Communication Design Studio Project 2

Assignment: Book spreads and interactive website about Paula Scher

Finding similarities between our designers

Research Phase (2/15/16)

Over the past few weeks, starting during the last project, I’ve been researching a designer, illustrator, educator, artist, and all around badass human being named Paula Scher. I relate to her a lot. She’s very quotable. She has a great TED Talk (I wish they hadn’t botched the recording of the audio, it’s atrocious). And most importantly, her work is gorgeous. 
The final deliverable for this project is two book spreads and an interactive website. In order to make it there, I need to take what I’ve about her and write a biography in my own words. I’ll take a stab at it here:

The big four phases of her career
What are the most important things in Paula Scher’s career?
LEFT — Picking the big projects to represent the different phases of her career RIGHT— Layout ideas
RIGHT — Stacie’s sketch explaining Kevin Lynch’s conceptual mapping…If layout is the CSS, Lynch’s diagram is the HTML

Information Organization (2/21/16)

Thinking about spread organization and the reader’s journey

Now that I’ve read everything about her career and chosen the parts that I find most interesting, I’m ready to start building my spreads. I’d like to use the film technique of starting right at the most important part, without any context, and then starting at the beginning to find out how we got there. I’ll start with The Public Theater, which has eye-catching imagery that will hook readers in, and then I’ll start from the beginning to see how she got there. I also want to emphasize how she still achieved success even though she rejected what her teachers were teaching her. She was confident in her own style, and by extension, herself, and that’s what got her to the top. It’s also a funny juxtaposition to see that someone who started out as a borderline 60s flower child turned into a great corporate designer, all while still doing her own projects in her own style. I want people to come away with an appreciation for her versatility, her sense of humor, and her talent and hard work as a designer. I think I’m almost ready to start designing.

Typesetting (2/26/16)

Last semester, Dan encouraged us to cut out type and rearrange it on the page. I never got around to it, but today, I had the urge to do it. It was less of a chore than I thought, and after looking at all the samples of body and titles together, along with a sample picture, I felt like I had gotten somewhere. I really feel that the type I have chosen matches Scher’s bold, playful, and vibrant spirit, but doesn’t take too much attention away from the content and her work. I considered using some sort of retro font, the way that Scher does in her work, but I thought it would be too distracting from the content. I chose the Franklin Gothic for titles because of its bold, powerful, confident stance, and because it’s resemblance to the Akzidenz Grotesk used on the cover of Sher’s book, Make it Bigger. It’s classic and somewhat conservative, but still has lots of personality. because it In addition to choosing the type, I’ve started developing the grid, but I still don’t know if I should have a 2 column or a 3 column. While looking at my grid, I discovered that I needed visual elements on the page besides images, body, titles, and quotes. I’m going to comb through my sources once again to find some juicy stories to put into my spreads as callouts. Also, I’ve been wondering for a while how I should create a graphic that fully communicates to the reader how insane 150 album covers a year is.

I feel that I’m at a good place right now, but I need to keep pushing myself. I also think that I might be addicted to Source Sans Pro. I hope that it actually works for what I’m doing and I’m not just picking favorites. However, after looking at many, many, typefaces, It just seems to work. I wanted to try Serifa just for the sake of doing something different, but after a second look, when set as body copy, it just looked like the cheesy American Typewriter font on Microsoft Word. Sometimes different isn’t the best choice.

Let’s Make a Spread (3/1/16)

Maybe these numbers are a little too distracting
I found this awesome photo of a street painting in her book — I knew I had to use it
I’ve always wanted to use a broadside!!!
The outside text is different, but fits with her rebellious style and doesn’t draw too much attention to itself

Is My Grid Ok? (3/14/16)

What’s the perfect column width?

After making final edits to my biography, I wanted to check up on my grid. I printed out a bunch of test spreads with placeholder images. I wanted to make sure my margins looked good, as well as my column widths. I asked several of my classmates which column width looked best. I then adjusted my grid around that width. I looked at books about graphic designers to see what the conventions were for margins and general layouts.

Looking for Cross-spread Relationships (3/20/16)

Crunch Time (3/21–3/29)

After looking for cross-spread relationships, I went back in to indesign. My goal at this point was to take out all the non-essential images. I had a really hard time with this — I love all her work and I don’t want to pick favorites. I think I’ll ditch the Beatles covers — I don’t want to distract from Scher’s work.

Another thing I need to do — the web portion of the project. I’ve started on that, but I need to do more.

Here’s a sped up version of my process.

Rob Roy Kelly’s American Woodtype: 1828–1900, from which Scher took inspiration for her Public Theater Posters, and the source material I used for setting her name on my first spread

The HTML/CSS started out rough but I learned to love it. Here’s some images from when I was just starting.