Final Editorial Critique

On Friday 6th May, we presented our editorial pieces for any final critique before we make any changes and the submit the finished piece next Friday. We all printed our work to the real size in black and white and then printed thumbnail versions in colour onto an A3 piece of paper, and then put them up on the walls ready for presentations and feedback.

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Firstly, we were put into pairs and then both peer assessed our partners work – this was really helpful as you were able to compare and even get ideas from other people’s work, and maybe spot something that your own piece was missing. Will filled out my peer assessment sheet with really helpful feedback:

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From Will’s feedback, some of the key parts are that he mentions that there could be a bit more white space, particularly on the third double spread, and also that the hierarchy could be worked on – he suggests subheadings and maybe more callouts, such as quotes. He says that this would also improve the pace of the piece overall. I was really pleased when Will looked at the lines and ‘scrambles’ across the pages and asked, “Are they to represent the woman’s memories?” – because, it meant that he understood the metaphorical imagery that I’d used and I was unsure if people would realise and understand this or not. Will mentions that the rag on the first page looks a little dodgy so this is something that I will definitely look at and correct.

Then David went through everyone’s work individually, giving feedback in front of the full class. Doing it in front of everyone was good as we were able to hear not just our own feedback, but everyone’s, so again we were able to maybe get ideas from what David said about other people’s work, for our own.

David gave me some great feedback – there was just a few minor changes, improvements and additions that he suggested. I made notes of all his ideas and comments – his suggestions included:

  • the dots in the head are a bit too dark and a bit too big
  • change title
  • needs a bit more hierarchy
  • are the page numbers really needed?
  • replace the brain for just more ‘scrambles’
  • the illustrations are slightly pixelated
  • the lines representing memories are too distracting
  • the rag of the text is too bulky in places
  • maybe change two heads to just one single head?
  • are the borders on pages 2 and 5 necessary?

Since receiving the feedback, I have acted on the points made:

I have reduced the dots in size, both the dots behind the blocks of text and the dots in the ‘scrambles’ illustration on page 2; I also adjusted the colour of them and put them to about 80% grey, rather than solid black.

For the title, I completely agreed with David when he said that it was not quite suitable, because I had second thoughts on it myself too, as I rememebred afterwards that in the article, The woman does not ‘lose’ her mind like my title, ‘The Woman who Lost her Mind’ suggests, she never had any memories in the first place – I have sinced changed the name to ‘A Blank Space’.

In order to add more heirarchy to my piece, I pulled out some quotes from the text and put them in orange – I feel this improved the piece a lot and I much prefer it with these add-ins. For the page numbers, I tried simply removing them and decided that the editorial looked best without them.

Like David suggested, I tried removing the brain and using just scrambles instead, however, I felt that it did not look right, and after showing several of my peers, they agreed and thought it looked better with the brain – it seemed almost, too much the same as just ‘scrambles’ again, like on most of the other pages. Instead, I kept the brain, but also added the scrambles in the background behind the brain which I think works better.

To fix the pixelated images, I remade them all on Adobe Illustrator instead of on Adobe Photoshop like I had previously done, so that they would be saved as vectors rather than bitmaps. (Of course, vectors don’t pixelate). This was quite time consuming but overall makes such a big difference – the piece looks much more professional and better quality.

As David has said that the lines in the background behind the blocks of text which represented memories, after drawing them into Adobe Illustrator instead, I was able to adjust the stroke to about 1pt, rather than 3pt which was too thick. I also adjusted the colour of the memories too and softened them to a slightly lighter orange which I picked out of the ‘triangle background’ of my illustrations, in order to keep in consistent still.

The problem with the rag being a bit too bulky in a couple of places was an easy fix – I simply added or removed words in order to get the lengths of lines correct and ensure there was no odd looking shapes forming in the rag.

For the illustration of the two heads, I decided to keep it as two heads after trying it out with just one, but realised it made it very similar to the illustration that I had on page 6 – they were too similar so I stuck with the two heads illustration.

I trialed it without borders, and straight away agreed with David that the editorial looked better without the borders on both pages 2 and 5 – it created a good amount of white space and actually added to the sense of hierarchy as well.

After making all of these little improvements to my piece, I feel that it has improved greatly and is not ready for submission on Friday.

Click here to view (in PDF form) my final editorial piece, ready for submission.

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