SIP #3 – Colours, Fonts and Format

Scan 2019-5-13 10.15.53COLOUR PALETTE

I’m trying out a new technique for this project – riso printing. The riso printer has only 11 colours which can then be printed on top of each other at varying opacities to create new shades. Although usually, I would choose colours a bit later on in the development process, due to the nature of the riso printer in having to print colours separately, I felt it more important to decide sooner. I only want to do two colours to make the process simpler, fluoro pink and blue, creating shades of purple when layered. Having the colours chosen means I can use them whilst creating the illustrations and make sure they work well.


I really like the handwritten look for the text however the readability of it can be difficult in large chunks. As my zine will be informative with paragraphs of text in places, this style of font might become jarring to read after a while. A neutral, sans serif typeface such as Helvetica, is easily read and not obnoxious.

Helvetica was created in 1957 by Max Miedinger in Switzerland with the aim to have a neutral typeface with no intrinsic meaning and good reading clarity. It became popular in post-war Europe as all the previous typefaces were decorative and Helvetica offered a simple, sleek and modern alternative. It can be used in almost any context although due to being a sans-serif it does give off a slightly more modern vibe.

For the headings, the hand-lettering looks slightly juvenile in conjunction with the Helvetica font. Using just the outlines of Helvetica, and in italics gives the heading a more modern, assertive look which suits the informative nature of the zine. As all the illustrations will be hand-drawn this would strike a balance between the more graphical, educational elements and the supporting artwork. The handwritten typeface might suit subheadings and labels better.


A zine is my chosen format to present the information, however, there are a few ways this could be set up. The simplest would be an 8-page zine made from one sheet of A3 paper. Riso printing onto this would mean using only 2 masters for the different colours and just one sheet of paper but is limited to 8 pages which wouldn’t work for my project. A stack of postcards would allow for as many pages as necessary but wouldn’t be the easiest to carry around as sheets could get lost. The most suitable option is using A5/A6 folded pages, printed double-sided and saddle stitched together. This means I can have as many pages as needed to create a pocket-sized¬†zine. The only issues I can see with this is it gets complicated trying to print the doubled sided pages and matching up registration on the rise printer, especially as I’m not experienced with it.

Helvetica (2014) Available at: (Accessed: 2 May 2019).
WebdesignerDepot (2010) The Simplicity of Helvetica. Available at: (Accessed: 2 May 2019).

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