Brief For our first project for this module we had to design and create a 'manifesto', rule book or instruction manual that informed learners of the basics of typography in ten steps or facts. Theme, content and format had to be carefully considered.
Research I began my research looking in books and online for some inspiration to get me started. I initially thought about creating an interactive hard cover book with pop-ups and other interactive elements, however due to unforeseen circumstances I felt it necessary for me to change this idea to something simpler to guarantee I could present a finished piece. Due to this my initial research was geared more towards my first idea but I still took inspiration from the design layouts I found when working on the idea I finally went with. I wanted the design of the pages to be as simple as possible so that the information was easy to see and understand. I found looking at other published books on typography that I found them too cluttered, with too much information on the pages which caused me to feel overwhelmed and not want to read everything. I wanted the theme and content of my piece to appeal to the absolute beginner, focusing on the absolute basics.
My second idea was inspired by study cards, used to learn and memorise key points of information in a simple and portable way. I thought this was a good idea as it meant I could summarise the absolute necessities when it comes to understanding typography due to the smaller format and keep the graphics themselves clean and simple in order to utilise that limited space.
Here are my layout ideas for the format of my interactive book; my initial idea. I was trying to come up with different ways to deliver the information that was fun so that the reader stayed engaged enough to keep reading. A few of these ideas were taken from a book I got from the library called 'Making Handmade Books' by Alisa Golden, and others i was inspired by a book I owned myself by the graphic design studio MinaLima, 'The Little Mermaid and Other Fairytales'. This book is part of a series of old classics which they illustrated with interactive elements.
Using Adobe Illustrator, I began creating the pages for my study cards. I chose to use a very simple colour scheme of red and pink as I liked the way the complimented each other. I also followed the advice given on one of the cards themselves of restricting myself to using just two typefaces; a serif font and a non-serif font, also making sure I considered hierarchy of information throughout. The last step involved me added some textures over everything so everything looked a little less flat and had more definition.
Below you can see the process for one of the cards, step by step:
After I had figured out the general style and layout I wanted to go with I began creating the other cards. They each had the title of the topic on one side and the information on the other side, just like a general study card. I also chose to make a card for the 'cover' with the contents of what information the other cards covered on the back. I also designed a belly band to keep all the cards together, sort of like outer packaging.
I did these exactly like the one shown above but removed the pink background as I chose to print the cards directly onto pink paper.
My first print out I did on plain white printer paper. I knew I wanted to find a way of binding the cards together so they were in more of a book format so I first experimented with a Japanese stab binding using wax thread and some other book binding tools I owned and wanted to utilise. However, the paper was too thin and flimsy and I wasn't a fan of how cheap and poorly made it looked so I decided to mount each of the cards onto some thick card using spray mount. This made the cards look way more professional and much more durable.
I decided to also create a few digital mock ups to show how the cards could be professionally made, as lack of equipment and materials prevented me from producing them in this way myself.
Shown here are the final mounted cards. I left space above each card in order to create holes for binding. I decided to improvise and create my own ring binding using 0.75 inch loose leaf binder rings which I spray painted white.
Overall I am satisfied with my final outcome even though things had to be changed last minute. I still think I managed to produce a meaningful 'manifesto' that highlights the basics of typography to a complete beginner in an interesting, easy to understand way.