I wanted to create a two part post about this assignment because it felt like a two stage process. The first stage was creating all covers for the book series. The second stage involved creating an introductory chapter for the book based on typography.
The brief stipulated that it needed to be referred to as ‘A is for…’ and didn’t need to be a conventional test book. It had to be at least 4 pages long and visually appealing to attract young people into wanting to buy the book…
My start point with the design for the guide, was to refer back to my research images on pinterest. One image in particular stood out to me, as an exemplary design for young people.
I’m afraid I don’t know who created the graphic’s for the booklet which I’ve used as inspiration but here’s a link to the blog where I found the booklet featured:
What I found inspiring about the booklet was the mix of illustrative elements, so drawn objects, hand lettered text and more digital forms, like type, flat/smooth colour. It all held together with a simple two/three colour palette.
From looking at this I drew some thumbnail ideas for the layout of the guide, and also pencilled in ideas about content in my sketchbook:
I wanted to keep the layout simple, with blocks of colour/pattern created by coloured boxes, and arrows leading the eye across the page. I decided to try and incorporate that mix of digital and hand drawn by using creating my own illustrations for each page. In terms of content, I found it tricky to think about how to write for the age group, partly because I think I’d designed something to try and cater to young people (thinking 14-16) but also a slightly younger age group (10-14).
My hope was/is the illustrations will catch the eye of the younger age group (10-14) but the text will be informative enough to catch the attention of the older age group (14-16).
I split my four pages into giving mini intro’s to aspects of typography:
1. What is typography?
2. Type Families : Serif, Sans Serif, Slab Serif, Script..
3. History of/technology of making type
4. Tools of typography today.
I referred to the book ‘Type & typography second edition, by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam’ for lots of facts/dates around typography but wrote things in a language that was hopefully more accessible to that age range and kept the information fairly brief.
I drew the illustrations of different machines or objects in my sketchbook and then converted them into vector graphic’s using illustrator:
I tried to create fun elements for the children to spot like the penguin holding the pencil as a reinvention of the penguin logo, to signify design but also fun to appeal to the younger audience. I created Penguins wearing different hats to try and create different characters to demonstrate how different font’s have different association or uses.
I also drew a pencil and magnifying glass as icons for children to look out for in the rest of the book. The pencil indicating an drawing exercise/something to try out in the book, and the magnifying glass to indicate an area for further research or investigation.
I took my idea for a the colour palette from some paper’s I had in a box at home that I felt worked well together. I decided to keep the text black and use the same text for the main headings and for the main body throughout the guide, which helped keep a sense of continuity. I used a slab serif, for its boldness for the heading as I felt this would grab attention. But I used a serif font for the main body text to keep readability, but I went for a more modern, smooth serif not a harsh thick and thin weight serif font.
Initially I wanted to try and use photographs and illustrations but I felt like after trying it out on the first page the photo looked odd in this context, so used illustrations for the rest of the images in the guide.
Looking at the guide introductory pages I think they work well together, they look like they’re all part of the same book. The colours add a freshness and excitement and the illustrations help keep the topic fun. I think the fonts work well together and don’t clash. But I’m not convinced that the pages of the guide fit with the cover of the guide! I think a young person would be drawn to the boldness of the inside pages but I’m slightly unsure if the front cover looks a little too washed out and placid in comparison. I wonder if the front cover needs to be more significantly adapted to suit the guide pages. I think this is something that needs to be offered up for the consideration of other people, perhaps even some children in that 10-16 age category. But for now this is where I leave the work, and will come back to improve on after my tutors feedback.