Beyond Photography: Medway Photo Festival – Newspaper design

In pursuit of a cohesive whole, the ‘official’ Medway Photo Festival newspaper (i.e. that of which is being produced by the University) imposed a rather limited and absolute brief. All within good reason, of course, but nonetheless a truth that consequently purged any creative flexing at the designer’s expense. Though I accepted this gratefully, for in my case it was more a disburdening than a hindrance, I still felt mildly dissatisfied at the extent my role as designer allowed me to realise and evidence my skills in the work I was able to produce.

Essentially, the extent of my role in designing our group’s double page spread was:

  • The placement of each individual’s image
  • The placement of our group name, work synopsis and artist names

That’s it. No graphics, nothing fancy, just text and images. So, with that in mind, I set to the task of placing images and text… In as much of a meaningful way as I could.

The Collective’ – Our group’s name and one of just two informants that determined the decisions I made in placing the images, the other being the general occupation of our works, the mind.

Being as we are called, ‘The collective’, placing the images within a collective group provides a barefaced connection to our name. But I also, as aforementioned, sought to produce some sort of connection to our general theme (the mind) and so, being that placing the images to form the shape of a brain didn’t seem to produce anything discernibly brain-like, I instead placed the images to adopt the shape of a thought bubble.


A thought bubble (obviously)

Lastly, being that I’m a fan of minimalist design, I wanted our spread to be clean and uncluttered, sizing the images to be large enough for comfortable viewing, but not too large, too prominent, that their visual weight became overbearing and left the spread subsequently feeling cluttered and claustrophobic. Finding the right ratio of dead-space to image/text size was arguably the greatest challenge I faced (that sounds far too dramatic), but I am pleased with the final outcome and hope that all my decisions have been evidently and effectively implemented.

Final design:


~ Luke Wassell



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