Dissertation design: development


I decided to research some existing editorial design pieces that I’d like to take inspiration from for my dissertation design.

Typografie Standard, by Tony Ziebetzki

I really love the use of big, bold type running through the background of this piece. I also love the detailing of that bold type, like the curves on the “R” letterform! I think this is really expressive and could work really well applied in a similar way in my dissertation design.

Kyle Rice Design

I love the playfulness of “reveal and conceal” in this double page spread designed by Kyle Rice. I talk a lot about both concealing and revealing within my dissertation with regards to disclosure of paid partnerships between influencers and brands. I think this idea of playfulness could be a great addition to think about when designing my dissertation.

The storytelling serifs specimen, Fontsmith

This piece of editorial design showcases typefaces designed by Fontsmith, and I’m completely obsessed! I think that the use of weight, size, colour and layout are so clever and showcase the fonts beautifully. I plan to experiment with orientation, weight, kerning, tracking and size of the typography within my dissertation, taking a lot of inspiration from this piece in particular. I also love the use of pink, black and off white. I think these colours are so striking and stand out so well.


Deciding on the 5 pages to design:

The title of my dissertation is Can Instagram influencer brand partnerships succeed both ethically & financially for both the brand and the influencer? The dissertation investigates both the ethical and financial success of the extremely modern, current and on-trend advertising method of Instagram influencer marketing. It focuses on both the influencers, and the brands which choose to work with them in this popular advertising method. In addition, it includes research and discussion regarding persuasion, as this is a significant topic within graphic communication. It also investigates to what extent the marketing strategy increases product and/or service sales for companies, including examples and statistics. In addition, it compares the current, previous and potential future rules and regulations for paid partnership and sponsored content disclosure by influencers. This is shown by researching and reviewing a sufficient amount of relevant, current, academic literature regarding the Instagram influencer marketing advertising method, influencers, social media users, and companies who use this strategy. I also include research of examples and statistics to justify my critical opinion and position, and discuss both the positive and negative aspects of the examples. I also conducted a qualitative and quantitative survey where participants completed a survey in order for me to determine their views and opinions on the subject of Instagram influencers, and to interpret my findings with the statistics I have gathered. I feel that this topic is very important and relevant, as it is very current, modern and applies to an extremely wide audience.

I have chosen to design 5 double page spreads from chapter 1 which is titled Why and how influencer marketing is so successfully persuasive. I feel that this is appropriate as this chapter relates the most to graphic communication.

This is what I came up with as a starting point:

I’ve used a 6 column grid with 8mm margins, and 6mm gutters. I really wanted to include this soft, calming pink tone throughout my piece of editorial as I feel that it’s really inviting and almost highlights the manipulativeness that I talk about within this chapter of my dissertation.

Portfolio: Final updates


I altered my CV from portrait to landscape in order to match my portfolio and website orientation. I personally think it looks much better in landscape – it has more negative space (although still not a lot), and the hierarchy is easier to break down in terms of path for the eye.


I added in a more detailed “about me” section to my website, where viewers can click on three different thumbnails. One is about me as a person (middle), one is about Ellie Williams Design (left) and one is about Ellie Williams Stationery (right).

This is what the middle page looks like, detailing more information about myself. I also attached my CV for increased information about my experience and education for potential employers to see.


As Jay suggested, I designed the template for my speculative email in Illustrator and the inserted the text in indesign. I used my brand colours pink and red in order to maintain the brand consistency. I’m really happy with the outcome! You can check it out at www.elliewilliamsdesign.com.

Portfolio: Final Review

Today was the final review with Jay and my peers before submission a week from today. At this point I still hadn’t designed my speculative email in InDesign but had made a lot of the other changes suggested last week. Jay was really pleased with my outcomes and thought that they were very nearly there in terms of design. With a little more refinement and spell checking, I think I will be happy with my outcomes.

One thing Jay mentioned was the importance of professionalism throughout these outcomes, such as spelling and grammar. I decided to send my outcomes over to my mum to check over for spelling and grammar. She found a few typos and helped me alter some wording to sound more professional which was really helpful. She also looked over both of my R&D files and found some typos which I then altered. It was nice to have someone to look over my work before submitting it, as I wouldn’t have noticed those mistakes by myself!

Portfolio: First review

Today was the first time I showed my portfolio/CV/website progress to Jay and my peers, as I had previously spent my time updating projects from throughout the year which I didn’t need any more feedback on.

Jay was really pleased with my volume of work and also thought that my designs were successful. He and my peers noted that I should maybe alter my CV to be landscape in order to fit with the landscape portfolio and website. I thought that this was a really good idea, as wasn’t sure why I had designed it in portrait in the first place. They also liked my website but said it needed more info in the “about me” section – such as an introduction to me as a person, a photo of myself and maybe even including my CV on the page? Finally, Jay suggested that I design my speculative email in InDesign in theme with my portfolio and CV in order to maintain brand consistency throughout all deliverables.

I loved seeing everyone else’s work so far, as it makes me more motivated to progress with my own work. It was also really nice to catch up with everyone seeing as we’re not in Uni at the moment.


  • Change CV to landscape
  • Add “about me” info to website
  • Design speculative email in InDesign
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