Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kid Page Layouts

I would consider this logical and fairly happy layout for kids' stories.
The only fault I can find is that some of the pages are dominated by text - and kids want art. They look at all the pictures first, and then go back when they're finished and bored (or home sick) and maybe read some of the text.
These are more like it. Big pictures and just enough text to tell you some interesting info about the pictures.
These still follow the logical hierarchy of almost all picture/text media from ancient times. They're just laid out in a fun way. With very slight diagonal panels and not completely mechanical boxes - but it's not so wacky or wonky that you can't tell what you are looking at. Everything is completely clear.
I'd read all those headings right away, but how many kids are gonna get in and read the fine print? I guess some of that is for the Moms-who probably also don't read it.
These came from Barbie's wonderful site full of Golden Books and other kid treats.


as a couple people have pointed out in the last post, and that's true. There is an opposite type of layout thinking too


RooniMan said...


thomas said...


but the examples of good layout that are posted look like specialized, elite publications, for specialized elite audiences.

I guess the point is more, that in the mainstream, design sense has gone down the tubes.

Dave Jacob Hoffman said...

Ha. Excellent stuff. Sorry to get my knickers all up in a twist on the last post.

I'd kill to be able to do hand lettering like that "Absolutely Free" title.

Donnie said...

Is that Woolie Reitherman on the Peter Pan page?

Bob Lilly said...

Thanks for the hard work that goes into your blog, John. This post about layouts is instructive. Good layouts grab your eye with a focal point. Good layouts for kids are also good layouts for "adults". Nowadays, layout is the art of cramming stuff around the advertisements.
BTW, I would be most interested in your reaction to my comic, "Don't Tell Grandma". I have faithfully posted a "Grandma" page on my blog every Sunday.
I look at John K Stuff nearly every day even if I don't leave comments.

Geneva said...

Yep, they sure aren't cluttered. Instead the designers want you to pay attention to the ~beauty~ of the Helvetica or Futura fonts (rather than giving you any pictures)... which sure is something everyone but designers care about!

Dave Jacob Hoffman said...

"Instead the designers want you to pay attention to the ~beauty~ of the Helvetica or Futura fonts"

That's a nice straw man you got there.

Anonymous said...

These posts are amazing!

Found this nice, fake magazine layout image in 'Goofy Gymnastics':

layout from Goofy Gymnastics

Joe Sparrow said...

have you seen any work of the illustrator Chris Ware? I really like his eye for layouts, and he takes a lot of inspiration from this mid-20th century americana stuff.




I think it's interestingly designed and the colours are great.

K. Nacht said...

It's funny to see the term "kitsch" emerge as a pejorative in the discussion over graphic design. It used to be a term feared only by late modernist painters.

Clement Greenberg has the term most definitively expanded upon in his famous essay The Necessity of Formalism. An essay no doubt useless to graphic designers and animation professionals.

ChristopherC said...

I just came across these travel posters with amazing colors and clarity. Can you comment one these John? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253414/Trainspotters-collection-old-railway-posters-set-sell-1million.html

Aaron Borst said...

It is odd, in art school graphic designers are taught to design like the examples in the post, but somehow, probably the client, designs end up looking like poo.

K. Nacht said...

I'm dead wrong! Revisiting Greenberg's essay, I can't find Kitsch mentioned once! Well, all that art theory just wadded-up into one indistinct ball, for all the good it did me in practice, and outside the halls of the academie.

I maintain my first claim: Kitsch used to be a term feared only by late modernist painters.

Torsten Adair said...

When I was a kid, we had stacks of Highlights and BSA Boy's Life lying around. I only read them for the comics. The text, the pictures, the craft...Zzzzz....