Finally finished and what an interesting project this has been. This final major project has been completely different from any other. So Initially being allowed to select our own project made starting out more difficult for me. It wasn’t an issue of coming up with ideas, it was choosing one that would be substantial enough for the project. In some way it came about the idea of how ‘everything gives us cancer’ and it was suggested I look up Russell Howard’s good news ‘Cancer song’ where he lists a few things that the Daily Mail have published that give us cancer. Further research into the subject showed that many people had already created a list of articles of up to sixty items by the Daily Mail, which formed the base of my project!
I decided that I would use this list of sixty items to create a booklet that would expose the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is popular for it’s bizarre stories and misleading catchy headlines. Reading the articles, It became clear that the headlines are never what the article is actually about. It’s interesting that some of the stories don’t even have authors as well, which is odd for a published piece.
Each article in the booklet I made was shown through its headline as the title, with a corresponding illustration, and that was just enough for each page. The booklet was thirty-six single pages and eighteen page spreads consisting of thirty articles. I decided the book would only be A6 size to create a unique and ‘quirky’ feel. Almost like a gift or a quick amusing read. The binding for the book was important because it’s part of the feel of the book and the impression I want to impose. I chose to perfect bind the book, because of its association with being professional and it’s also something I had never done before. I enjoyed the challenge of designing for perfect binding, getting the correct margin size so that you don’t lose part of the book in the fold and getting the PDF right for printing and knowing what size the spine of the cover needs to be, which was all a nice challenge.
The design of the booklet was a long process experimenting with different layouts and altering of the illustrations to make each page work as a composition. I was having difficulty to begin with getting the right look for the book until I had some advice to reduce the size of the elements on the page and try not to fill the page, which I something I have a habit of doing. I took on this advice and tried to simplify the layout and take on a more contemporary modern style. And in doing so found a graphic style that worked for the professional feel of the booklet. I simplified the illustrations to one colour, and took on a pictographic style that allowed the images to compliment the typography instead of over powering which put the hierarchy on the type. I used a variant of colours through the booklet that related to what colour the illustrations would have been if they were not white, and with this decided to keep the front cover white to create a difference between the front and the inside pages. The fonts I chose related to that of a newspaper in hierarchy, in using a bold font in capitals for the front cover, a serif font for the headings inside the book, then a sans serif font for the body text of each article. In doing this helps guide the reader through the book and also mimics the content’s original publishing. The booklet is divided into a 6 column grid throughout which helped to structure the elements on the page.
Although It took a while to get started on this project, I did thoroughly enjoy the process of designing to printing. Book design is an area that’s fairly new to me, and I enjoyed the challenge. I think that maybe my booklet could of done with a little more fine tuning with the grid system and spacing, but unfortunately that was a result of being behind in general which led to missing out on advice of the layout. I also would have liked to learn a bit more about the baseline grid and understand how to work with different sizes of type because of the difficulty I had between the header and the body text. The spacing in between each was sometimes different because of how I changed the size of the headers.
Unfortunately there was one hiccup in the printing process which was a spelling mistake! When I was making one last spelling check, I did a final ‘hide all the guides’ in In-design and in doing so added some extra letters into a header. Which has definitely taught me to always double check spelling and a lesson well learnt.
Other than that everything went smoothly in the designing process and even printing, the book was the correct size and and the pages were in order. I’m happy with the final outcome and love flipping through a final printed piece that makes the hard work all worth it. There really is something different about a printed piece of design compared to reading on a screen. My main issue through this project and designing in general is how slow I can be with putting together an idea, I always seem to come up with my ideas very late on in the project which means I always miss out on help and advice with final layouts. I’m hoping to fix that issue next year and hopefully make a complete change!