I enjoy reading home decor and styling magazines to see interiors and the items people collect to decorate their homes. But I had never given thought to how a photographer may use rules or guidelines to produce those enjoyable images. Nor have I noticed the different typefaces used to make a point or to make some more prominent.
This magazine spread layout is from Romantic Country Magazine, Summer 2017. It was written by Sandra S. Soria, photography by Mark Lohman, and styling by Fifi O’Neill. The spread is showing a new house with older styled furniture and how the two can blend well together. Blending old and new is currently quite popular with house decor.
There are three distinct typefaces in this spread that emphasize the old and new blend. These typefaces are different enough from each other to be considered contrasting typefaces.
This first typeface is sans serif because these are simple letters with no serifs or strokes that transition from thick to thin. Each letter is the same thickness from start to finish.
A script typeface is used to write Old Soul. It has the appearance of being handwritten in cursive. The elegance and curviness of this typeface adds to the feeling that old soul brings to mind.
Lastly, Slab Serif typeface has been used to write the subheading of the article. This typeface is easily readable and has an orderly look. It is easy to confuse this typeface with Oldstyle since they are similar. But if you draw a line through the skinniest parts of the letters the stress (line) is vertical.
The first two fonts differ in style, but they could be similar sizes. However, the third font is obviously a much smaller font to show that it is a subheading.
This photo appears to use the rule of thirds. There are several different ways this rule can be used: position the main element at the four different intersections of the lines or the four lines. However, in this photo the weight-line of the chairs and sofa are along the bottom line.
My own photos using the rule of thirds similarly.
The weight-line of the furniture, bench and vehicle in the photos is along the bottom line. All three mimic the original photo spread. However, the outdoor furniture mimics it the most because the furniture is similarly placed. The bench line doesn’t go across the photo, but still has a distinct line. The vintage Porsche in the third photo also doesn’t go across, but the weight-line is still along the bottom line.
In conclusion, I found it interesting to dissect this magazine spread to get a peak into some of the choices that may have gone into the designing of it. The choices of typefaces were deliberate. From the slim, sleekness of NEW HOME to the graceful style of Old Soul to the functionality of the subheading. Additionally, the choice of where to stand to take the photograph was deliberate. If the photographer had positioned the chairs and sofa along the middle of the photo it would have given a different feel. It was like being behind the scenes as the magazine is being put together.