What am I doing here?

11Aug06

Hi. I have a feeling that a lot of you are still very confused as to what a publication is and what sort of one you should be designing for this project. That’s ok. I hope everything will be a lot more clear after next week’s class, and perhaps even this post.

For Publication Design you have to create a publication of 24 pages or more which can be a printed or online document. The intention of this publication is to enhance the objectives of your major project topic and to give you experience in the design of publications.

What sort of publication you create is up to you. It can be a magazine, a newspaper, a book, a set of encyclopedias, a series of booklets, a website, a big book, a small book, a newsletter… basically anything that contains information which your audience will find appealing, inspiring and helpful.

Go and visit a cool bookshop like Ariel or Kinokuniya or Published Art over the weekend. Look at all the amazing publications they have for sale. They are big, small and very creative. Get inspired.

You don’t have to be too realistic with this project. For example, last semester, one of the students created a theme park with imaginary animals that came to life! You should feel free to be creative as possible, as long as the end point is “socially useful”.

Have a read of this extract from a book called Layout Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Building Pages in Graphic Design by Kristin Cullen. Answer the questions at the end and try to identify the primary function of your publication. Choose which applies to your project. My comments are in italics.

Layout Workbook

The function of the design must be established before the design process can begin. Is the design an invitation, annual report, poster, or book? (BOOK = PUBLICATION)
What is its primary objective (question 8 from homework sheet)
Who is it trying to reach (homework sheet)
What is the desired reaction of the viewer (sort of question 8, but also a bit more emotional. Do you want them to be so angered that they are motivated to act on the issue, or would you like to make them happy and content?).

Determining the function of the piece is critical and provokes numerous questions that inform the designer and help focus the development of the design.

Determining the function of the design. Will the design:
– announce or invite and request participation?
– inform and create awareness?
– educate or instruct?
– identify or symbolize and represent people, places, and things?
– illustrate and explain?
– spark imagination and ignite creativity?
– influence and motivate action?
– solicit trust or faith?
– package, promote, sell, or advertise?
– protect and store?
– guide and provide navigation?
– display and exhibit?
– commemorate and mark history?
– anger and incite?
– entertain and amuse?

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