Some layout advice needed

Hi, I just signed up as I needed some advice on my layout for a 8 page informational booklet I am doing for a university assignment. I am unsure whether or not the ‘Cai Guo-Qiang’ text looks too odd all squished to the one side, or if it would be better if I spread it out across the top. Some advice would be helpful : )

Everything about the typography looks completely off.

You need to explore typography more - and expand your range of font choices, and presentation around your typography.

What else have you come up with?

Surely you can do better.

And, if the words INFORMATIONAL BOOKLET aren’t expressly required, you can certainly find a more elegant way to clue the prospective reader as to what’s inside. What you’ve got now is a bit like having SPORTS CAR on the side of a Corvette. When you pick up a booklet, you can tell it’s a booklet, right?

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“CAI GUO-QIANG” – Is it supposed to mean something that readers, just by looking at it, right away know what it’s about?

Even though it SAYS “Informational” there’s absolutely no information on that cover to let me know that Cai Guo-Qiang is an artist in NYC.

Honestly, I thought it was some oriental condiment – which is exactly the point.

I had no idea what or who Cai Guo-Qiang is. (Just looked up some videos and I love his work!)

As others have said, the cover announces that it’s an informational booklet, but the cover provides no information on what’s inside other than saying it’s a booklet, which is just about the only bit of information that didn’t need to be mentioned.

Graphic design is about communication as much as it is about aesthetics. Your cover fails to communicate who Cai Guo-Qiang is or what kind of information is inside. What is the purpose of this booklet? Information about what? His life? His art? His work at a particular show? What?

You’re seeing something is wrong, which is good. What you’re not seeing is why?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with an asymmetric composition where type is pushed against one side. What’s wrong here is that you’ve done the obvious and just tucked the type into a blank spot without exploring the many options.

Even though the name has a hyphen in it, it’s still a hyphenated word that really shouldn’t be broken into two lines as part of a headline.

There are thousands of typefaces, so why did you choose this one? Being conservative with type is usually a good idea, but the headline for a booklet about an artist seems to call for a typographical treatment that is in keeping with and complements the subject matter. Instead, you just picked a generic typeface. Why? What was your reasoning? Did you explore running the type vertically, on its side? Did you explore a condensed typeface? A typeface with more personality? Lowercase, maybe? You seemed to have stopped your exploration with what seemed safe and would fit into the obvious spot. You need to push further than that.

Going back to the communication thing, this cover begs for a subhead explaining what the booklet is about. Just writing “Informational booklet” doesn’t cut it. It’s like if you headed to the supermarket and saw rows of cans labeled, “Cans of food.” First it’s obvious that they’re cans, so there’s no need to mention it. Second, what kind of food is in those cans or, in your case, what kind of information is in the booklet?


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