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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: Guest Lecture – Victoria Forrest, 12th June 2018

Notes from the guest lecture.

  • Forrest is a specialist in publications for photographers

  • Recent publications include Radical Love for Toni Greaves and Remote Scottish Postboxes for Martin Parr

As a photographer, before we go to a meeting with a publisher we should have considered the following:-

  • The edit of the photos

  • Have an idea of page layout – how do we want it to look?

  • Any design concepts and ideas we may have

Key things that need to be discussed with a publisher / graphic designer are:-

  • How images are presented on the page and in which order

  • Which images to include

  • How presented

  • Order of presentation

  • Page layout

  • Typology

  • Packaging

There are 5 principles of designing a publication:-

  • Decide who the audience is

  • Choose a format your audience enjoys and will engage with

  • Use the edit to tell the story

  • Design the publication to enhance the message

  • Document and promote your work

The design is crucial – it has a big function:-

  • Communication

  • What is read

  • Order

  • Tone of reading

  • Message

  • It allows people to enter the narrative at different points if they want to

  • Telling the story through the edit

  • Print out all the images

  • Decide what you want to tell as opposed to what you have and the story it will tell

  • Print work out and work with what you have

  • Take images to fill the narrative gaps that you have

  • Arrange images in order of pages.

Pairings based on:-

  • Colour

  • Composition

  • Content

  • Some images in book may not be the best images you have but they add to the narrative of the work and help explain it to the viewer

  • Check the flow of the layout of the book

  • Best way to judge it is to do a test print

  • The key is to make sure you find the photographer’s voice and broadcast it.

  • 4:3 ratio allows for full bleed on a page or a border around the edge

  • Consider image on left when accompanied by test

  • The message and vibrancy of the image is affected by where they are on the page

  • Don’t be afraid of space

  • Don’t be afraid of simple layouts

  • Strong cover design

  • Colour scheme taken from narrative and concept

  • Consider typography – modern or traditional?

  • What font is usually used in the forum / genre or area you are working in?

  • Thumbnails are useful for galleries etc – place at back, show order of prints

  • Relationships – designer working with photographer can give more control to the photographer

  • Try to work 1:1 with a designer – they will then get more understanding about the project

  • Interactive vs physical print – interactive is more linear

  • Look at article ‘The never-ending photo story’

  • Simpler layouts mean you can be quirkier in the content

  • Good design is invisible

  • Athelas font

  • Photographers producing more work in print now – so there are more individuals asking for inventive formats – previously this was all gallery lead

  • Blurb enables self-publishing

  • Just make sure you choose a format that you can shift and distribute easily

  • Don’t get overwhelmed by numbers – know what 500 books look like.

  • Be realistic about sales – ties up money and space.

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