Monday 10th February
Monday morning hit an unexpected bump.
I received an email from the University Ethics department regarding the ethics form that I had submitted. I was under the impression that Mark was aware of how we would be conducting the questionnaires etc and so would understand that I may not have everything written up already but I got a notification stating that I need to make some revisions to my ethics form. It needs me to attach the consent form and the questionnaires that I plan to use, but I was going to staple the permission forms to the questionnaires when I hand them out and then only use ones where the participant had signed off the permission slip.
Having already discussed this issue with Alison, I sent her the above screenshot to see if she would be able to help me with the matter and here is what I said:
Now I will just wait for Alison’s response to see what the next steps I should take are. I do however now mostly have the questionnaires completed so I will be able to submit those, it’s just that the permission forms will be missing.
Alison responded stating that she would expect that it would go through and said we could talk about it tomorrow. Today I aim to have a look over my questionnaires and make sure they are all ready to go, and then check the permission slips as well so that I can submit them as my revisions even though the forms would still need signing at a later date.
This morning I bought another copy of the Guardian and the Daily Mail because I wanted to compare the other copies I had bought for purposes of understanding the layouts that they use in the areas of the papers where I am going to be aiming my articles to be published.
With the Guardian I would be aiming to have my articles published in the ‘Comment & Debate’ section of the paper. This appears just after the centrefold and the main section of it spans a double page spread and contains 5 articles. I also looked at tailoring this for the Media section of the Guardian however the left side of the DPS in the media section is always a fully fledged interview and that is not something I will be able to fit into this time frame. I will be using information gathered from questionnaires etc as reinforcing material and details but I had no plans to conduct a full personal interview. Each week they keep to pretty much the exact same layout as demonstrated in the two images below:
Guardian Layout Notes:
- The exact same layout used in both issues – including locations of pull quotes.
- Most of the articles include a picture of the author, but not all of them.
- 5 articles spanning the two pages.
- Drop cap at the start of each article which is 8 lines deep.
- Pictures are illustrations/paintings as opposed to photographs.
- Take photographs and photoshop them to look hand drawn to make fit for purpose?
- Maximum width of three columns for an article. Some are just one column.
The same use of layout has allowed me to do a quick plan for the layout using the same structure as seen above here. However it means that I may have to write 5 articles to keep it fit for purpose. This may be achieved by branching out the subject into relevant areas and effectively breaking down one longer article to fill the format of the 5 spaces needed. Here is the rough plan that I drew:
With the Daily Mail article that I will be creating I will be aiming it for the ‘Life’ section of the newspaper. This section tends to have more in depth articles and will allow for the longer style of article that I will be writing regarding Cyber bullying. Here is a comparison of the two copies of the paper that I have to hand:
Daily Mail Layout Notes:
- Green/Brown bar across the top, broken by the word Life in a pinky red colour. Same two colours used for the box outs.
- Inconsistency with Drop cap. Some have a double line gap at the top. Others don’t but cover 6 lines.
- Quotes separated from text using the greeny/brown bar.
- Much bigger headline font size than in the Guardian. (More of a shock factor as opposed to the Guardians style of getting more detailed content)
Due to the way that the Daily Mail’s layouts changes every week I will leave the layout to closer to the time of putting it together because I think the layout I decide on will be determined by the images that I have to use for it as the text will fit around the images.
After conducting some research into the fonts used by newspapers I noticed something that might pose a bit of a problem. My naivety made me think that the papers would use standard fonts, however it appears that they have created their own fonts that they use. The only one I could find an accurate description for was the font used by The Guardian which is called Egyptian and is a serif font (that can be found on this link) and is very expensive and so I won’t be purchasing that!
My decision is that I am going to print off a list of the same line of text repeated in different fonts and hold it next to the newspaper and see which one shows the most resemblance and then use that for my work. I will be doing this with both the newspapers I create because paying for the use of the fonts is not only a very high price but also I will basically be forging their work. To avoid this I will be writing the articles in the styles to fit the newspapers, but will be changing the titles and details of the paper so that it is obviously not just ripping off their work and also won’t be confused with something they have published.
The list I have created to check the fonts looks like this:
If none of the fonts have much of a resemblance then I will make another list using a number of other fonts until I can find one that has a good likeness.
Tuesday 11th February
I began today by checking that all the questions etc on my questionnaires, as well as the permission forms were correctly written and ready for print. This was for the purpose of making sure that if I need to submit them as part of my ethics form revision then they are ready to go and I can attach them and send them as soon as I have spoken to Alison about it. This will save me time later instead of waiting until I have spoken to Alison and then having to change them after that but I don’t really time this evening as I have cricket training, so getting them out of the way early will benefit me! Leaving me to just sort out this ethics form issue this afternoon.
Based on the layout that is kept exactly the same every week in the Guardian section that I am going to be writing for, I figured that I would be able to start creating the InDesign document with the layout built onto it, so that when all my content is ready, all I would have to do would be to add it to the page!
The Guardian pages are each clearly shown to be made up of 5 columns. I wanted to add some layout guides to my page so I can line up where I am putting the content so tried to figure out how many rows I would need as I already had the columns decided for me. As a reference point I used the pull quote box. I worked out that due to its size, you would be able to fit six of them down one column, which was a good signifier for me that I would need to add 6 rows and this worked quite well for me and in fact saved me having to find a ruler and measure it. There is no way to fit one less or one more of the pull quote boxes in order to fill the space so it turns out that six will be the exact number I needed and so I have created my layout guides using 5 columns and 6 rows. I have also added a 20mm gutter around the outside of the document because having measured the actual pages of the Guardian, they had a 2cm gutter. This obviously equates to 20mm and so it turns out I have used the correct measurements.
These will help me line up the content perfectly and I will easily be able to tell how much space everything needs to cover. It is very handy that the Guardian uses such a straightforward layout and means that I will have no problem in creating a very similar visual status as the actual Guardian itself.
Saturday 15th March
Whilst completing my layout plan in InDesign I decided to look for a font that was similar to the Guardian’s font. Not because I want to make mine exactly the same, but the Guardian has the nicest of the fonts used by any newspaper. I found one on Dafont.com that looked similar and is also listed as Free for commercial use, therefore ‘in the public domain. Here is a screen shot to show how the font looks.
When I did this I was starting to realise that my work was looking like an exact copy of the pages of the Guardian. I didn’t know whether this was actually a good or a bad thing. I didn’t know that whether because I was aiming it for a Guardian publication I should make it look as much alike as possible, or whether I shouldn’t be making it look too much alike because it isn’t ACTUALLY being created by the Guardian and I don’t want any issues with copyright obviously.
This is something that I will bring up in my week 8 work in progress pitch when I speak to Chris.
I would like to give it my own stamp in terms of the layout however, if I make it look too different then it will seem as though it is not fit for purpose as there is a specific location that I would be looking for the article to be printed!
Given that I have now decided on the font to use for the Guardian article I can remove the list of fonts from the checking sheet and apply just this single font in various sizes so that I can get a good idea of how big the font is that they use! Obviously this may differ from the actual font they use because different fonts created by different people come in various sizes and so I may get the text to appear the same size but the actual ‘Pt’ of the font may actually be different to the one they do use.