Book Design: Progress

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I have been working on creating a bit more interest and depth with the illustrations, while still trying to preserve a lot of clean, white-space. I created gradient overlays over some of the images in Photoshop, then multiplied them over the same colour background in inDesign to create a type of duotone effect. Some spreads have a single page colour background and I have made some spreads without any backgrounds, to allow a visual break, as well as a few spreads with just coloured pages and no text or imagery.

I was able to get handwritten quotes back from the contributors for the feature pages, so have started cleaning them up and placing them in the book. I told them not to worry too much about making the writing super neat and tidy, as I wanted it to have a natural and relaxed feel – as though they were quickly jotting down notes in a journal. I’m really liking the results so far….

By the end of this week I am hoping to pretty much finalise the design, so I can print spreads to check the dimensions, colours etc and make any necessary changes, then print a final mock-up version to take in to the printers on Monday and discuss paper stocks, embossing, binding etc. This will give me time to made any additional adjustments before ideally sending the book for final print by the end of next week.

Book Design: Initial Layout

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These are some of the spreads from my initial design for my publication. I have since developed the aesthetic further, as I felt the imagery needed more depth, and that I could push the design to something a bit more interesting. I do like the dimensions of the layout though, and have kept the page numbering, and book title in the spine, as I felt these elements worked with my aim of creating a contemporary take on old/vintage specimen journals and novels.

I have also picked out passages and quotes that I liked from certain stories, to make in to feature spreads – I first played with this idea in the final spread shown above, but due to the limitations of the typeface I have been using throughout the publication (Didot regular, bold and italic) the scope for making these quotes stand out from the body copy was pretty limited. Anna suggested that I get the author of each quote to write it out by hand, for me to scan in and use. I really liked this idea as I feel like it fits with the handwritten annotations you would find in a naturalists own journal, next to their specimen illustrations.

Research: Violaine & Jeremy

I have been researching different styles and techniques with layout for my publication. Anna suggested that I check out the Violaine & Jeremy website – they are a French design and illustration duo with a real quirky flair to their projects. I have looked through the projects on their site and love their use of interesting feature typography and colours. I also really like their attention to the relationship between the images and text, and the way they are able to draw on classic and historical styles and translate them in to a more contemporary aesthetic – something I’m aiming on achieving my own publication.

Check out their website (worth checking out even just for the unusual navigation and layout) here.

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(un)offical soundtrack

I compiled an (un)official soundtrack to Dark Mayou Force. I used this as a research exercise to help inform the tone of the game and the designs. It helped me create a greater direction behind the project and also flesh the world out more. Some of the songs were made for specific fights, stages, scenes or…

My new montage

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Since the project I have established is different from my initial one, I created a new montage that framed what its all about.


-Jungla Afro Festival is a really good example of vibrant/bold design through colour palette and patterns


-Another case study I have is the Chinese Lantern Festival which is successful in appealing to everyone including non-Chinese people.


-diversity shown in design through layers, collage, diverse analogue/illustrative techniques that result in a unique aesthetic


-main aim of the festival is the celebration of a culture


-The Filipino culture is very unique because of its diversity; in languages, tribes, and layered culture of Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American


-De block is a good example of a strong brand identity, effective usage of patterns, versatile design which can be used anywhere

How to be a Happier, Better Designer

This was the video I showed for a couple of weeks ago. The Progress is a youtube show costarring Chris Do an award winning designer and founder of Blind, a creative agency in America. In this video he gives two of the most important advises to his students

1. Measure the success of your project not by the final outcome but by how much you have learnt and grown.
2. Underpromise, Overdeliver

Research: Nature Journals & Books

I have a couple of books at home that I bought a while ago, being interested in natural history and old scientific specimen journals. This theme of scientific collecting and cataloging is something that I’m wanting to explore with my project, drawing inspiration from these formal conventions.

The first book is The House Plants Book published in 1980and is essentially a guide to growing the right kinds of plants in your home. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations, and profiles hundreds of different plants with their scientific names etc. I was interested in the symbols they included as an easy to grasp guide for how much water and light each plant needs, this was explained using a key at the beginning of the book (see below). I was also interested in how they listed the plants using an alphabetical index at the back of the book, directing the reader to the appropriate page.






The second book is from an old series published in 1965 by Life Magazine’s Nature Library, and is all about plants also. This book is more photography based, and looks at the scientific workings of plants from around the world. The indexing system is a little different in this book, directing to specific subjects within the book and listing page numbers in italics where there is a corresponding image with the subject. I liked the way they have indexed using drop caps letters for the beginning section of each letter, making the index easier to navigate and allowing for a bit more room to play with the typographic features of such a practical section of the book.



I’d like to include an index section and potentially other catalogue features in my publication, putting a more contemporary twist on them – in keeping with my proposed theme of a modern collectors journal, or museum catalogue….

Aljazeera report on NZ homelessness

Aljazeera interviewed New Zealand homeless hearing how they had to move into a van because they were unable to afford homing. Due to the situation one of the homeless had her daughter taken away by social services. Another is being forced to live with friends in their garage. Although the cold is keeping her children sick. This news station is one that is well known for getting stories all over the world and for them to come to New Zealand to address the homelessness crisis shows the seriousness of it.

AJ+ Homeless interviews

This video shows the interviews of a hand full of homeless individuals in the US sharing their thoughts and stories. A common thought is of the lack of being treated as a human or being forgotten as a person that is difficult to handle. These interviews show that homelessness can hit anyone. They had jobs, careers and education.



In relation to the book “Can Art Change The World”, this website is populated with all his previous and current work. Ranging from his personal work used for income to his large scale “inside out” world wide participated project.




Digital Colour Experiments

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These are some really quick experiments trying out digital colour. I wanted to try colouring the drawings in Photoshop, as it would be a much more efficient way of colouring the thirty or so images. The colours definitely look more vibrant, but maybe a bit flat? I will try printing these out and see how they look off the screen….

Profile Page

Profile research

I know what the basics will be, on the profile pages for the users but not entirely sure how to lay them out. Because the idea of the profile page is to showcase the user to the potential employers thats browsing the page it has to be engaging and informative. For my website prototype easy navigation is key so this must flow from the home page throughout the site.

Logo Experimentation

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The concept behind my logo is to do with the work ranking aspect of my website. The more appreciations or likes a piece of work gets the higher it jumps on the ranking board, hence the name jumper. The idea behind the raised “U” also correlates to this idea of “You” the user moving up.


I wanted to go with a simplistic but effective kind of style, something that is to the point and that people could pick up rather quickly. From my research I saw the U-bar look that inspired the idea of how to showcase the meaning of my logo though similar the concept behind the two logo’s is completely different.