Wall of Post-its- 2/13/16
We started a wall where we can group attributes of our designer to see how our designers relate to one another. So far, I don’t really see any relation of my designer to the others. I’m looking forward to seeing how their all connected in some way and how they influenced each other. It’s funny how some of the designers already have a very strong voice of who they are just by a few post-its.
Diagramming again & layouts-2/17/16
My previous diagram was based off a timeline, this time I tried to clump it based off some of the major points of Bradbury Thompson’s life. It’s interesting and in a way difficult, because no one’s life is linear. There are experiences from one part of your life that lead to unexpected connections to other parts in the future.
I tried doing some layouts, but I’m still trying to grasp what I want to say about my designer and how that content is going to inform how I organize the structure. Are we laying out our spreads like our designer would? Would that make the class book look very disjointed? Or would it make it more exciting to look through? Bradbury Thompson was an amazing book designer and specialized in magazine layouts, I wish he would do this for me. I looked at some of his Westvaco Inspirations work to try to see if I could imitate his style.
Organizational methods in layouts-2/18/16
I went in the wrong direction when doing the layouts last night. I think the reason why I was content with them was because I used InDesign and they looked pretty polished. And as a result, I didn’t really put as much thought as I should with them. I focused too much on trying to incorporate Bradbury Thompson’s style and not on my actual content. I think the next step is to definitely take a step back from the design of the pages and look at how I organized the content in my diagram and try to relay that in how I would layout my pages. As for now, I’m thinking of focusing on Thompson’s work and what has inspired him. I might need another stab at diagramming his life in a different way where there is more of a sense of hierarchy/what I think is important.
More Layouts!!- 2/29/16
It’s so hard for me to not jump straight to the design of the page and instead focus on the content starting from the small details like font size. I know all the details are important, but I’m so impatient to start adding (unnecessary) graphic elements, to make the page more exciting. I’m learning more about the importance of the details, how font faces, size, rag style, all contribute to the reader’s experience. Choosing the right font is always such a long process, especially if I want to find a pair of serif and sans serif that would work well together. And when is it appropriate to use one vs. the other? Each detail requires some amount of thought. This is a good project for me because I’m not as meticulous and detail orientated as I hope to be. I feel like this project is also a huge change of pace compared to the HES project. Although of course the HES project had elements that require type-setting, I felt that the idea and how we approached it was more of the main focus. Here we’re really narrowing it down to the skeleton of the content.
I forgot to use grids on the previous one oops. (redid it)
I was using a 6 column grid before the last iteration, but switched to a 12 column when I realized that this structure allows me to lay out my content with better reading width and space between image and text.
Trying to regain momentum- 3/14/16
I felt like I never had momentum for this project, it kept on getting interrupted by Confluence and then spring break. Hopefully in these next two weeks, I can really focus and enjoy this project. It’s still hard to have fun placing content on grids, my layouts just seem lifeless.
It has a little bit more life…- 3/16/16
I finally had a chance to rewrite the biography a little bit, but at this point I don’t think it’s extremely important anymore. All the other content (pictures, quotes, lists) have already been pretty decided. I’m still making sure I’m following the grid, I don’t think I’m quite ready to add extra elements yet. I keep on finding myself wondering if it’s ok if there’s exceptions. For example, the photo caption text block length isn’t all the same because in the second spread it’s impossible to fit a text block that is three columns wide comfortably. Or is it ok if the quote on the first page doesn’t really line up with anything. I’m still finding if it’s ok to break the grid at that point, just to create some sort of variance between the spreads or just because it looks better? when certain things don’t line up. Hopefully before next Tuesday, I can try out a few more layouts because my second and third spread seem a little repetitive. Maybe after all the content is locked in, the extra elements can bring more life in to it.
I’ll track my rags! I will! Hmm..Does the first spread seem a little too different from the other two?
I should update more -3/19/16
The past week and a half has been mostly reiterating the first page with the large image of Bradbury Thompson and the page on the 3rd spread with the grid of images. I also started to bring in graphic elements. And of course it was usual of me to do way too much and have to reign it in, but it was pretty enjoyable being able to explore the boundaries of too obvious and not enough. I think I learned the most about the power of being subtle, trust the readers to understand what the graphic elements allude to. Having it too obvious doesn’t make it fun and sometimes too overwhelming and distracting when in reality, those elements are not the main focus.
Problems I had with the first page:
How do I introduce Bradbury Thompson? How do I show a bit of his work through his picture/or should I just use an image of his work instead? How do I make sure it fits with the style of the other pages? (The last post, I felt that it was very “heavy” compared to rest of the pages, it didn’t match the generous amount of white space I have in the others)
Problems with the grid:
How do I make it look not static? (Since BT’s style when it comes to images is more free and less strict on the grid) How do I fit different size images together but still follow some sort of a grid? How do I fit the captions in to this?
Feedback from Stacie!- 3/21/16
I started to play a little more by adding some elements of Bradbury Thompson’s style. For example, in the first page I copied his portrait, overlaid a magenta version of it over and kind of shifted it from the original picture. I think it’s a lot of trying to emulate his style, but not do it too much that it distracts from the content. I am a little worried that since the end deliverable of this is going to be a book I’m not sure if part of the overlaid face is going to be in the fold. I think it’s good to keep that in mind, I wonder how flat the book is going to be able to open. I think now I’m down to just exploring more on how I can bring forward his style and little details like does the header line up with the images exactly, and if my captions are following the grid as well. I definitely still have to fix my rags and cite my quotes better. But I think I’m somewhat close to the end. I still might want to play with the first image because as I lay my printed spreads out, the first page doesn’t feel like it belongs.
Currently — 3/28/16
I think I was able to solve the issues I mentioned in the previous post. Honestly, I am ready to put this to bed. I just keep on forgetting to track my rags and make sure my citations are all correct.
Changes I’ve made:
- Edited the first page image to incorporate more white space and a more similar style to the rest of the spreads. (I feel good about this, but I need other people to look at it still)
- Added graphic elements that are pretty subtle I think, pulled textures and copied some of the forms from BT’s work. Raph said it was dynamic, I guess that’s a good thing.
- Changed the image grid, it took way too long to get where I got, I’m so impatient sometimes (same with the first page, at least like 10+ iterations)
- Switched the order of the last two pages because the left side of my spreads were getting very image heavy/repetitive
I’ve mostly been working on the webpage that goes with this now. Coding is a lot of fun because you can see your code visually instantly when you change a few lines. I just wish the learning curve isn’t as steep or if I gotten in to html/css when I was in high school.
Final spreads/reflection- 3/30/16
I didn’t change much since the last post, I just tracked my rags, which was surprisingly harder than I thought. At first, I made it look so boxy that it basically seemed center justifies and really didn’t help with readability. I tracked it a little looser after than, trying to accomplish the “no make-up make-up” look as Lily called it. So hopefully, it doesn’t look too artificial, I don’t know if I was completely successful with every single paragraph since some lines of text were extremely shorter than others.
Overall, I think the biggest lesson from this project was learning to build a strong grid and how to effectively break it. Grids are great that they give the spreads structure that holds the content together. I was definitely impatient to break it and add unnecessary graphic elements in the beginning, but looking back, I’m glad I was able to solidify the grid system before I started. This project was also especially good for refining my designer’s eye to spot details like rag inconsistencies, image and text alignment, and choosing the right type and type size.
Web Process- 4/1/16
I unfortunately didn’t take any screenshots while I was building the web component for this part of the project. I started off really liking Zachary Bergeron’s portfolio website and thought it fit Bradbury Thompson’s style of having layers and using bright CMYK colors, so I wanted to code something like that.
I was getting a little too caught up on Zach’s style and realized that maybe the content I had might not be best displayed the way he has with his pieces. It was also a little tougher than I thought with designing for web. Although we are online all the time, browsing one webpage after the next, I never really critically analyzed webpages. Like what makes one good? and how are they normally structured? Cue a lot of pinteresting. I found a mock webpage that I really liked and perhaps would be a better structure for a biography content.
But then I realized that my images and content doesn’t exactly fit either. The type and written content I had did not really fit how this mock webpage was structured either. My beginner level ability to code also limited me to how much I should really aim for in this short time frame. I drew sketches as I looked through possible web layouts, but it’s hard to really plan out everything on paper since the translation between paper and screen is never exact.
In the end, I drew on both of these inspirations (the fixed background of Zach’s and the large header image from the mockup) and came up with this design. I still have a long way to go where I can design for the web in a way that it is as comfortable to me as when I design for print. Of course that comes with experience, but I really did have fun learning how to design through a new medium.
More in-depth screen recording that shows responsive mobile version: