Square vs Portrait Format

Square vs Portrait format has been a topic that I have really tried to think a lot into in regards to this project. We have discussed square format as this was where I started out with the project. I created my first draft in a square layout because I wanted to explore how it would look.

We discussed the square layout as a group in class but decided that for the topic and the story I am looking at, it might not be the best sizing for my book.

Square books can produce really good style formats, but I have come to the conclusion I shouldn’t use the square format for my book because I run the risk of making my narrative look too commercialised and too brochure-like. A typical convention of narratives based around families and their everyday lives, is to present it as more of a family album style, which can look really tacky and spoil a project. This is usually done in a square format, which is why I think it would be best to avoid this for this project.

The portrait format similarly has its own issues, such as the fact that it can be harder to place landscape images into the format because they often do not fit as well as they might in a square or a landscape page layout. The portrait convention is, however, a common convention used for a large majority of phonebooks because it has a professional appeal and style as well as being very versatile. Unless a phonebook is on the landscape, books tend me to be portrait in their orientation. In a large number of cases, this works very well and is a successful format, leading to a good use of white space and consideration to spacial awareness and spacial layout.

After speaking to the group, I have decided that for this purpose I will create another layout using the portrait style orientation because I feel that it going to be more suited to the project, as well as making it feel much less commercialised and ‘family album-y’. Once I’ve created my first draft I will be able to see if this has worked successfully or not. But at the moment I am currently going to use the portrait format over the square one to make my work appear more professional and to try to avoid the typical family album style that a square format brings with it.


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