For this project, we had to design a piece of printed ephemera that will be used to give the audience an insight into the designer’s practices and background.
This was a good opportunity to apply the skills that I have developed within the past briefs and the opportunity to work with fonts, grid systems, hierarchy, layout design, type detailing, pace and pictures in order to put together a book design. However, the booklet had to be A5 printed in black and white on a coloured paper of my choice. I had to choose my own grid system consisting of as many columns as I needed in order to fit everything within a 16 pages’ format.
I started off by drawing out lots compositional sketches of different layouts and covers in order to have a starting point.
Putting together a good grid system that would allow me to fit everything neatly on pages has shown to be a challange in a way. I have started with a grid system of 12 columns and the gutter of 6mm, that didn’t go well for me so I have adjusted it to a grid system based on a 9 column grid with a gutter of 4mm that in order to make my layout more flexible.The margins are also 12 mm as I focused on getting some nice negative space onto the pages as well, which would allow me to be more flexible with the imagery.
The 9 column grid seemed to work and give me the flexibility with the large bodies of text as well as a fair amount of space left to include the images onto the pages as well. I have also tried to work with a 12 columns grid but it didn’t seem to be as flexible and the content looked asymetric, so I have preferred to work within the 9 columns system.
I have started to put together a mock-up design layout using this grid system.
The tiny black squares are meant to be there to show the way you’re meant to start reading the spreads and also style it slightly and make use of some of the white space.
In this idea, I was looking for a rather symmetrical layout but also a consistent design. Once, I had the design in place I started looking at improving and finalising the overall look. I was looking for having a consistency all the way through. For this design, I was looking to make the text lines shorter in order to make it easier to read. Also, I have edited the images and gave them a monochrome effect throughout.
In this outcome, I have changed and used the ‘Bauhaus’ typeface for the title as I wanted the title to stand out more. On the other hand, I have decided that for the body of text it would work much better with a serif typeface as I think it is more comfortable to read and it is used in large bodies of text in many other publications, so I have used “Minion Pro”.
Now that I put together the spreads, I have now started to design a number of book cover designs. You will notice here these book covers have a coloured background as I wanted to test the contrast between the content and the coloured paper of which I will be printing on. I have also tried different coloured background like red, blue, yellow, light blue, brown and green.
So, I have experimented with different shapes and concepts. I was looking for something stylish and eye catchy for my book cover. However, for these covers, I have got my inspiration from the book called ‘Exile and the Kingdom’ designed by Helen Yentus and ‘Rebound’ by Jason Ramirez. these two designers are using simple shapes to create eye-catchy and stylish designs for book covers.
Also, I have experimented with different patterns exploring the idea of ‘Ave, Materia’ by Gabriele Wilson. In her work, she is using marks creating various different patterns. Although her work seems to be designed using a paint brush or something, whereas I have tried to get similar effects using lines in Illustrator. So I came up with these book covers.
On the covers below I have changed my title with the actual ‘designboom’ logo as suggested by my tutor.
In order to finalise and improve towards a final outcome, I have printed out the book and start looking at some of the detail to spot and fix the errors within my draft copy.
Overall, I was looking for details like orphans, widows, mostly rivers as I was using full justified text and it was quite difficult to get it right. Legibility was an issue within most of the pages as the serif typeface in white on a black background tends to loose its serifs. So I have made it slightly bigger than the body of text in order to make it more legible. The readability in this book is I think great. And there is also a playful and consistent style to each of the spreads which I am quite happy about. The last page is slightly different, as the text most people would say, it does not seat within a box like the other pages. Although I tend to disagree that there is a negative white box and that the purpose for that black line is to optically help our eyes to spot the white box.