The project I based the topic environment on, was the environment of my Coffee Store, where I work as a part-time job. I feel that my project worked really well throughout making it, and the ideas flowed smoothly. The whole initial design was appropriate for the target audience also, appealing to young adults and above. The colour theme of the spread also linked better with the overall theme, complimenting the burgundy appearance, as well as matching the typography in which they use for posters and advertisements. It also gives a ‘warm’ feel to the magazine spread, losing the amount of white space on the page. The burgundy red and the tint over the title page gives a more welcome feel to the article, as well as making it stand out against other plain articles.
The final piece I found was quite fun to do. Because I was able to do this project in an environment that is very personal to me, I found it a lot easier to get better shots, knowing what I was looking for, for the article. What I found the most difficult, was coming up with a good enough idea and keeping it linked with the topic environment, as well as come up with appropriate research to put in my article. However, because I already had a lot of background knowledge, I was able to put a lot more information in my research in depth.
The overall layout is very simple, however it is appropriate for this type of project, as well as the topic I had chosen. Having a lot of images and a complex design could look a little too busy if it was not laid out properly. Especially in the 4 weeks given to dot his project, it would not have been possible to experiment with layout designs; I would have liked to play around with the colours and compositions a lot more if I had more time to do this piece.
I even mounted the sheets onto an existing magazine of an old issue of Creative Review, to see roughly what it would look like in a magazine article itself. Because Creative Review is square in dimensions as well, it made it easier to see visually how it would look. I feel that my project also shows clearly to the audience what the article is about, showing an obvious indication with the title page that it is in a public area, and giving obvious ‘hints’ such as slogans, and the Costa Coffee cups in some of the pictures. Although some people may not like coffee, the article is about the opinions of the environment in one. This means it could be interesting for anyone to read, as anyone could relate to it, whether they love coffee shops or hate them, it’s still an opinion.
I tried doing the golden sequence to my magazine article, however I noticed that it did not fit in a lot of the compositions I had done on my spread. Although my spread is all in line with everything, and I had done the correct calculations to make everything even and in proportion, the golden sequence still does not fit in with my article. A reason this could be is the size of my article being a different shape to the spiral itself. Nevertheless, the sequence doesn’t always work on magazine articles, however I was surprised to see that it did not work on my article. It fit on some areas, but not on the obvious areas like the whole page, or matching with the columns fitted.
From my previous sketches of how I could design my layout, I had a rough idea from the start on what the pages could look like with so many pictures. I started off with setting up 6 columns and pasted in my article, so I knew how long it would look like.
I put in the pictures I wanted to use, and I tried laying them out, making sure all of the pictures were in line with each other by using guides to help me. Because I wanted to have something added to the article to make it a tiny bit more interesting to look at, I put in a drop cap at the beginning of the article. I got this in inspiration from Creative Review magazine, which they use in the majority of their own articles.
I tried out a few styles of where I could position the text against the pictures, experimenting with where it would look best on the spread. Adjusting the text slightly by changing it to Clarendon, and having a quote in between the pictures to fill up a little bit of space.
Although I liked the composition, I felt that there was a lot of room for improvement in the spread. The page looks a little bit too full of images, and because the images all have a lot of detail in each of them, which you cannot completely see when there are so many on the page. The most appropriate option to take is to get rid of half the images that look repetitive on the page. For example having just two tables showing than four; it shows variation but they are also similar.
The colours in all of the pictures look really vivid, and I especially like the motion of the first double page spread for the title page. I tried out a few pictures, to see what one would look the best across a whole double page on 200x200mm each side. I preferred having a burgundy overlay on the picture, giving the image a tint of the colour that Costa uses for its whole theme. The composition of the image works really well, and the tint compliments the image. I also added a burgundy colour for the background of the second double page spread, keeping with the burgundy theme/atmosphere of the 4-page spread.
The advantage of having a tint in the spreads is that it would look different against other articles, where the majority would have a plain white background, and in a common font such as Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica etc.
As part of the final piece for the magazine article, we had to get our own recent images based on our topic of the word environment. From the mini projects I had done the previous week, I decided to take a few more pictures this week of the environment of Costa. From the previous sets I had done, I was able to see more clearly how I would want some of the pictures to be laid out, and whether I would need to change or adapt anything.
Personally, I felt that the images of the leftovers on tables, and the long exposure shots worked really well and complimented with the idea of the coffee shop being a place of consistent movement, and shows the environment and personality of different people sitting down or leaving.
I got a lot of influence from Dinah Fried, Henri Cartier Bresson and Richard Billingham’s use of getting up close and personal in some images. Dinah’s work inspired me to take a picture of the leftovers exactly of how it was left from the customer, but do it in a birds eye view to get more of what’s on the table, and see in a little more detail the ‘mess’ left behind.
The images I wanted to compliment the atmosphere and environment of Costa, showing its movement flowing gracefully in some images, showing relaxation and socializing in others, but also showing discreetly all the different types of people we may get in the store.
I know you can’t ‘judge a book by its cover’, but how much can you really do that? Because the images are all completely natural, you can’t help but want to look and judge at every person in the shot, asking yourself questions to what they were doing/thinking/watching at the second I had captured the image.
I plan to use a little bit of everything in the images I have taken, to really show the deep corners of the environment of Costa from my point of view, as well as relating to a customers’ also.
To help me write my article and to get some general information about people’s opinions about coffee shops, I did a quick survey to a few regular customers I knew, as well as people around me to see why they would come into Costa, or a coffee shop in general.
The responses I got were a lot different to what I thought there would be, I allowed them to select as many as they wanted and add others if needed be. I was expecting a greater contrast in the results, but a lot of the results came out very similar when I counted them up. By a fraction, the category of catching up with friends/family appeared to be the most popular, followed very closely by relaxing and to generally drink the coffee.
I added the point of drinking coffee, because a lot of customers sometimes don’t come to Costa to drink our coffee, they prefer sometimes our cakes or smoothies. By adding this, I can see whether the customers are really there for the coffee or not, which was proven successful thankfully!
Although the polls were different to what I expected in the contrast of results, I expected the ‘relax’ and ‘catching up’ categories to be near to the top. Because coffee shops are initially designed to give customers a relaxing experience, it would not be seemed at appropriate if our shop was not promoting this. Nevertheless, it was still reassuring to know that my coffee shop reflected this.
I would like to have been able to take it further into going into other coffee shops and evaluating the differences in the stores. The atmosphere of Costa depends on where the shop is located. Some shops are hectic 24/7 such as Costa at Heathrow airport, but others such as inside Next retail shop in an outside shopping center is in the majority very quiet! On the whole however, I was pleased to be able to get some good feedback from my own store and being able to get the advice and opinions of customers themselves.
Title: Sit down, relax and read
Subtitle: The general environment for many in a coffee shop have a mixture of opinions. Customers certainly make the biggest impact for the environment of Costa.
For many people, the thought of relaxing, having a cuppa and a cake would seem like one of the rare luxuries they would get to have with the busy lifestyle they would have nowadays. Nevertheless, a lot of people would rely on caffeine to keep them on their feet during these busy periods.
Costa Coffee, the biggest growing street coffee shop in Britain, managed to rise 16.5% in sales before April 2014. Being someone who works in this business, I am certainly proud to work for this company, and to be part of Whitbread as a whole.
During my two years of working in this coffee shop, I have seen many changes and similarities to the environment of Costa. When it is winter, I know we would need more milk, and in summer, I have to make sure we always have enough smoothie flavours just as one of a hundred examples! An obvious example that was, but what about the customers?
What I find really interesting about working in this coffee shop are the different types of customers; some are very welcoming, some not so much. Some tread their food in the carpet (yes, I have witnessed grown people do this), but then I see some people helpful enough to give me their tray and thank me after.
The question is, can you really judge people based on how they act in a coffee shop? You only see them on average about 30 minutes of the day and then they’re gone. The environment at different times in the day is also very different. People in the morning appear more chilled out, whereas those later in the day tend to seem like they are on a time limit.
A recent survey I did showed that the majority of people came to Costa for the coffee, to relax and to catch up with friends. Some said they even study or prep for interviews etc. The environment of Costa is a relaxed one where people can sit down; enjoy having a coffee and appreciating it. A shop without a clock is meant to make you feel like you are coming out of your daily schedule routine, as I have noticed the majority of customers doing; only have I ever had a few ask me for the time. Overall, “a great coffee experience” is exactly what Costa is about.
Words (title and subtitle not included): 395
‘Fred’ is a photographer who is especially interested in documentary photography, taking pictures of places and people. He allows the pictures to tell a story about the object or the person inside that picture to the audience. What I found particularly interesting about his style of photography is the colour used in the images and the desaturation of the images of people as well as landscapes. This creates a nice contrast between the pictures, but also still has a link with the scenic pictures to the people from that part of the image.
The images are not set in a professional way, meaning the pictures look very natural and realistic, as if you are looking at exactly what is in front of you, without any editing used after it has been taken. I really like the natural look of photography, where the images were taken at the point in time and there is no professional ‘look’ like you would find in the latest fashion magazines.
Dinah Fried is a writer/cook/photographer who created a series of foods taken from fiction books of nearly two centuries. Dinah quotes the passage from the book under each image to show where she got the image. I felt really influenced by her style of work and the composition of them. Each image is laid out completely different from another, but they are all similar in the layout and how they were photographed.
What was interesting was seeing the foods as described from the books, and looking at what was represented in the photo from the background, to the napkin used for the cutlery. Every image is filled with colour and tone to match the storyline of the book, some gives a more eerie feel to the picture, but others are bright, showing the glow of natural sunlight hitting the picture. I really like how she has taken a picture from a bird’s eye view, showing the details of every piece. Although obviously some pictures appear more ‘gross’ than others, they are all interesting in their own way because of the difference of them all. Thinking of this with my images of the leftover tables, it would be interesting to get a bird’s eye view shot of the leftover tables to see exactly what is left on every corner of the table.
In the majority of classical books and magazine texts, the serif font is more likely to be used. In the majority, the serif text would be used for the longer pieces of text than using sans serif, to give it more of that classical feel when reading, as well as look more appropriate.
However, the modern font is becoming more popular throughout the 20th Century. The sans serif font is also more widely used in titles in larger text sizes, as you can be more creative with the appearance to the font.
I had a look at some fonts online, and I saw these examples. I thought that the examples shown were really appropriate to use as examples for my article in the 4-page spread. I would like to use two types of fonts, a sans serif for my title and a serif font for the main article.
The font New Baskerville goes really well with the bold Clarendon font. Because Clarendon is a really bold font it would go well as a stand out title, contrasting with the subtle Baskerville text, a subtler font to allow Clarendon to have the spotlight.
Trade Gothic is also another good typeface to use with Clarendon. It can be used as either the title or the text, as long as the title is bold to bring it out. Trade Gothic works more appropriately as the main body of text, bringing out Costa’s own identity font for the title to match the posters.