Book design casestudies workshop-20/01/2017

Our first workshop since we received the new brief! Today’s lesson started with Angharad going through a quick presentation with us where we discussed what our job is as the designer of a book and what some of the particular design requirements are for the book we are designing. Here is what we considered..

Job as book designer

  • Budget
  • Layout
  • Functionality
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Appeal to audience

Design requirements for our book

  • Include university logo on cover
  • Easy to read aloud from
  • Postable/celebrating the work
  • Carry different texts in a unified way

Here are some other important points made during the presentation.

  • The most important decisions are about how to arrange the text in a such a way that it fulfils the functions of the publication.
  • Engage and interest the reader.
  • Work for a rage of different styles of writing.
  • Be enjoyable to read and hold.
  • Guide the reader through the content.
  • Through the decisions you make as a designer you will create a reading experience around the text.
  • The text will no longer be a digital file. It will come to life within a tangible printed object.
  • Your role as a designer is to build a bridge between the writers thoughts and the readers hands and mind.
  • Content dictates form.
  • Less is more.
  • God is in the detail.

Format and layout of the book, what to consider…

  • Size/shape
  • Grid
  • Positioning of text on page
  • Line length
  • Number/width of columns
  • Hierarchy
  • Typeface choice for headlines, subtitles, bodycopy.

We was also given some really helpful scans from John Kane’s book Type Primer. This included two chapters ‘Text‘ and ‘Simple Organisation‘.  The chapter Text tells us about tracking, formatting, texture, leading and line length, indicating paragraphs, windows and orphans and the chapter organisation talks about proportion, The Golden Section, page sizes, placing text on a page and expressing hierarchy.

We then moved onto the first exercise in our groups (me and Hannah). The task was to pick a couple of books that Angharad provided and to observe and record the structure and material of each book. We picked The Jet Age Compendium and A Call For Conscious Design. The books were complete opposites with A call For Conscious Design being very simple using just one type throughout, one column and no colour whereas The Jet Age Compendium is two books in one plastic sleeve, lots of colour, multiple types, lots of changes in layout design and different paper stocks used throughout.

Our second exercise in our groups was to take the text ‘Death, Charles & I’ from the anthology and to mark up the bits of text we don’t need to keep, the ones we do need and any additions. We then needed to annotate a hierarchy and any other features we needed to distinguish. After doing this me and Hannah set up a layout in Indesign as if we were designing it for the book and printed it out as you can see below.

For the last half of the day we had a visit/talk from Alyson Hurst who I will do a separate blog post on. Lastly, we got the chance to talk to Trevor from the English Literature department about our individual anthology texts. I discussed occurring themes in my text ‘Lost in Translation‘ in which I could possibly focus on for my virtual response. I dont have any strong enough ideas yet as Im at the brainstorming stage but I am excited to see where this brief goes!


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