May 2, 2011
Here’s a link to the pdf of my final book: final_book. And some screenshots:
After critique and seeing the book in print, I thought there were some details that needed work, such as a few spreads where the columns were not quite the same length, and perhaps the pull quotes could have been a little easier to read. With big font and italics in Didot, they were perhaps a little too fancy-looking and not meant for display. Font choices could be reconsidered. Also, it felt a little disconnected that the title page and cover were in all-lowercase (traditional capitalization of the title felt and looked strange), but that trend wasn’t continued in the interior of the book.
May 2, 2011
After looking for some pictures and fonts and thinking about some of the grid layouts, I decided to revisit the cover. I decided to change the font around on the back cover some more, remove the text on the bottom, and make the red on the front cover a little brighter, because it was much more muted and less noticeable than the yellow and orange.
The front and back still looked a little disconnected, but I decided to continue with the body of the book before making more changes to the cover.
I wanted a font that was official-looking to keep the tempo of a Nobel Lecture and because of the serious nature of the speech, so I chose Ayuthaya. I found that it was extremely difficult to find high-quality pictures of the kind that I wanted. It was suggested that I try pictures of the earth instead of focusing so much on the devastation of global warming. It was also very difficult to find pictures that made sense together and in tall, thin form. Here are some of the spreads I made:
I really liked the tall, thin columns with tall, thin pictures. I tried to make the spreads consistent, with photos, text, and a pull quote on every spread. I also tried to use pictures that related to the text on the spread. Here’s a full pdf of the book at mid-project: bookexplore1
We had a mid-project critique, and I realized that many of my classmates didn’t like the font for the body copy. I resolved to change it, and to make it smaller, because I didn’t realize how big it was on paper. It looked much smaller onscreen. I thought it looked okay for the pull quote font, however. It also came to my attention that my pictures were inconsistent with each other across the book — they tended to relate better to the text on each spread, but they felt disconnected with each other. Also, I realized that in trying to be consistent with the content of each spread, I had made the book boring, and inconsistent through my choice of images, and with not enough variation in my grid. There were a few spreads in which I used pictures of different landscapes of the earth, as a sort of reminder of what we have and how important it is to preserve it.
Here are some screens of my new spreads. I tried Didot for my body copy because it still felt official, but less grating. After seeing all this, however, I decided that the fonts still needed to change because Ayuthaya and Didot simply do not go together. I did, however, vary the spreads more so as not to be so boring. I also made spreads with two columns of text on either side of an image that bled across the spread. It was much easier to find images that made sense this big, and also pulled the spread together more (fewer variables/only one image instead of two or more felt more cohesive in one spread). Here’s a pdf of the whole book at this point: bookexplore2
Next, it occurred to me that I should stop trying to do so many themes — I was trying to start with an alarmist, threatening, theme of “this is what will happen if we don’t act now!”, and later moving to a sense of “this is what we have, let’s preserve it” as the book progressed. It felt too disconnected because the difference in images was too severe. I decided to go with the second theme and change the book to all fit with a theme of “this is our beautiful Earth, we have to protect it”. I looked for more pictures of the earth as it is, with many full-page pictures of mountains, trees, the ocean, and other natural, beautiful landscapes. This necessitated a change in the cover. I decided to rename the speech “It is Time to Make Peace with the Planet”, a line from the speech.
Here’s my first digital sketch. I wanted to keep using the earth, because the speech is, at its core, about the earth, and went well with “Planet” in the title. I also wanted to use the Peace Prize on the cover because it was the Nobel Lecture after winning the Peace Prize, and “peace” was the center of the title. I placed the Prize directly opposite the Earth to be a foil. I decided, however, that the font, italics, and capitalization needed work. The back cover stayed more or less the same, but the front cover went through several different iterations of capitalization, placement, and color choice. The thumbnails are below:
I changed the font of the body copy and pull quotes several times. I tried different combinations of italics and regular Garamond, Minion Pro, and Didot. Here are some screens:
And a pdf of the full book at this point: bookexplore3
May 2, 2011
One of the first things I did was to lay out some possible grids.
Here are my first attempts to create a grid and lay out a few designs for the book. I tried column, manuscript, and modular grids, but I think I like the column grid best, as it allows for creativity, but still keeps a solid foundation for the grid. I played with different ideas of having images full bleed, half bleed, bleed off the page, and staggered. I also tried varying amounts and placement of white space for emphasis or to intentionally make the page look busier.
Here, I tried making some of my sketches digitalized, with some of the text of the speech put in as well. After seeing them in digital form, I decided that the spreads with zig-zag columns of text and images were too busy and confusing for the reader. It was unclear where the eye should go, so I decided to totally scrap that kind of column organization in favor of a column of images next to a column of text, with pull quotes that span both columns.
Here’s a pdf with the whole book in a preliminary layout: prelimlayout
May 2, 2011
The idea of this project is to create lay out a book containing the text of a speech. It should not be a novel, but rather a book meant to be looked at, not read.
I had chosen Al Gore’s Nobel Lecture about global warming and the importance of taking action. The theme I tried to convey on the cover of the book that I had already started designing was alarmist. The idea was to communicate that the current situation is a grave one, and global warming is a looming threat that must be dealt with immediately. I thought I’d continue this trend in the book, with threatening font and images that would instill a sense of urgency and fear. I will look for images of devastation, flooding, ice caps melting, climate refugees, and drought, and look for alarmist, harsh fonts.
April 4, 2011
After the critique, it really hit home that my speech needed a title. I couldn’t just keep calling it the Nobel Lecture, because that says nothing about the content of the speech. I read the speech again, and because it was a speech about the current crisis of global warming and the need for the international community to act, I decided to title it “The Threat of Global Warming: A Call to Action”, with a sub-heading of “Nobel Lecture: Oslo, Norway, 10 December 2007″. I chose colors for the title to reflect heat — red, orange, yellow, warm colors, to offset the cool blues and greens of the globe, and to highlight the idea of the earth warming. I kept the globe because it fit well with the content of the speech. I chose fonts that were severe and bold in order to get attention. On the back, I wanted to tone down how bold it was, but still keep it official, so I chose a font to reflect that. I kept the sub-heading of Nobel Lecture: Oslo, Norway, 10 December 2007 because I wanted to still remind the reader that this was a Nobel Lecture, and not just any speech.
The front and back do feel a little disconnected, but I thought that it’d be fine because when viewed as a book, no one will be looking at the front and back covers simultaneously — they are more separate. I thought that would be okay.
April 4, 2011
Here is my book cover for the first critique. The lecture is Al Gore’s address after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his environmental work on global warming, so I chose the globe to represent that. The speech doesn’t have a title besides “Nobel Lecture”, and I wanted to highlight that it was the Nobel Lecture and being given after receiving the prize, so I included the prize itself on the cover. I included the place and date, and found a picture of the globe where Norway was almost centered because I thought it was nicely appropriate.
March 28, 2011
What is the topic of the speech? Global warming and the importance of action
Make a list of important words, themes and quotes in the speech.
Act boldly, decisively, quickly
7 years from now
Mutually assured destruction
Make a list of visuals that come to mind in the speech.
Melting polar ice caps
Who is the audience that you are trying to reach with this communication? (age, interest, nationality, life experience, etc)
Adults with an interest in environmental awareness of all nationalities, likely of more privileged life experiences (those who are poorer have other things to worry about)
Will most people in the audience be familiar with the speaker?
Yes, Al Gore is a very recognizable public figure
What information will draw them in?
Very strong message and visuals about the environment
What emotions are present in the story that an audience might respond to?
Message of urgency and of needing action
What visual approaches are you considering?
I’m thinking of either focusing on the fact that this is a Nobel Lecture (and that he won the Nobel Peace Prize for this work), or the environmental focus