it square (500 x 500) and using different fonts.. I attach them here.. I know they look small on here but when they are fullsize I think they are readable.. can you see where I am headed with bursts of colour? Do you think that works? Also any suggestions on fonts? There are a couple of the lines I think could be improved.. I don't want to spend days on it so trying to come up with something that will work but also look good. I think I spent about an hour and half on this tweaking...

                               

                              Your thoughts??

                               

                              Thanks very much..

                              Cheers

                              Manda xfarmers-creed-ideas.jpg

                              • 12. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                manda0812 Community Member

                                ps if it would be easier to see my original document I could send it via email as a pdf? not sure if I can attach it to a private message?

                                • 13. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                  Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                  Manda,

                                   

                                  I for one definitely prefer the plain version; I believe the emphasis on specific letters will distract the reader from the experience of reading a (coherent and powerful) creed.

                                   

                                  You may consider reducing the stretch of at least some of the lines, such as the first one.

                                   

                                  You may also try to see what it looks like if all lines have the same relative height, as the other extreme, and then settle for something in between with the balance of differentness and sameness that suits you.

                                  • 14. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                    manda0812 Community Member

                                    hi Jacob

                                     

                                    aah that makes sense re the colour.. as colour only works for one word type layouts.. so that advice is appreciated..

                                     

                                    I will reduce the stretch.. I thought oh I will just retype some of it and start again.. and good idea re the height.. I am really learning a lot about Illustrator! I havent used it for years!!

                                     

                                    be back in a few days with version whatever..

                                     

                                    thanks very much

                                    Manda

                                    • 15. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                      Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                      This is a pleasure, Manda.

                                      • 16. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                        John Danek Community Member

                                        I'm having difficulty reading the .jpg compressed file, very blurry.  I agree with Jacob, the color is a distraction.  I would invest more time in determining font usage for certain lines that are longer than others.  The leading needs to be balanced ( but, you already knew that, right? ), nice even spacing.  I am still puzzled why the square?  Why the size constraints?  Take a look at some sans serif fonts and their condensed versions if any.  Maybe alternating back and forth with one or two different font variations, maybe three or four depending on line length.  The payoff will be when you finally discover a solution to the different line lengths and their demand on space.  Restrict serif fonts to the lines that do not require as much space as other lines. 

                                        • 17. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                          LauraHaywood Community Member

                                          There’s a typo … the word “splendor” is missing its “p.”  ☺

                                          • 18. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                            Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                            Indeed Laura, well spotted. I only proofread the original, owing to the silly assumption that Manda would reuse rather than retype.

                                             

                                            If it were over here the word would also be missing the u, as would a few other words.

                                            • 19. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                              manda0812 Community Member

                                              ha well spotted.. I did copy and paste and then I think that line I decided to retype from scratch as I had stretched it and changed it so much that I thought, gosh will just retype! yes us aussies spell things a bit differently.. but actually I see the word honor but we would actually spell it honour.. so I think this thing has been retyped and a few missed out and I have just cut and paste it.. you can tell I am over it already right!!

                                               

                                              @John.. I think they want to put this on the wall and they didn't like it when it was more a rectangle.. and I dont think they want it that big that it takes over a room.. (if it was me, I would make it large and make it a real feature.. but that is where I struggle with the whole graphic design thing.. I get asked to do things that I don't really like or actually wouldnt even put in my portfolio etc.. but if I can nail this one.. maybe it will be something good to show off.. I definitely need more practice but I am enjoying the journey and I really appreciate all you guys helping me out..

                                               

                                              out of curiosity, what would one normally charge for designing something like this?

                                               

                                              1 hour later.... I decided just to have another crack..I think I am making some headway.. @John your font advice was spot on, two fonts alternating looks so much better.. I also thought stuff it I am making this bigger so it is now 700 wide.. it was just not working that bit smaller..

                                               

                                              the leading is not perfect yet.. and it probably never will be for this job! not sure about colour.. but think something other than plain black as I had it.. what do you guys think? I still need to double check all the spelling and make a few changes but I wanted to try and get this as close to finished as possible...

                                               

                                              CREED.jpg

                                               

                                              CREED2.jpg

                                               

                                              if I could send you guys beer and chocolates I would!!!

                                               

                                              Manda x

                                               

                                              Message was edited by: manda0812

                                              • 20. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                                Manda,

                                                 

                                                For something as fundamentally difficult as this to read, I believe it is better to have a maximum contrast between letters and background, which would be black on white, or something close to it. I also believe that it is better to avoid colours that differ much in appearance (different senses), to avoid distraction.

                                                 

                                                With regard to the width, one way to get your way could be to present an even wider option, namely the golden section, which would be 809 x 500, and maybe even show the double square, 1000 x 500, both of which are viable choices in connexion with art and architecture. The choice is always easier to make when you have obviously exaggerated extremes of either side to compare with; the fact that the square is such an extreme will also become more obvious.

                                                 

                                                Apologizing for being a nuisance, it might help getting the acceptance of the right width if you use the open book style (spread) because it breaks the width and thereby makes the whole appear less wide. With about 700 x 500, 707 x 500 to be more precise, each half would have the same proportions, only tall rather than wide.

                                                • 21. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                  Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                                  Manda,

                                                   

                                                  but actually I see the word honor but we would actually spell it honour..

                                                   

                                                  Are you over here or over there? Over there it should be spelled honor. Over here there would be more words to correct.

                                                  • 22. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                    manda0812 Community Member

                                                    ok point well made about the colour.. I just wanted to try a few different options and see if it worked.. I think they really wanted black on white anyway.. I did think about making the size 1000 so think I may try that and see what they say. it would at least give me more space to play with.. (I really do not want to do much of these as it is definitely not my area of expertise (especially when I am reading all your advice and I think, wow I wouldn't have thought of that).

                                                     

                                                    I am pretty sure I have always spelt honour with a "u" but the text came to me without a "u" so maybe I should leave it as the text came to me and ask them if they want any of the words updated to "aussie" spelling. (see how we spell colour.. )

                                                     

                                                    Where are you based Jacob? I am impressed you have time to help little old me! so thank you!

                                                     

                                                    Cheers again

                                                    Amanda

                                                     

                                                    ps: as much as I love the help and advice, I will be glad when this post is all said and done ;-)

                                                    pps: just so you know I am in Australia

                                                    • 23. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                      Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                                      You are welcome, Manda,

                                                       

                                                      I really do not want to do much of these as it is definitely not my area of expertise

                                                       

                                                      Afterwards it is (which proportion of the final skills do you think are acquired during education? Obviously, the fundamental insight has to be built somewhere along).

                                                       

                                                      I can see that we are both over here, even though you use dollars down under.

                                                       

                                                      Rereading this,

                                                       

                                                      (as someone passed away in their family that this creed means a lot to).

                                                       

                                                      I believe you should keep the spelling from over there, because that is the creed as they know it.

                                                      • 24. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                        manda0812 Community Member

                                                        the more I look at this, the more it looks like it has been done in Word.. no creativity to it at all.. I am going to put it aside and come back to it in a week or two.. ughghg..

                                                        • 25. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                          Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                                          Manda,

                                                           

                                                          Just a follow up: there seems to be a consensus about its origin as expressed here:

                                                           

                                                          http://www.tntwebdevelopment.com/tff/creed.htm

                                                           

                                                          It has been presented in different ways, but apparently mostly as a mixture of single and double lines, either left/centre aligned or justified, and with one and the same font/size (except for the title). In the link it is even a bulleted list.

                                                           

                                                          So whichever way you create it is bound to be better than what is seen elsewhere.

                                                          • 26. Re: Subway Art - too much text, how to layout?
                                                            manda0812 Community Member

                                                            thanks Jacob. ah yep I googled this creed when I first received it and some were presented in a poem type layout etc.. so yes I hope they like it without too many more changes..