I read a darling article in the 2019 December/January Sunset Magazine about winter cabin living.

The article was written and photographed by David Hanson and titled, “Cool Comforts.” (You can read a digital version of the article here.)

I first saw the article in a printed magazine and was immediatly drawn to the charming winter wonderland and snow capped trees. It is obvious that the design elemtents were very thought out and resulted in the end product above. I will be analyzing the typography and photography of this spread, which in my opinion are some of the funnest things to look at!


There are three types of text in this spread. I personally think that as a whole the text feels very balanced, is appealing to the eye and is cohesive with the photos.

To start out the main quote/title of the page has contrasting text. Contrast means that the text of the words, “slow down” and “If we had come…” is visibly different but the styles match enough that they compliment each other. Color is also beneficial in making this text contrast. We can see that the words, “slow down” are in a green-blue color which also matches the color of the trees in the photo above. This is a good example of complimentary contrast.

Script Text

On the left, we see an enlarged version of the script text. Script text has a handwritten, brush look to it. Each letter connects, and there is a good variety of thick and thin strokes. It is visible on the letters “l” and “g.” 

Oldstyle Text

This text is old-style because it has slanted serifs on the points of the letter. The slanted serif is very prevalent on the letter “h.” The strokes of each letter have thin and thick lines. The variance in strokes creates contrast and definition.

Serif Body Copy

The last text included on this magazine spread is a body copy. It is what makes up the main text and is very easy to read. This font is a serif font. Each letter is capped with a straight line, symmetrical, and the same size. This type of text is easy to format and compliments the script and old-style text because as a whole, the three typefaces have similarities.


This spread is photo-heavy, which also makes it very appealing and bright!

I put grid lines over each photo so that it would be easy to see what photo technique was applied. The photographer was smart and used a variety of inanimate and animate objects, which created cohesive differences.

The first photo in the top right has an orange grid over it. The photograph of a Snow Cat and is an excellent application of the rule of thirds. The main focus is right-aligned on the third vertical line.

The second photo of the moms and their children is in the top middle (divided with blue lines.) I think this is also another excellent example of the rule of thirds. The main focus is in the center square. If we were to zoom out on the photo and see the space on the sides, the people would most likely still be the main focus.

The last photo is number 3 in the bottom middle (divided with white lines.) I can see the principle of leading lines applied here. The blue kettle is the main focus in the photo, and it is very symmetrical.

A Shot of my Own

I thought it would be a challenging experiment to take my photos that were interchangeable with the third photo on this spread.

The first photo is of a pine tree branch covered in snow. It is zoomed in and uses the rule of thirds as the center focus ligns up in the center square. I think this ties into the other pine trees that can be seen behind the snow cat.

The second photo is of a forest of snow-capped pine trees. This photograph could be interchanged with number three as well. It has a wide-angle viewpoint similar to the style of the original photo. It also fits into the winter theme and goes along quite perfectly with the pine trees in the Snow Cat photo as well.

The last photo is of a hot chocolate with wood elements in the background. This photo also goes along with the cabin theme that is consistent throughout the remainder of the article. The main focus of the photo is the hot chocolate, which correlates with the original since the kettle is the focus. It is also important to note that there are similar colors like the blue towel and the green pine sprig that correlate with the other photos.

It is easy to see that typography and photography add to the quality of a magazine spread. I know that when I have a magazine in hand I do a quick flip through all the pages looking for something that catches my eye. It is obvious, that the curves of letters and the colors of the images can peak someones interest.

Stay créatif friends!



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