Pace and Contrast
Compare the design (in terms of pace and contrast) of an online magazine, blog or website to that of a printed magazine, book or journal.
- What differences can you see between the kinds of design strategies used in the two formats?
- Write down your findings and upload it to WordPress.
The issue we have in our bookshelf is from June 2016. It is common knowledge that the yellow square stands for National Geographic, and most people know it for the respective organization that it is.
The magazine’s front page has a thick yellow outline that also reaches over the spine, but not further. The front page includes the main issue of the months magazine, which is shown with one big picture and minimal texting. It is simple, intriguing, timeless, beautiful, and tempts me to open it and have a look at it’s intestants.
The text is centered,and everything is symmetrical, and it works quite well with the picture.
First thing that struck me was “wow, less noisy”. The yellow square is there, several places, but it does not have the same weight as the magazine. My first assumption was that the magazine needs to stand out next to tons of other magazines in the shop shelfs, and this is probably to make it more visible to the consumer. Actually, it’s just about the format. National Geographic is an organization that focuses on quality, and they have (of course) made the squared yellow outline in correct proportions according to scale.
The webpage is simple. Very little noise, no interruptions.
Front page. The header remains the same size regardless of zoom on screen. The weight on the left side of the menu does not take your attention from the right side of the menu, as the search sign and menu sign is bolder and easier to regognize than the letters to the left. Your eyes go to the left first in the menu, due to the weight of the logo, but end up on the most important element very quickly.
The first thing I saw was the logo in the header, then the quote in the header, then the logo in the menu, then the search and menu sign in the menu. It creates a pleasant flow of eye movement, natural and easy. Of course I cannot tell for sure that each person will perceive it the same way.
Bottom of page. Simple, silent, easy to understand. Easy to subscribe, easy to follow. Weight of Sign Up-button is centered, and creates a sense of balance and symmetry with the unsymmetrical parts on the sides as the follow icons seem surrounded by space, though I must admit I feel more tempted to hit follow than to subscribe as a consequence to what looks simpler.
This is what happens when you click the magnifyer icon. I mean, how beautiful is that? Look at the timelessness, the simplicity. Wow. It makes me excited to be here. It makes my search feel more important. It also makes it easier to avvoid spelling errors.
Sea of Hope. The photo grid seems unsymmetrical.
The photo grid follows scroll.
Sea of Hope beautifully marks the ending spot for the connected subjects.
Photo of the day follows your scrolling.
There are so many exciting and beautiful effects on National Geographic’s web page. I can not begin to describe half of them. Turning over pages in the printed magazine is a great experience, each page beautifully layed out, every element perfectly placed, every photo of excellent quality. And I am not disappointed by the web page.
Similarities: National Geographic seems to carry out the same personality trates in each media, both magazine and web page, and I must say that it is beauty, quality and intellect.
For the articles in the printed magazine, they use two grids. The open space at the top is larger than the other outlining space.
Notes of critique: I am less impressed by the layout of the articles online. The width of the text is narrow, and it leads to a lot of unnecessary scrolling. I don’t have adblock on Chrome, so there are popups on the sides of the text. I don’t know if the text box width is this narrow to avvoid popups coming in the middle of the text, but I’m assuming it’s only because it’s adapted to smart phone and tablet users.
Personally I would use the printed magazine for reading articles, and the web site for watching movies, entering photo competitions etc..
The design of the menu is exhilarating, the preview on the left changes as your mouse hoovers over the different subjects, making it incredibly easy to find what’s interesting to you.
Final words: I could honestly cry from the immense quality of both of the products, and as a result of this learning activity I have subscribed to the printed magazine and full access to the online content.
I have not included photos of the magazine as I ran out of battery on my phone before I got to snap the quick shots. Will do so by tuesday.