Exercise: Hierarchy

Using about 500 words of Lorum Ipsum (or other dummy text) you are going to design three different pages:

  • • an interview with a TV actor in a listings magazine entitled: Will Sheila tell the naked truth?
  • • a review of a new piece of hardware or software in a specialist computer magazine
  • • a book review in a newspaper’s weekend edition.

Research these types of publications and identify three different combinations of typefaces appropriate for each publication. 

Now you need to invent headings and subheadings for your articles. Set these combinations so that your header is above 12pt in size, your body text is 12pt or below and subheadings sit in between in your hierarchy.

You will need to create some text to allow you to show your combinations in action. Use your text to describe your decision making process, why you think the combination works and what your intentions were.

  1. I looked up some listing magazines – we do not get any of these as we do not watch a lot of television. When we do we watch the news and the occasional documentary. The first interview I found on a magazine called “BUZZ”

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-09-29-33The heading was in Franklin Gothic pt size 36. The body of the text was Helvetica Neue 14pt with the questions in the same font but Bold. Because this is online the pt size used is bigger than it would be in an equivalent printed magazine. Sans serif also reads very easily online. Both heading and body text are clean and simple.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-10-02-55The next magazine I looked at was called, appropriately “Interview”. I loved the cover. The online interview was in Georgia 14 both questions and    answers, The questions were in Upper Case.

I loved the typeface of the Title but could not figure out what it was.




I am sure that the printed version would use different body font.

Some of the other magazines I could not work out what fonts were being used. One about Reggae interviews was impossible to read. I also looked at an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker in Red. I have no idea who she is (this is my problem I never know who these people are). But I do know this magazine as my daughter reads it.It was easy to read but an unusual way of doing an interview.

Sarah Jessica Parker is trying to resist sending an email. It’s a reminder to her husband, Matthew Broderick, to make sure a school form has been signed and returned, and that their son James Wilkie needs to clear out his backpack tomorrow, as he does every Wednesday.

“There’s a file under his desk and all his papers from the week – whether it’s Latin or history – have to go in.”

There are no questions and Answers it is a story format. I like it.

There are many online sources about pairing fonts.

  • this shows combinations of fonts for different publications. Most are not free fonts but some are.
  • this one is for InDesign so should prove useful
  • another set of combinations
  • and yet another set of combinations

I have printed the first task headline and a little text with a number of heading/body text combinations. I’ve pasted these into my learning log. With the fonts that I have available I like the following combinations:

  • Garamond/Futura
  • Myriad/Minion

I then tried out a number of layouts in my learning log. I had some images of my lovely daughter and decided to use one or two of these. I find my two final layouts dull but then I find most of the women’s magazines layouts, which I looked at, really dull.




2. A single screen snap from the hundreds of typography pairings for technical magazines on this site.


I made some sketches in my log book:

I then researched technical backgrounds and found amazing images on this site. But these all looked a little too advanced for my present Illustrator skills. I used this site for a very simple background which showed me how to create a Mesh gradient.


I then added a cloud. I first made the colour pale blue but finally decided white was better.

Using my log book sketch  for ideas I added a mobile phone, a laptop, an envelope as the software was a cloud storage software. I then added rectangles into which I would put the text. I decided to use Myriad in both headlines and text as I find it very clean and readable. I did all of these steps in different layers as the whole was quite complicated. I sent it to a couple of friends for comment. I have not used all the 500 words as I felt that this would probably be a two page spread and the rest of the text could be used.

Basic RGB



I think the poster is great – love the central cloud and mauve is sufficiently soft yet bold ( sounds bonkers), but also one can read the text in white against it.
I suppose my boy comment would be whether there needed to be a link between the images ( eg mobile) and text. Would any text be an explanation of the object illustrated within the context of the whole concept? Does that make sense? Tricky, as text is gobbledygook.
It is, however, hugely eye-catching with relevant central motif.
But what do I know about these things!

3. The final task is to make a layout for a book review. I found this the simplest. I love books and I absolutely adore the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adechi. I decided to do a review for Half of a Yellow Sun.

I made a few layout mock-ups in my log book:

I used the tried and tested Baskerville at 36pt for the titles. I used Minion Pro for the BOOK REVIEW title and for the body text at 10pt. This still did not allow me to fit all 500 words into the space. So I reduced the tracking to -25. I am not sure if this reduced the readability beyond tolerable. I got most of the 500 words in but not all. I like the two serifs for a book review. I think it is comfortable to read. I wanted to break up the paragraphs with the drop caps. I only used two lines for the Drop caps.