This final assignment gave me three options to choose from, I chose the first brief. Brief 1- Book Design – the brief asked me to create a ‘new house style’ for a series of books on design aimed at Children and young people. I then had to create a front cover, back cover and spine design for three books called/on; Colour, Typography and Photographs.
The final element of the brief was to create an introductory chapter called ‘A is for…’ for the book on ‘Typography’. The chapter needed to be at least 4 pages long and interesting enough to capture the attention of young readers…
My start point was to research the design of and or house style present in books for children and young people. I collated images on Pinterest of examples I admired. It’s worth mentioning a lot of the examples have an illustrative feel, or a photographic element, I chose these as they are more my personal preference/style in designing. See like below to Pinterest board:
In my research I came across a series of covers illustrated by Anna Bond for a collection called ‘Puffin In Bloom’. Whilst I admired the style and colour of the covers, I was more interested in the illustrator. Taking a look at Anna Bond’s personal website I came across an image she collaborated with other creative people to produce. This image inspired my ideas for the collection of books from the earliest thought forming stage. The image is below:
I was inspired by/liked the use of the cut out lettering and 2D/3D objects which were photographed to create the poster. I felt like creating something similar in style but with different content, might work for a book cover and if all the covers had the same style would make an interesting series. So instead of the floral arrangement would elements relating to the book title, e.g. for colour paint tubes, pencils, coloured papers and a cut out title. These could be arranged to look like a book cover, and then photographed.
I noted this idea down alongside a few others in my sketchbook:
I then worked on some thumbnail drawings of two possible design outcomes in my sketchbook:
1. The first design was inspired by the Amy Bond creation mentioned in the previous few paragraphs. Each title would be cut out from coloured paper or card and placed alongside objects relating to it.
2. The second idea involved creating an illustrated cover. The illustration would be of a child looking on/at a large letter representing the first letter of the title. The letter would be positioned in a context fitting with the theme, so for the colour cover it would’ve been a ‘c’ painted on a messy coloured easel.
I liked the first idea the most so began by choosing a suitable bold slab serif font to cut out from coloured papers. I then collated objects relating to each cover title. Following this I started to arrange these objects and the text on a large folded piece of white paper, and photographed each arrangement.
Colour Front Cover Arrangements:
I tried to choose a range of objects that fitted the theme of colour and design. So I picked objects like coloured pencils, as they had a brightness but also are something children can associate with creating or adding colour to work. I tried to create a sense of fun/movement by placing the objects around the page, facing different directions, of different sizes etc.
I then moved on to working on the front cover for the photographs book…
Photographs Front Cover Arrangements:
I started with just the polka dot patterned text against the white but felt like it got lost, so added the strip of blue tissue to the background to help the text stand out. I chose some old Polaroid and camera booth photo’s that I had as examples because I felt these were probably more fun for children to relate to. I thought the pegs were a good visual nod to hanging your photos up to dry in a dark room (again not something children would necessary think of without knowing about photography but another element of fun/interest). I played around with moving the two camera’s and photo’s until I felt like I reached a balanced looking arrangement. I think adding the black paper behind the objects helps ground everything as a group rather than random objects floating around the white space.
I worked on a couple of designs for the typography arrangement…
Typography Front Cover Arrangement:
I found the typography cover hardest to cover up with fun/imaginative arrangements of objects for the photos. I think partly due to not having a wide range of objects to hand relating to the subject, but also not really knowing what else to include, there are elements of typography that are so heavily computer based that using physical objects for the image was tricky. The objects also seem quite darkly lit, and lack the fun of the objects in the two other covers. I didn’t have time to look for ways to liven the cover arrangement up so left it at the stage above but this is something I could come back to improve on…
My idea for the back cover design was quite simple, taking inspiration from the back of a polaroid picture, I wanted to have a large central black paper for the main blurb to sit on top of but framed by the white space. I used some objects from/relating to the front cover to add interest in a decorative border around the black paper:
Chosen Front Covers:
Creating a house style:
I tried to create a sense of the front covers and back covers being in the same series by using similar design features. So each cover has a section towards the bottom quarter which is bordered by objects allowing room for a subheading/authors name to be typed in. Each cover is made up of photographed elements, each cover has the same font for the title and each back cover has that central black square and decorative border. But It tried to make each one distinct with different colours, different objects. I think it’s fairly effective as a series of cover, it’s clear they work together but are distinct books on different topics. I think it would appeal to the ‘young people’ age bracket rather than children as it’s more object based than illustrative.
Editing the Covers in Photoshop & Illustrator:
As each front and back cover had different natural levels of lighting I wanted to try and make them all look of similar lighting to smooth the look of the series. I found a tutorial on a website for creating a vintage photo effect using Photoshop and used that as inspiration for editing the covers in Photoshop. I think the result is a more cohesive professional looking series of covers.
I then used Illustrator to add text elements onto the front and back covers following editing in Photoshop:
I used Illustrator to create the spines for the books, choosing to have them all as the same colour background with elements cut from the front covers as a decorative twist:
I drew all the individual elements of the covers together using Indesign the results are visible in the images below:
In pt.2 of this post I’ll talk about designing the introductory chapter for the Typography guide and try and write critically about the work as a whole…