We all know Penguin books, but how much work goes into the design?
I for one, never realised that the lines between the headers weren’t just added in afterwards, they’re attached to the text itself and change with the text. This honestly surprised me a lot. I also did not know there were hidden characters used every time I write something, e.g. space (a dot placed near the top of the x-height). Just working on this cover made me appreciate just how much actually goes into the formatting of a book cover design.
This made me want to try to recreate a children’s book in a similar style without all the flare and illustrations surrounding them typically. A childhood favourite of mine was always Pinocchio. I like the idea that lies are visible straight away, there’s no hiding them they’ll catch up to you. It’s the ideal book to strip back and recreate in this style.
Why do people protest? They believe in a cause and want to make their voices heard, to cause change. One such occasion was Brexit:
In June 2016 the British public voted to leave the European Union. Leading up to this people all over Europe participated in a kissing chain to demonstrate their love for Great Britain, there were Brexit protests in London, buildings had the Union Jack lit up on their sides. It was a protest as loving as they come in many ways.
Despite the vote affecting everyone in the UK and the British Citizens living abroad, a large chunk of people this effects were not permittedto have their voice be heard in the polls. This was due to their nationality, age, criminal record, and various other reasons. Their voices do not count when it counts.
Can a book tell a story without words? Or do we need the words in order to call it a book? During my experimentation I decided to let the physical book take you on the journey of someone who’s becoming obsessive.
I know we’re all told “don’t judge a book by its cover” and still we cannot help but do so. Similar to a child we tend to have a more idealistic view about our own choices, e.g. smoking, so why do we start? Like the child we’re attracted to the bright, the colourful and “cool” things which often includes peer pressure and wrong choices. This is why the cover of my book has been drawn in a more child like manor, misleading us to what comes next.
Once you start on your obsessive habitual behaviour you know it’ll get worse but you still go on. In order to represent this within my book I made my pages as noisy as I could, the further you go the more noise the pages make when you turn them. In order to do so I poured water over pages and dried them, I scrunched up some pages and glued others together so the book really rustles as you turn the pages.
Not only does the book get physically noisier but it also gets more visibly chaotic. Much like any obsession The further you go the worse it gets, it starts to consume and destroy.
In the end it will tear whole chunks out of a person and leave scars and bruises… I wanted the book to show this so I ripped out pages, tore others apart, as well as (under my flatmates’ supervision) burned holes into random pages. Singed and burned others and made paint splatters and scribbled on the pages and edges, especially towards the end of the book.
Our names are a huge part of our identity, especially when we don’t come across others with the same name, like myself. This in turn means people’s initials are part of their identity. Whilst creating a monogram of my own initials I wanted to be able to reflect my personality within this. The monogram is something that represents me, something that identifies me in the same way a brand has a logo. The following is the journey I undertook during my ‘monomorphis’.
Like any designer I started my process with some initial thumbnails to capture the essence of my ideas, shown on the left. Part of this also meant I looked at different versions of the fonts we were allowed to utilise (Futura and Garamond). Garamond is a very elegant yet formal type face in my opinion with it’s serifs more curved and softened, whereas Futura is a more bold, simplistic, potentially even boring typeface. I like to think of myself as a more diverse personality so I decided to go with the S being in the sleek more angular typeface (Garamond) while doing the N in a more simplistic fashion (Futura).
Having decided which of my initial ideas I preferred I started the process of crating those initial sketches into what it would look like. An example of this is visible on the right hand side.
In order to reach the best possible monogram I did this with the majority of my initial sketches. This also meant I could better see what worked and what I needed to improve on, e.g. the Garamond S on the right is lost in the design as it doesn’t carry enough weight. Thus making me recreate it with a heavier version of Garamond.
I found once I corrected the design that it still looked too standard, it didn’t really convey my personality yet. So I started playing around with the letter forms some more. This can be seen on the right where some of the N has been stretched higher than the rest, thus creating a more dynamic and interesting design.
Whilst I wasn’t unhappy with my design by this stage I still thought that it could be improved upon, become more than it is. So I kept playing about with it, eventually I layered it and created a sort of 3D effect (shown on the left).
By this time I was starting to run out of ideas of how I could continue this ideas development. However I was still drawn to one of my initial designs which displayed the counters rather than the letters themselves, creating a longer lasting impression. I then decided to combine the two designs, taking the last step in this journey to create my monogram.
In this modern world, do we really see the writing on the wall?
We go about our daily lives and don’t even realise how much writing we come across in the short walk to work. That road sign we’ve driven past 50 times last week and no longer pay attention… The graffiti by our shed, do you still see it?
Unless it’s shiny and new it holds no interest to us, the first time we drive to the new house we’re all bright eyed; that’s a pretty rose bush and that mural looks amazing… Yet we won’t be paying it any attention after we pass it a couple of times. We no longer care, no longer find it interesting and important.
And yet, there’s entire manufacturing process dedicated to each type of writing we no longer take in. We see it and yet we don’t. Those footprints on the ground? The first time you saw them you probably tried to stand on them and be exactly 2 metres from the person in front, right? Now though, a mere couple of month later? You just look for the colour to know where to line up.
The more I looked into the forgotten signs around campus the more intriguing they become once more, how many messages does colour alone convey? How many different ways do lamp posts around campus carry messages or information on them? Who made those signs and how? Why did they decide to put that metal writing on the side of a building and not use paint instead?
Throughout this project I realised how closed my eyes really were and how ignorant I was to the many ways letters are presented to me in my everyday life.