For this assignment I chose to look at Book Covers as it’s an element of design I thoroughly enjoy and gives me the opportunity to write about Typography (as best I can). After reading the brief I took a couple of days to think about what needed to be done, in the meantime I began to build a library of resources in that I felt would be helpful and inspirational in Pinterest. This is especially helpful if you’ve had issue with memory. (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/Benjskipper/assignment-five-graphic-design/)
I made notes on the theme and design choosing to use a retro feel to the covers to introduce the reader to the classic mid-twentieth century ‘third’ horizontal type cover with images akin to the type used by the Pelican non-fiction series filling the centre section. As young persons books are produced by the Puffin section of Penguin I downloaded the necessary logo, isolating it on Photoshop ready for use.
As Ladybird are also now owned by Penguin I dug out a book on birds for extra visual reference for the interior of the Typography title as this would help shape the projects. Another important part of the Assignment is to identify an A to Z list of Graphic Design terms, which was sourced from three very good books; Thinking with Type, Graphic Design Rules and Type & Typography.
The next stage was to generate a Master book document in InDesign, which will be used for the format, though illustrations for the cover and a montage will be done through Photoshop and Affinity Designer, saved as PNG’s for transfer. A separate file was generated for the Cover as this would be spread over two pages and a spine. Further work was done on appearance echoing Tschichold’s classic mid-twentieth century horizontal tri-band books, using the non-fiction colour band of yellow to help identify the book. The series brand for DesignCraft is mounted in an ellipse, similar to the title banners used by Penguin. The type is a mix of Bitter (140pts) and Edwardian Script ITC (175pts) with Helvetica used to populate all supporting text including Headings.
I then drafted a couple of covers in rough sketches as well as the spines. I’m still having issued with InDesign so for the moment am producing the covers in Affinity Designer and will then try to swing these over to an InDesign based cover. The Spines were the first to be made as they were relatively straight forward.
The covers themselves were kept as simple as possible, using the style of the Pelican series of books as inspiration. The Photographs cover was a manipulated photo of my daughter taking a photo. Chosen to connect with the reader but to also give a positive representation of a peer enjoying the art of photography, I also added a blue filter to match with the yellow cover, a device used in late 60’s photocover Pelican and Penguin books. This also lessens the harsh shades of the black and white photo.
The Colour used with circles of primary colour overlapping one another in Blue, Red, Yellow sequence. The original idea had been to use three very faint circles on a white background, but this approach lacked vigour for a cook aimed at children and young people. The three circles were then placed over an Itten’s colour circle which is bordered by two colour swatches made from the Fruit and Veg exercise I undertook earlier in the course. I decided to given each circle a linear gradient to show the hue range, as well as add a hopefully eye-catching cover.
The final cover was made using an electronic trace (hands are spasming at the moment so grip is poor), of a letter A I’d seen on Pinterest. This coloured with a range of pastel shades I’d chosen from the book 2000 Colour Combinations. I paired the A with some fluid decorative text, in this case the chalk like CoolHandLuke with its learning overtones, and joining the two together on Photoshop. This was then placed over a font sampler located again on Pinterest. In also added An A to Z Guide underneath the title to help introduce the format of the book.
For the back covers I looked at the current crop of Penquin books and the Ladybird book for inspiration regarding the information carried and how it’s presented. I used the white stripe to help highlight the titles of books I’d imagined were part of the series. Other details included the FSC marking for recycling, international prices and barcode as well as series overview. The spins is pretty straight forward, following Ladybirds theme I eventually settled for featuring the name of the book in the white section, and the logo at the top. The three covers were then created as full documents.
The next phase was to write the introduction text, so applying the 5W’s (and the H) to the task I came up with a writing plan, factoring in for 250 words per page. This will be based on the internal page set up of the Ladybird books, but also involve reader interaction through the use of a Portfolio Fillers. These will form a series of creative tasks for the reader to complete and add to their own Designers Portfolio.
The next stage was to make the initial Designers Portfolio tasksto go at the bottom of the pages followed by the A-Z for the contents. I chose to justify left my paragraphs for the sake of brevity and for the body text use 14pts and for header and footer text use 12pts with a 20° shear.
The A to Z terms were chosen from the books listed in the Resources Used below. Unfortunately there was no X suitable and no Y or Z subjects, so I left these blank.
The final stage was to use Affinity Publisher to set up 14 pages of the book including end pages. The body text was Helvetica at 15pts and 12Pts with Bitter being used for the index header. All text was horizontally tracked at 6°, with a Leading Override of ether 12 or 15 Pts. Where italics were used these were made by giving the section a 20° shear.
I laid out the images used in either two or three column grids as per Müller-Brockmann setting them up in the spirit of the Ladybird books. Not only do these act as visual cues but also introduce technical elements of the book to the reader but also portraits of influential designers including the father of modern European printing Gutenberg.
The introduction, which I appreciate, is meant to be over four pages was interspersed with relevant imagery, which acted to introduce themes as well as add colour and interest. I then highlighted the background of the picture captions and Portfolio Fillers with the same shade of yellow as I’d used for the spines. This not only added interest but echoed earlier cover designs. The index was added to give a concept of overall book size, and it felt odd to leave it out to be honest.
The Mockups help to add flesh to the bones of project and help to bring the project to life. I believe the overall designs and contents meet the brief, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the assignment. It allowed me to utilse the skills that I’ve learned over duration of the course as well as utilise DTP including Affinity Designer a little more.
Penguin Colour code: http://bookpretty.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-penguin-books-color-code.html (Accessed 21122020)
Ittens Colour Wheel https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ee/28/f1/ee28f15caf75fe5c50aa312d983ba689.jpg (Accessed 05012021)
Assignment Five Pinterest Collection: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/Benjskipper/assignment-five-graphic-design/
Mockup from: https://mockups-design.com/ (Accessed 08012021)
Leigh-Pemberton, J. (1968) The Ladybird Book of Heath and Woodland Birds. Loughborough: Wills & Hepworth Ltd.
Baines, P. and Haslam, A. (2005) Type & Typography. 2nd edn. London: Laurence King Publishing.
Lupton, E (2010) Thinking with Type, 2nd edn. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Adams, S. Dawson, P. Foster, J. Seddon, T. (2012) Graphic Design Rules: 365 Essential Design Dos & Don’ts. London: Francis Lincoln Ltd.
Müller-Brockmann, J. (2019) Grid Systems in Graphic Design. 13th Edn, Salenstein: Niggli.
Ambrose, G. and Harris, p. (2009) The Fundamentals of Graphic Design, Lausanne: AVA Academia.