A General Conference Talk

Magazine Spread

Text of President Russell M. Nelson's General Conference talk, April 2017
By Heather Johnson
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My Thoughts

This magazine project has been an enjoyable project because I’ve had the opportunity to become more familiar with the InDesign program. For this project, we were required to find an article that had more than 600 words and no extra headings, which made things interesting. I spent a couple days reading articles on LDS.org trying to find one that closely met those guidelines. I finally settled on President Russell M. Nelson’s talk from April 2017 General Conference. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/drawing-the-power-of-jesus-christ-into-our-lives?lang=eng. As I read his talk I felt the spirit warm my heart and I could find places to add headings to fulfill that requirement. Finding a quote to use was trickier than I thought it would be.

The photographs are all Heather originals and focus on my beautiful irises. I was so pleased that they ended up blooming right in time for this project. Using the budding iris as a word wrap, ended up being one of my favorite ideas of my whole project. It was tricky as I had to use Photoshop to create a mask of the flower and then input it into InDesign. Once I had it into InDesign I then had to draw a shape over it and use that as the reference for the word wrap. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

When I started this process, I thought the easiest part would be the formatting of the article. How wrong I was! Making headings stand out, arranging the columns, and keeping the flow the same from one page to another was very tricky. The formatting isn’t perfect, but as I’m trying to balance school and family life, this will have to do. I look forward to being able to learn more about formatting so that my designs can improve.

The typography was fun to play with! I learned that keeping things simple helps to make a project flow better. I feel like color also became a huge part of my typography as it helped to accentuate words and created repetition throughout out the article. Creating the title and the quote took a large amount of time. I ended up using both Adobe Illustrator and InDesign because I felt like I could maneuver and manipulate the words better in illustrator. I decided to make the quote play off the title to bring in another element of repetition.

In conclusion, I feel like I was able to use all of the minimum expectations while also making the article beautiful. The color scheme felt appropriate to my audience, which was adults reading the Ensign in order to learn and to be uplifted. The purple and green colors were taken from the pictures of the irises to bring a feeling of hope into the design of the article. Creating this magazine project has brought me more appreciation for those who design for the church magazines. They take a lot more love and work than I realized.

My Photography

A purple and white iris in full bloom
By Heather Johnson
A purple and white iris budding
By Heather Johnson

Photography is a Blessing

This week is an awesome week because it is all about photography! I started taking pictures as a little girl with a point and shoot film camera. In high school I took a photography class and moved up to a DSLR film camera. I really enjoyed that class and even won an award and had my picture posted in the local newspaper. Once digital cameras were priced low enough I jumped at buying one and immediately fell in love with the speed of taking a picture. I have way too many pictures of my family and our adventures, some pictures are better than others, but they are all a blessing in my life.

Leading Lines

Picture of a road heading toward Mount Hood
By Patricia Thorpe Gomm

Pat Gomm is a good friend who professionally takes pictures and I just love her work. I have a picture of the Twin Falls Temple that she took on the wall in my living room. As I searched her website for photos to use this one of Mount Hood was perfect for the leading lines example.

As you can see all the lines point towards Mt. Hood causing your eyes to race to the very top of the mountain. I also like the jet lines in the sky that also help to move your eyes around the photograph.

By Heather Johnson

I took this on a trip to Boise, Idaho.

The lines of the road draw your through the picture on a journey through a gorgeous spring day. The clouds also create lines as they look staggered down the depth of the picture.

Depth of Field

Newborn baby with mom
By Tara Jugler

My little sister is a fantastic birth photographer! Her work amazes and inspires me. She often uses depth of field to quiet the backgrounds of photos so all we focus on is the new little baby.

Hello squishy new baby! When I look at this photo my eyes land directly on you, then they scan over to your glowing mama, and then finally I glance at the background. Using depth of field helps us to know where to focus our eyes, because the unfocused area becomes white space in your photograph where your eyes can rest.

By Heather Johnson

For days my irises were taunting me, buds but no blooms and I really wanted to use one for this project. Finally on Friday morning several finally popped open.

Using depth of field with my iris helps to draw attention to the details on the petals. If the background wasn’t blurred the photograph would be too busy and you would have to really focus on the iris to appreciate it’s details. Blurring the background creates a nice contrast which adds rather than detract from the photo.

Rule of Thirds

Pregnancy picture taken with the Perrine Bridge in the background.
By Heather Melton

Heather, is another very talented friend of mine who does mostly family photography. She has a passion for creating unique photos that capture the personality of her subjects. I’m lucky to call her my friend, the subject of this photo is another friend and I couldn’t resist using a photo that celebrates both of them.

I know Heather took her time taking this photography because the Perrine bridge in the background is horizontal and this is often hard to do in this spot along the river. I also love how Jenny is on the right side while the bridge holds the focus on the left. Heather also uses depth of field in this picture because Jenny is in focus while the bridge is blurred. This also adds weight to Jenny and exaggerates the rule of thirds.

By Heather Johnson

Shoshone Falls is amazing this year! When we went this time the mist was being blown straight up and falling down on us like rain. If you zoom up and focus on my coat you can see all the water droplets.

For the rule of thirds I am over on the right side of the photo with the falls taking up the left side of the photo. There is depth of field as the falls are not focused, along with the leading lines of the handrail that is heading down to the lookout, all of these principles used together help to create the feeling of massiveness from the falls.

In Conclusion

Keeping the principles of leading lines, the rule of thirds, and depth of field help to add contrast, interest, and white space to photographs which increases the quality of your photography. I’ve found that when I focus on using at least one of these while taking a photo that I will often end up with more of them in my photograph. It does take a little extra thought to think through and plan how I’m going to achieve the look that I desire. However, I’ve learned that it is time well spent! Taking a few moments to plan my shots helps me to capture what I wanted and brings fulfillment.


Black and white poster with the quote, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. ~Thomas Edison"
Created by Ben Fearnley

Orignal Poster

I chose this quote poster because I wanted to focus solely on typography. This caught my eye because of the way he uses the fonts to create interest and the lines that catch attention. It is also easy to read, he uses multiple types of fonts which adds contrast without creating issues with the fluency of reading.

Types of Fonts

 I loved that he used different font families because they do not clash or create reading issues.

The red dots are by words that are written in an Oldstyle font.  They are identified by their slanted serifs, thick to thin transitions, and curved bracketing. He also included an italicized “is” for us to examine, it is italicized because of the slant of the letters.

The blue highlights all those that are Sans Serifs. They are identified by the lack of serifs, no thick to thin transitions which creates no stress because there is no thick/thin within the letters.

The green signals the family of Decorative fonts that also seem to be related to the sans serifs. These fonts are easy to identify because it often feels like someone is playing with the letters and having a blast doing so. The ones used in this quote do keep qualities of sans serifs while making them playful.

And finally, the purple is the lone wolf Slab Serif. This font is identified by the horizontal thick slabs and vertical stress of the word, there is also very little thick to thin transitions.

All these fonts used together give this quote a playful feel while also feeling well designed.

Varying Sizes of Type

 Through this quote he uses the size to separate the phrases while creating a visual flow throughout the quote. He uses the contrasts of black and white to add emphasis to the smaller words. Even though the “is” is small it still has weight and matters because of the strong contrast that it has in the poster.

WEIGHT of Type

Throughout this quote he uses the principle of weight. We know that the whole quote is based about design because it is large and bold, this signifies its importance. The black shadowing on the word inspiration gains our attention because it is a different weight than what is around it. While the bold, thick lines around percent also grab attention and all these work together to pull our eyes down through the quote making us read it.

highlighting the direction of type

Direction of Type

The alignment of the lines and text create the illusion of a rectangular box around the quote. He mixes centered text with text that is justified to the edges of the lines. I liked that he kept all the words going in the same direction as the repetition of the lines and words flowing the same direction brings strength to his piece.


In conclusion this simple black and white quote has contrast through the use of color, font type, sizes, and use of lines. It has repetition in the fonts and lines, which creates the feeling of cohesiveness. The alignment has been set with purpose with the use of both centered and justified text. The lines in the quote help to solidify the proximity of the words gathered between each set of lines. This helps us to understand how these ideas interact with each other. Using these simple design principles helps to bring meaning to a quote in a quick and efficient way. As much as I like this poster, I think I would have created more emphasis on the second part of the quote because ninety-nine percent is much greater than one percent.