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Project 4: Colour, Composition and Linear Narrative | 'Telling Stories'

Brief For this brief, we were asked to create a 12-page bound book as a personal response to a nursery rhyme. I chose 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. The design did not have to be aimed at children and we had complete freedom with size, format and technique.

Research I began by researching the rhyme online, trying to find any hidden or underlying meanings behind the storyline. I found that one theory behind the rhymes origins was that it is a reference to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany during the French Revolutionary Wars, the 'hill' being the town of Cassel. The rest of my research revolved around looking up techniques for in Photoshop. I found a good set of tips from this website here, which I used to help me create a few of the effects in my book. I then began drawing up a couple of thumbnail ideas, thinking about if I wanted to include any variations of spreads, or cutting shapes into the pages.

Mock Ups

After my thumbnails I created a few quick mock ups in order to explore how I wanted it to be structured and which lines of the rhyme where going to be on each page. I decided due to the rhyme being short and because I needed it to fill up 12 pages, that there would be mostly double page spreads. I also experimented a little bit with cutting out the letters on the front cover to add more variation and interest.


​I began developing my ideas on Photoshop, trying out different layouts and ways to use type to represent the lines of the rhymes. I knew I wanted to focus more on using typography then actually illustrating the rhyme, but I still wanted to add some imagery so for the first line I chose to include a photo of the Duke of York (linked here). In addition, being inspired by some of the work I did for the activities the previous week, I wanted to incorporate simple shapes and colours throughout the pages. For the second line I played around with different ways to represent a 'thousand men' using type. For the third line I created a pattern for one of the pages taking this vector image of a soldier. I then created a rise print effect and played around with the colours to make it coherent with the other pages. I also played around with overlong a vector of the York Minister (here) onto one of the pages but later decided against it as I preferred the page without.

Final Piece

When I had done layout out my pages, I wanted to add some texture using noise and overlaying textures I downloaded here, in order to give it a more printed effect. For the cover I cut out the soldier silhouettes using a craft knife and stuck onto the underlying colours, and for the back I kept it simple and just added a little logo I made. I then uploaded the pages into Adobe InDesign, and printed and bound the book together using a simple saddle-stitch (stapled).

​I'm happy with the outcome of the project considering my lack of expertise with the programs I used. I did find it quite difficult to find different ways to change the type as the same words were repeated often in the rhyme but I think the pages work well together as a complete book nonetheless.



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