front page of On (Design) Bullshit

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After researching grids (see previous post), this next assignment entails creating a magazine layout for a blog article. This article, written by Michael Bierut and entitled On (Design) Bullshit, first appeared on the Design Observer blog in May 2005. Mr. Bierut discusses the use of bullshit by creatives in “selling” an idea, the merits of using bullshit, and how creatives react when bullshit is called on what they’ve said. It is a very entertaining read.


The grid for this layout is a standard 4-column grid with 1p6 gutters. This is not a modular grid as there are only columns and no designated rows. Nevertheless, I maintained a consistency in the horizontal realm across all pages.


I decided to go with an understated design reminiscent of literary magazines. I used Garamond, 11 pt with 13.2 pt leading, for the body copy and DIN for the heading, byline, and pull quotes, etc. The pull quotes are set at 8 pt with 9.6 pt leading.


Middle spread of the On (Design) Bullshit magazine layout

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Literary magazines tend to have a lot of white space for an opulent look so I chose to layout the body copy across two columns in the center of the page. The pull quotes (actual readers’ comments from the blog post) are placed in the margins with full justification for a clean look. The body copy is left justified with a ragged right edge for easier readability.

Back page of On (Design) Bullshit magazine layout

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I purchased the images from iStockphoto. I chose to use photos of Venetian carnival masks because they are typically beautiful, but could be masking something quite ugly. Kind of like some instances of bullshit.

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