Guitar Music with Designer Photography & Typography

Guitar magazine photo cover
Created by Chris Vinnicombe
Published by BandLab Technologies

Introduction

The above article and photograph designed by Chris Vinnicombe can be seen as a professional piece created using standard design techniques in photography and typography. An analysis will show that the rule of thirds can be seen in his photography, along with multiple typefaces being used from different categories to generate contrast. A link to the original source can be found on Guitar.com:

https://guitar.com/news/magazine/the-december-2018-issue-of-the-guitar-magazine-is-out-now/

Category Identification

The author of this magazine spread has chosen two different contrasting fonts for his article. The first font – or the title font – has a higher weight and font size compared to the body text. This increase in size provides a contrast between the two types of text. This category of typeface for the title of the article can be identified as sans serif because the letters have no serifs on them. There is also no thick/thin transitions or stress in the strokes. These characteristics are common for the sans serif category.

The typefaces are also contrasted by their categories. The title is a sans serif font, while the body is a slab serif. Using fonts from these two different categories provides the contrast a reader needs to identify between the title and paragraph of the article. The slab serif font used for the body can be categorized due to the thick, horizontal slab serifs seen on the lowercase lettering. There also isn’t much transition between the thick and thin parts of the individual letters. Thick slabs can also be seen on the capitalized letters that is common with the slab serif category.

Photography

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds can be observed in the photo used for this magazine article. The main subject of the photograph – the guitar and the title – are placed on the intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. This provides balance to the photo and makes it more appealing to the viewer.

Leading Lines

Leading lines can also be viewed in this magazine spread. The viewer of this piece is led to the main subject by being drawn into the photo along the lines of the guitar case. Following these lines will lead to the guitar and also cuts through the title of the article. The author has used this principle well in this piece to lead the reader to the most important parts of the spread.

Alternate Layout Images

My three images all utilize the rule of thirds and leading lines. Since the guitar is the main subject, I placed it along the intersecting lines to apply this rule. I was able to apply this rule to each of the images having the guitar as the main object in the photo.

I was able to place leading lines in each of my photographs using different sources in each image. The first image creates a leading line with the heating duct that runs along the base of the floor. This leading line draws the viewer into the main object, the guitar. An amp and a whiteboard were used in the second image to create the same effect with leading lines into the guitar. The third image uses a piece of plywood attached to the wall to lead into the guitar.

Any of these three images could be put in place of the magazine photo because they all follow the rule of thirds and leading lines. They leave space for the title and body to be placed next to the guitar in the photo.

Summary

The ad above is improved by the use of contrasting typefaces and professional photography rules. The slab serif and sans serif go well together to help the reader distinguish between the title and body. The contrast makes the article appear more intriguing to a potential reader. The rule of thirds and leading lines make the article more appealing to the reader by increasing the overall professionalism of the magazine spread. The improved images along with the typography make for a more interesting read. A potential reader is more likely to take the time to view this article because of it’s various professional features.

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