Ralf Renz Maniego

BA (Hons) Visual Communication at Arts University Bournemouth

DNA of Japanese Design

An editorial design spread by Hiroshi Takahara Design Office, which unfortunately I cannot comprehend the nature of the content. However the title of the design suggests that it is closely linked with the implications of Japanese interior design.

I have chosen this example as I am interested of using multilingual text in designing my typeradio layout. It is awe-inspiring to see how Japanese characters can flow both vertically and horizontally, and still be legible for Japanese readers.

These examples by Hiroshi Takahara Design Office, uses both vertical and horizontal alignment for the text. Typically in English-worded spreads, it is considered to be experimental for when a layout of a paragraph is placed in any other sort of positioning rather than the standard horizontally alignment. Is it the nature of Japanese culture? Is it considered to be experimental if Japanese text is placed horizontally?

Source(s): DNA of Japanese Design and Hiroshi Takahara Design Office.

S Book ONE OWN Southampton

A key book that I adore containing quotes, wisdom, experiences, and interviews from graphic designers, typographers and illustrators. People such as, Vince Frost, David Foldvari, Nick Bell, and Marion Deuchars. Of course their words are very influential, and informative, but that is not what makes the book stand out. What makes the book stand out is without a doubt due to its layout.

It is experimental, and dynamic. A little hard to read, as it breaks the rules of the traditional format of book reading, however the hierarchies of layout still exists within the spreads. I think that it is safe to assume that the traditional perception of a paragraph of text is completely changed when the paragraph is manipulated with the image.

Source(s): Southampton Graphics

World’s Fair 2020 Advertisements
"A fictional campaign made for the World’s Fair in New York City."

World’s Fair 2020, produced by Josh Inch, is a series of advertisements which shows off the fictional campaign held in New York City. The use of a black and white photograph amplifies the solid yellow colour and the white bold text overlapped on top of the photography.

The use of skyscrapers from New York city anchors the location of the movement, and works well with the chosen sans serif typeface, both in size and positioning. The use of solid flat graphics also adds to the editorial design in creating a urgent and stern tone to the campaign.

Source(s): Worlds Fair 2020 and Josh Inch.

Dwell - Coastal Cities Revisited

"Idea and visual identity for a travel guide to coastal cities around the world, but from a rather offbeat and alternative viewpoint that is slightly different from the usual glossy travel magazines that focus either on popular tourist attractions or luxury travel."

A magazine visual identity and layout pitch, produced by Sidney Lim, for a BA (Hons) coursework. Dwell is a visually-driven piece of editorial design which borrows the gradient colours of “the coastal cities" from the photographs, and uses it for titles and quotations to fill out the negative space and balances each spreads.

The grid system that the editorial design uses is extremely broad and flexible, this makes the design dynamic and captures the atmosphere of the “coastal cities” well through the layout and images.

Source(s): Dwell - Coastal Cities and Sidney Lim.

Bjork - Stitched Up

"This article about Björk is from a magazine I call Sampler. The magazine is a monthly music magazine and every month has a new theme. Theme’s could be music for a summer roadtrip or music for heartbreak or in this case music for the cold, dark nights of winter. Once you’ve bought the magazine you can go online and download songs for a playlist perfect for the theme and the magazine then features articles on all the musicians included in the playlist of that month."

The visual theme of these editorial spreads were directly influenced by the image of Bjork with her woven-like hairstyle, which also sets the theme and message of the design. The stitching aesthetic also alters the positioning of the paragraphs, where the direction of the text alternates from horizontal to a vertical perspective.

The editorial spread is heavily reliant on this visual metaphor as the interview is personal to Bjork’s experiences; in terms of her hardships, ups and downs, and how she is “stitching her soul”, to heal and relieve the pain, and to come back anew - stronger than ever.

From the double page spread, I am in particular amazement of the use of the stitching as imagery, where it subtly guides the viewers eye directions throughout the hierarchy of the interview, starting from the initial page towards the end.

Source(s): Bjork Stitched Up and Julie Katrine Andersen.

Chop Festival 2013 - Catalogue

"ChoP is a transnational project consisting of sound and visual artists from China and Poland. Performances by ChoP combine traditional and modern sounds of China and Poland with field recordings and ambient structures. ChoP is showing the aspects of constant development of the Far East and Eastern Europe. Performances are accompanied by different visuals made by different Vjs. ChoP is performing live, therefore all shows are unique experiences not unlike what the public experienced one century ago when films were mute and live improvised music gave it the whole context.”

A minimalistic approach to an editorial catalogue, created by Studio WidziMisie, for the 2013 Chop Festival Project. The use of minimal paragraphing alongside an image or graphic (presumably created through a risograph, or screen-printing process) intensifies the editorial design of the catalouge.

The use of a bilingual paragraphing is outstanding, especially with the duo-tone used, and how the colours distinguishes the two block of text apart. Red symbolizing Japan, and the Japanese characters, whilst Blue symbolizing the Polish half of the design.

Source(s): Chop Festival 2013 and Chop Project.

The Water of Life - A book about the manliest drink

A yearlong project to make something about something we thought were interesting. So I decided to write and design a book about whisky. Something that I experienced during this project is that I get more confident when I drink whisky.  So the concept for the book is built around this. I split the book in 3, and the design in each reflects the increase in confidence as I drink.

An interesting and personal approach to a editorial design, about the manliest drink - whisky, by graphic designer Christer Dahlslett. The strongest aspect of this design is the thoughtful process that Christer has carried out in producing the book.

Each book entails a deconstructed research towards whiskey; the history, effects, as well as characteristics, and how different blends differ from one another. Each book contains that aspect, in which Christer would approach the style of each book differently.

The skills he would use would reflect the confidence he would have in that particular field. Like with how more alcohol you consume, the more confident you become. For example, in book one, he would use traditional etching and hand-drawn illustrations, whereas book 2 would use watercolour brushes and textures - as he is slightly more confident with the particular medium. In book 3, he would use vector graphics - a medium that he is most confident in using.

Source(s): The Water of Life and Christer Dahlslett.

Type Radio – Task Outline

Typeradio.org is a web based radio station that presents interviews with designers working in the typographic industry. After choosing a designer from the list below you will listen to the interview You will then re-present the interview in the form of a illustrated magazine article comprising of three double page spreads OR two double page spreads and two single pages, a total of six pages in all. The minimum size being A4+ (315x225mm.) This article will be presented to meet the highest professional standards and include type, print and paper specs, print ready digital files and most importantly a clear rationale.

These interviews are presented as MP3’s and all include web links specific to the designer. You will be provided with transcripts of interviews from the designer.

  • Eike Konig (Hort)
  • Morag Myerscough
  • Sara de Bondt
  • Bruno Monguzzi
  • Simon Esterson
  • Marian Bantjes
  • Designpolite
  • Pierre Bernard
  • Michael Bierut
  • Irma Boom

This interview should be backed up with additional research on your chosen designer(s), and accompanied by either illustrations / photographs generated by yourself that add to the readers understanding of the text.


Firstly, you should listen to the interview’s several times and ask yourself what is it about? Decide what from this interview do you want to put across in your article; you may not have room to include everything.

Research and Analysis

Alongside researching your assigned designer you should also look at other relevant illustrators and graphic designer. This may be broad to start with but use synthesis to decide which are most appropriate.


During the process of your development you should have several possible avenues. At this stage you should choose the most appropriate and continue to develop it, make sure that it is legible and in keeping with your chosen interview.

Hand in requirements

You must hand in a final printed version of your final design printed full size. The production of your final piece should be of a professional standard; it should be well printed and mounted for presentation at the critique.

A packaged digital InDesign burnt onto CD including all necessary style formats and formatted for litho print production.

BA Visual Communication: Visual Communication in Context 1 


Through the application of knowledge and experience gained on both previous units, Visual Communication in Context 1 will allow you to further your problem solving skillset within the context of print and screen based media and employing historical and theoretical references specifically through editorial design and production.

In the exploration, development and application of typographic principles and the generation of images, you will focus on the effective interpretation and communication of information to a defined audience within contemporary editorial design structures.

Throughout this unit, you will gain a deeper understanding of print and digital production processes. Workshops will enable you to make use of appropriate software in order to communicate information and ideas within a digital context in achieving professional presentation standards throughout your project outputs.

Commences: Tuesday, 1st April 2014

Deadline: Tuesday, 13th May 2014


  1. To increase your knowledge of the visual principles and explanations of hierarchies of visual structures / systems of meaning.
  2. To further develop your problem-solving skills and concept generation in developing your ability to employ control and clear thought processes in the communication of ideas and information to specific audiences.
  3. To provide you with the necessary knowledge and understanding relating to print production, method and processes. To increase your awareness of professional standards of presentation both verbal and visual.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate your ability to employ clear and systematic thought processes in order to create imaginative visual solutions that are informed by clear design objectives and related to research.
  2. Analyze visual and textual material in order to create hierarchies and systems of information relevant to a specific audience.
  3. Demonstrate that you can prepare digital artwork in readiness for production and present your work to the appropriate conventions and standards.