How to Tell a Story in Editorial Design

I have built my business on curating stories. From crafting my brand story through the reasons for starting my business, incorporating all I love into it, to telling stories within my work. Story telling is so important to me, ingrained in me from a love of reading novels all of my life, writing stories as a teenager and now collecting pieces to help curate stories for all of my clients. In this post I want to share with you the process of telling stories through the design of an editorial. Read on to hear all about it…

THE INSPIRATION 

The first part of any of my design work is gathering the inspiration. It is essential to me that this is unique and that it begins the story-telling process. When I am designing an editorial, or a styled wedding shoot to many, I base my inspiration on various things. From things I love, things I’ve stumbled on that I know will create a beautiful story or an old piece of treasure or jewellery, etc. 

Here is the beautiful postcard that I sourced specifically for this editorial I am designing. This editorial will be based in Cornwall, South East England and so I was looking for a beautiful image of the Cornish countryside that I could use for my design. From this piece of inspiration I build a story to tell within the editorial and this story is what I keep in my mind the whole time, from building the design, sourcing the suppliers to the styling on the day. The story I curate from the inspiration is the most integral part.

BUILDING THE STORY

Once I have this inspiration, the story-telling process is a lot easier. I spend time looking deeply into the inspiration, what I see from it and how I feel from it, and then curate that into a story of a bride and groom on their wedding day. The story generally isn’t long, but I build layers so when it is time to choose the suppliers to help tell that story, all will have a great sense of what we need to tell it.

For this editorial, looking at the postcard I had a sense of tranquility and beauty from it. The colours spoke to me and make the scene what it is. I can see a bride running though the hills bare-footed, with her hair loosely flying behind her. She is running towards the love of her life and her love is clear for them all to see. Once I’ve created a story, I take it one step further and begin to write about how I see the vision of the editorial to be, giving guidelines for the suppliers without taking their creative talents away from them.

BUILDING THE STORY

Once I have this inspiration, the story-telling process is a lot easier. I spend time looking deeply into the inspiration, what I see from it and how I feel from it, and then curate that into a story of a bride and groom on their wedding day. The story generally isn’t long, but I build layers so when it is time to choose the suppliers to help tell that story, all will have a great sense of what we need to tell it.

For this editorial, looking at the postcard I had a sense of tranquility and beauty from it. The colours spoke to me and make the scene what it is. I can see a bride running though the hills bare-footed, with her hair loosely flying behind her. She is running towards the love of her life and her love is clear for them all to see. Once I’ve created a story, I take it one step further and begin to write about how I see the vision of the editorial to be, giving guidelines for the suppliers without taking their creative talents away from them.

THE COLOUR PALETTE

It is only when I have the inspiration, have created a story and wrote notes on my vision, do I do anything on the computer. Before then it is all about capturing my thoughts on the story and vision on paper, and not being swayed by any other editorials or wedding images that I may have seen online. It is integral that each and every editorial I work on is original, true to my brand is telling a visual story.

So this is the point that I begin to think about colours. Generally I’ll go a bit deeper, and think about what colours and tones work to assist in telling the story,  what they signify, how they work with the setting and the season, etc. For this editorial it was a lot shorter process, as the colour palette was already in the postcard and so I went with these beautiful colours, as what could depict the story better? I will stay true to my brand and have a neutral base palette, and bring  in these tones sparingly and considerately.

THE MOODBOARD

I will only begin to look at imagery to pull together to convey the look and feel to the team once the above steps have taken place. Without them, the creative vision will be lacking uniqueness and you may end up simply replicating someone else’s work. I believe in using other images for inspiration and never imitation, and the moodboard you create should be picked up by the suppliers as a tone, feeling, story and mood that you’ve set, not that you are wanting to recreate the look.

For moodboards, I try and choose a fair few non-wedding images. The obvious image of the postcard is in here, along with an image of the venue. All other images were chosen because of the feeling they evoke and  the colour plays a huge part too. I pick images that represent the vision I have set, and this bank of images sets the tone perfectly for a relaxed, elopement feel editorial incorporating some really beautiful details that we will bring in.

THE MOODBOARD

I will only begin to look at imagery to pull together to convey the look and feel to the team once the above steps have taken place. Without them, the creative vision will be lacking uniqueness and you may end up simply replicating someone else’s work. I believe in using other images for inspiration and never imitation, and the moodboard you create should be picked up by the suppliers as a tone, feeling, story and mood that you’ve set, not that you are wanting to recreate the look.

For moodboards, I try and choose a fair few non-wedding images. The obvious image of the postcard is in here, along with an image of the venue. All other images were chosen because of the feeling they evoke and  the colour plays a huge part too. I pick images that represent the vision I have set, and this bank of images sets the tone perfectly for a relaxed, elopement feel editorial incorporating some really beautiful details that we will bring in.

I so hope you enjoyed reading a little bit behind how I story-tell in my styled wedding shoots. Story-telling makes me happy and it’s such a useful tool as a creative to allow your work to be unique and to bring the passion into what we do.

I would love to know what you think about this? If you’re a creative do you story tell through your work? Try giving it a go if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll ignite a new passion you didn’t know you had. And if you need any help, drop me a line here to discuss it some more.

PS. This editorial design will be brought to life at The Fine Art Wedding Retreat 2020. If you want to learn more about editorials, how to design, style and capture them, and have a beautiful few days in the Cornish countryside being inspired, learning from guest speakers and being spoilt, come and take a look at how you can join us here. Would love to see you there.

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