Communications Studio II | Booklet

Prompt

To design a 16-spread booklet for someone who knows nothing about your chosen designer. Additionally, we are also tasked with creating a mobile experience about our designer, meant to work in tandem with our booklet.

Flat Plan Sketches

To draw from Leta Sobierajski’s style, I focused on integrated blocks of color in my flat plan sketches of my booklet. I want to keep the geometric sense of layout that Sobierajski normally implements in her designs, yet still create moments where that geometry is able to break apart and draw the eye. I chose to tell her story through the headings I gave my essay as I was first writing it, going through her early life and career, her inspirations, her personal style, and so forth.

As for the front cover, I wanted to create one that was intriguing to look at and evoked curiosity in order to compel the reader to pick it up. To achieve this, I played around with the idea of cracked eggs and dense patterns.

flat plans

I settled on two ideas, which are fairly similar to one another. They both deal with the geometric shapes and patterns that dominate Sobierajski’s work. In these two sketches, I play with different layouts that showcase this.

Utilizing the feedback I received, I am going to continue on this direction of playing with the density of the page and then giving it room to breathe with a single color as I start translating my sketches onto a digital platform.

Digitizing the Booklet

To begin, I was able to develop a simple grid with six columns to follow throughout my booklet.

Grid

I started laying out some of my sketched layouts onto InDesign, making decisions such as establishing the hierarchy in my layouts, as well as how to best caption images.

Initial spreads

In these collages of images and colors I have been creating in my spreads, I have had to pay attention to the crops of my images and how dynamic they can be. I have also had to examine each image in relation to all of the others in order to not overwhelm the amount that is happening on the page. To rectify this, I cut through some of the busyness with solid blocks of color.

First Iteration

Initial Spreads

Comments and Considerations

  • The background color between 04–05, and 08–09 is too similar, use a bigger contrast
  • Is the entire booklet too overwhelming with the amount of images and text?
  • Play with the placement of the collaged images on 06–07, maybe bring it in more to cover more of the orange background
  • Continue playing with the justified text to make sure there are no gaping rivers.
  • Do we need the drop caps at all?

Iteration 2

Select pages of what to fix

Printing this entire booklet out, I was able to notice a lot of tiny details I had missed on the screen. There are still some issues with text rivers that I am still smoothing out, and the drop caps I put on each page do not seem to be necessary as it moves towards a different style than the one I had before.

Furthermore, the formatting in the captions of my images were wrong, as superscripts are not supposed to be used in that context. As for my last spread, I was having trouble coming up with a final concept. I was suggested to perhaps focus on one of Sobierajski’s best/well-known project, and so I decided to focus on the Complements Project, a photo series she created alongside her husband, Wade Jeffree, that displayed their relationship in a quirky way.

Iteration 3

Comments

  • Perhaps try a different background with the front cover, it seems too disjointed from the interior
  • Bring up the contrast of the citations — you can’t even see them right now on the bottom right corner of the last spread!
  • Keep finessing the timeline, watch for tangents and keep spacing consistent

Final Iterations

Looking at my feedback, I chose to upend a couple of my spreads (the table of contents, pages 10–11, and pages 12–13). I wanted to bring more depth into the shapes I was creating with the images. I also wanted to continue to strike a balance between the text and the images so that it does not come off as too overwhelming for the readers.

Reflection

The process of designing this booklet was certainly very enjoyable for me. I loved being able to explore Leta’s style of work, while also balancing it with my own. It especially made me respect the color combinations that she utilizes, as I found with this project, creating a spread of colors that is work together as a whole is difficult. I was able to discover how to tell a story and create a narrative that is true to my design inspiration. Using imagery, captions, and other graphics to support my story, I learned how to put together a cohesive narrative. The poster we created before was treated as a design that the audience won’t spend a ton of time on, perhaps a glance through the entire poster. But the booklet is a medium that the audience will naturally dedicate more time to, to flip through each page and read the story. Therefore, there is a lot of information that we can incorporate that we could not in the previous part of the project. Discovering the affordances of each new medium we explore is, I think, one of the most important skills I am learning throughout this project.

Communications Designer @cmudesign. Learning how to bridge people together through art, writing + visual design. carolinesong.com