Turning a Blog Post into a Magazine Spread

I wanted to showcase my latest design from a blog post that I turn into a magazine spread using Adobe InDesign software. My original blog post came from lds.org and is by President Russell M. Nelson. He shares his recent experience to the youth about a scripture study challenge he did while studying Jesus Christ.  He look up over 2200+ scriptures and learn so much from his experience that he plans to share his testimony of what he found in recent conferences. He shares a little of what he found in this blog post. I broke up the post into 4 sections. Outlining to the youth what can be expected if they try out this same challenge. I also thought the long title would be a good challenge to play with the words into a front page design. Below is my 3 page layout.

Front page

two page spread

Target Audience Analysis

My target audience was focus on the youth, this was the same audience that Elder Nelson was addressing from a recent conference in his post. I wanted the blog post to fit into a youth magazine style. I wanted the outline of the experience Elder Nelson described  to fit into an action plan for the youth. This plan could also fit into anyone willing to take a scripture challenge studying about the Savior.  My finish spread highlights two youth reading scriptures a young man and a young women with opposite contrasting colors of Pink and Brown. Pink for the young women, and brown for the young men.

Design Analysis

My design can be broken up into three main highlights; Color, Typography, and Photography.


For the color scheme I decided to highlight adjacent colors. These colors are next to each other in the color wheel. You can see an example of my color paletton below.

color paletton

I wanted colors that match both the young women and the young men. So I decided  to go with colors that could contrast well together. Pink for the young women, and dark brown for the young men. I kept this color scheme going in my typography and contrast the main content dark brown text with a dark shade of pink headers. This kept the repetitious theme going throughout the design and in some cases I brought both colors together. Notice that in my title I use both of these colors to highlight and contrast the main words like “2200 Scriptures” and “Six weeks”. Did you also catch that I chosen photography that matches my color scheme? Notice the young women is wearing pink and brown, and the young man is wearing brown.


My chosen font is Minion Pro and Lucida Sans. Minion Pro is use for the main content text, and the Lucida Sans is use as a contrasting text for my headers and parts of my title. The Minion Pro gives you the feel of text typeface that you see when reading the scriptures, and the Lucida Sans gives more of a modern theme. I blended these two typefaces to blend the new with the old. Like for example the contrast between wisdom and youth. I gave extra line height in the paragraphs and indented the paragraphs starting on the second paragraph for each main section. I made the headers close to the paragraph to give good proximity and gave space between other sections. My title is different sizes of font and character spacing to give a block feel right next to the young women. Almost to say it is a thought from the young women. The words cascade down the page drawing your eye down the page. I gave space between the title and the author as well.


For my chosen images I decided to highlight two youth. The images were originally taken in a large size. This help scale down the image and highlight the part of the image I wanted to used.

young women reading

Source: https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/young-woman-reading-scriptures-1047022?lang=eng

Notice if you look at this image I did not use the scale shown above. Instead I zoom in on the picture to highlight just the youth. Then I use the space right beside the girl to insert the title. This image is a great image to use because it uses the rule of the thirds.  It puts the main image on the side and extra space on the other side.  Made for a great opportunity to use the space for a title and stunning front page design. Notice also that her eyes are pointed down. This same theme can be found in the title as it cascades down the page.

boy reading scriptures

Source: https://en.elds.org/bookofmormononline-com/files/2011/12/scripture-study-462668-print.jpg

The young man image also has the opportunity to put text on the left side. That space was utilized for the rest of the content text. To make the text stand out more I set the image to opacity of 67% to give it more transparent look to help contrast the text. The boys eyes also point down as the reader reads down the page. I also zoom in and crop parts of the image to just highlight the main part of the youth.


Creating a great magazine spread starts with you knowing your audience. Once you find out that information start researching the colors that surround that kind of audience. Choose the right typefaces that work together and still give the contrast to match your audience. Find images that work with your color scheme and your target audience. Think of the positioning of the images and how they will work for your layout.  If you follow these techniques you are sure to wow the audience with your attractive design.


Three Tips for Beginner Photographers

There is going to be many things you discover over the course of your career. But it is good to know the fundamentals of taking a great photograph. Let’s go over three tips for taking great photos.

Tip #1 Rule of Thirds

chef cooking

Photograph by: Timur Saglambilek
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-chef-kitchen-soup-66639/

When you are working with the Rule of Thirds it is important to include you subject along a grid system. There are four points along that grid that intersect. Those intersections you want to include your subject. Below is draw over of this example to help you visualize the points of interest. You can see both of the points intersect at the pots.

chef cooking drawover

Below are some photographs I have taken using the Rule of Thirds.

my chef cooking clams

Now see this same photo using the grid, notice the intersections points

my chef cooking draw over

Here is another example of my daughter…

Tip #2 Leading Lines

Another great tip in making interesting photos is taking them following natural site leading lines. In this first example I have provided a photograph of a garden. Notice the lines drive your eyes to the end of the picture. When you use the natural lines it provides interest and draws you into the photograph.

garden photo

Photograph by: Ciao
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/walking-path-way-tunnel-59599/

Now lets look at my lines I drew over the above photograph to give you a visual perspective of the natural lines in the photograph.

garden draw over

Let’s now look at some examples of the photographs I have taken to show these kind of natural leading lines.

my courtyard example

Here is the draw over for you to visualize the leading lines into the courtyard.

courtyard entrance drawover

Here are some more examples of leading line photos I have taken.

my port yard pic

port yard pic draw over

crow nest draw over

Tip #3 Depth of Field

Another interesting skill set is being able to take photos using a contrast between your subject and the background. This Depth of Field concept or Figure to Ground creates high contrast on your subject verses the background. Or it can be the other way around you can focus on the background verses the subject. Lets look at the example below.

ship and rope anchor

Photograph by: Skitterphoto
Source: skitterphoto.com https://www.pexels.com/photo/ship-rope-dock-cargo-9318/

Can you see the contrast in the above photo? Let’s look at my draw over this photo below. Notice the rope in the front is more in focus than the ship that is behind it. This points the interest on the rope leading up to the ship in the background that may not be as important. You can accomplish this by  selecting your focus on your subject while the background is more not in focus.

ship draw over

Let’s now look at some of the examples of this I have taken in my own photographs.

my son

Notice in the picture above my son is more in focus than in the background. This gives more of a high contrast to him than it does the background. The background was less important in this shot.

my son drawover


When taking photos there is a lot to take into consideration. But you need to not fear to break some of these rules or think you have to use all the rules in your photograph. You can take great photos if you think about the positioning of the subject to the background. Move around with your camera to different positions until you capture the subject in a way that fits one of these tips.

Carl’s Jr Print Ad Breakdown on Typography

Carl’s Jr. Print Ad on Baby Back Rib Thickburger

Carl's Jr print ad on Baby Back Rib burger

Source: 2017 Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC print ad on Baby Back Rib Thickburger. All rights and images and logos are subject to their owners.  Draw-overs done down below to display the use of typography in this ad.

I wanted to highlight this print ad by Carl’s Jr. that I received in the mail to display the use of typography. I will go over the use of typefaces and other elements that they use well in the ad. Every visual designer should take note in these kind of principles of Type and Contrasts use to make a well constructed advertisement.

The Two Typefaces

Two typefaces use in this carl's jr ad

When you look over this ad you are immediately greeted with two different typefaces. The first uses a cursive Script type, and the one below it uses a San Serif bold. The last line is a smaller text size of San Serif. The use of these two typefaces adds contrast to the ad without conflicting with one another. It is important to use contrasting typefaces that are NOT similar. Otherwise you could risk looking too concordant, which can make your ad dull and just get lost in the ad. You will also notice the repetition that is use in “Baby Back Rib” and the type face that is use in the “Carl’s Jr.” logo. It is also repeated on the side of the page with the word “Pioneers.”


the used of color in carl's jr ad

Even though it may not seem there is a lot of color that is used in this ad from the black background. But what is working with the typefaces to add contrast is the used of color. The yellow color used in the font is a warm color that draws you into the ad and also brings the text to the forefront of your attention. What also calls your attention is the red banner on the top corner that reads “New!” red is also a forward color that draws you into the ad. The used of yellow is also repetitive in the star logo of Carl’s Jr. The last color choice is the Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce logo. If you look closely you can see the color is the same as the burger bun in the ad.

Form, Size, Weight, and Structure

Form and size used in carl's jr. ad

Forms and sizes of your typography can highlight and build separate contrast without even adding any design. In this ad they choose to use all caps on the word “THICKBURGER” which is a good use of form.  This use of all caps works with this ad because the typeface that is use is an easy font to read such as Sans Serif. It also plays on the thickness of the burger. Notice that the typeface is a heavy bold. This use of bold plays on the weight of the text. This conveys a bold thick burger in our minds. It is a play on words but it works effectively. The last part of “Thickburger” is the structure of the word. The word “Thickburger” is stretch to the whole length of words above it.  The “Baby Back Rib” words have a different structure than the word below it. They work together in contrast because of their scope and size. Just below that is the description of the burger. Notice the size of that text is much smaller but still in the same proximity. Our eyes may skip over this text and go to the burger. It is best to keep the right sizes of your text with the main words you want to highlight to add contrast.


 direction of text in carl's jr. ad

To the side of the first page of this ad is a additional information on how Carl’s Jr. is the pioneer to making great burgers and additional savings we can save if we look inside. The strong re-direction of this text gets us ready to open the ad and look inside. Even though the text is best use in a horizontal direction it gets us to move into the ad. Notice also the use of size in the format of the text of the word Burger and number $50. These words contrast more out in the page calling our attention. As well as the color choice of yellow in the $50.

Inside the Ad

coupons for adinside the ad

Inside the ad, once you open the page, gives you the same look and feel as the front page with the same typefaces used in the coupons. This use of repetition gives the customer a familiar feel they had on the first page. Notice the word “FREE” and the yellow bold savings numbers that draw you into that separate coupon.

Proximity and Alignment

backside of Carl's Jr. ad

The backside of the ad completes the cohesive look by using some smart design principles such as proximity and alignment in there typefaces. The three separate red boxes I have highlighted each convey a message to the user. I love how the words “All-Natural & No Antibiotics Ever*” is in close proximity to the ingredients of the sandwich.  The also have a script typeface and a color choice that matches the burger bun.  All of these boxes are perfectly align to the left, which is drawing our eye down the page and over to the sandwich.


You will start to notice the type of typefaces use all around us. The key is to being aware of how the relationships of text can work together. Remember that opposites do attract. They add the right amount of contrast without them being too conflicting or competing for attention. The next time you are face with choosing between typefaces make sure they are different but work together with each other in form, size, weight, and even structure. This can give your piece more contrast and convey a message that may even be more powerful than your images. That is the power of typography! Now if you excuse me I have to go get one of these burgers.