Author: Amber Mayall

Moving Gallery commemorative catalogue

The brief

The brief was to create a commemorative catalogue, in the form of a folded leaflet, to explain the client’s art project: ‘Moving Gallery’, an art gallery inside a double decker bus in Reading. The folded leaflet needed to include images taken during the project, text explaining the project, and the bios of the six artists who’s work featured in the Moving Gallery.

Purpose and function

The  catalogue was to be given to the twenty donors of the project as a thank you for their contribution, so somewhere on/ in the leaflet there needed to be a thank you note. There was a possibility that the leaflet might be used for other functions in the future to promote the Moving Gallery project, so it was suggested in the first client meeting that the thank you card could be separated from the catalogue.

  • The client had a limited budget and so was keen for each leaflet to fit on one double sided piece of SRA3 paper.
  • 20 copies of the leaflet and 20 thank you cards to go with them
  • It was important that all of the necessary information was on the document, including information about the Moving Gallery, the Moving Gallery at its new exhibition space, and the exhibited artists.
  • The client already had a running website and there were a few things that she wanted to keep the same to remain consistent in style. The paragraphs had to be set in the typeface Courier New, and the headings in Din Alternate. The headings were also to be inverted in white out of a black rectangle as on the website.
Screenshot of clients existing website showing typefaces and style to remain consistent.

Design process

experimenting with folds

One of the first challenges in this real job, was finding a way to fit all of the content on to two sides of SRA3 paper. Initially there was a lot of content so I asked the client if she could condense the text down to a smaller amount, which she was happy to do. After I got sent a new folder of content I began to work on the layout.

I started by taking a few sheets of A3 paper and folding them in different ways and writing on where the content might sit so find out what might be the best approach.

Folding A3 paper to decide on folding technique

I decided that the best use of space would be to fold it in half longways and then create a concertina. This meant that I could have information on the outside of the leaflet on each flat side and then have a full A3 spread once it is opened.

I decided that the thank you element of the design could be a wrap around card that folds around the main leaflet and tucks in so that it doesn’t fall off.


I next needed to decide where best to put the information. I organised the information into three groups according to the text my client sent me: artist information, Moving Gallery on route and Moving Gallery at its next exhibition space, Jelly. As there were six artists and six concertina sides (once you take out one side for the front cover and one for the back), I thought of putting one artist on each, however there was too much information to fit both the name, text and image for each artist on each side without having a tiny type size. I decided to try putting all of the artists on the inside spread, which worked much better as I had more space and flexibility with the layout.

Layout sketches

I made a number of changes to the layout throughout the process after several meetings with my supervisor. One thing I had to really work on was my alignment of the artist’s bios. Problems occurred because I had a fairly strict grid but if everything sat centrally on my grid, it was difficult, without reading the text, to see which image relates to which artist’s name.


First layout with title on right page

My first few layouts all had the title on the right hand side of the page, which I later decided was irrational as it made it seem as though it was only a title for the right page rather than both. In this layout I stuck to my grid but this meant that the space between non relating elements wasn’t different enough from the space between relating elements. In this version I also realised that some of my images were far larger than others, particularly on the left hand page where there was no heading.

Title on left side

After moving my title to the left hand page it was greatly improved however I still had to work on the spacing. I tried moving the images around and increasing the space between non-relating elements.

More space between un-relating elements

To further improve clarity, I tried using blue bars to link relating elements together. I used this blue as it featured in the logo but nowhere else.

Blue bars for clarity

I decided that this was a step too far and looked less elegant and I could just use space to separate elements.


One of the biggest problems that I had with this project was the quality of the images I was provided with. They all seemed to have been taken on a low resolution phone camera for example. I asked the client if there were any better quality images but these were all she had. I did my best to brighten the images in photoshop and sharpen them where I could. During this project, I learned a few photoshop tricks for improving images. I learned how to change the perspective of images to make sure the content was completely upright and also how to brighten the images without making bad lighting appear unnaturally yellow, by playing around with the saturation in specific areas. Although they did not end up being amazing quality, I feel that I did the best I could with the images I had been given.


Another issue that came up was in the colour of the card I used for the thank you card. When I initially proposed a type of card to the client, she said it was too green. I had chosen the card based on the colour of the logo and this was something I had to work around as it seemed the client had in her head an idea of the colour she would like, but no physical example of this colour. This left me in a situation where I wasn’t exactly what she wanted. After sending back and forth various colour swatches, I ended up resolving this by sending her a link to a card company, who’s card I knew would be fine in the printers, and suggested that she chose a colour of card and purchase it herself then give it to me to print on. As the client only needed twenty copies of the final product, this solution was fine. After this, the process ran smoothly as the client was then accountable for her choice in card rather than me spending money on card she didn’t like.

This problem taught me two things, firstly that I should never buy material without clearing that exact material with the client beforehand, and secondly, to choose colours more carefully and make sure that both I and the client have the same shade in our heads.

Variation in card colour between the green that matched the logo and the blue that the client had in mind.
The budget

I made one definite mistake on this job and that was not being completely certain of what had been agreed in terms of money. I had been told when I was allocated the job that the client had a certain budget and I didn’t think to check at the time whether this was the case. It turned out later in the process that the client had thought that her budget would cover both the real job scheme and her printing costs, when in fact it would only cover one of those things. Moreover, as the project progressed, I should have discussed with the client that printing a separate thank you card was going to require a bigger budget, as this would mean printing not only the 20 sheets of double sided SRA3, but also at least 10 sheets of double sided A4 card. This mistake has taught me to not agree to printing extra deliverables without clearing the extra costs with the client so that I don’t end up losing money.

Final deliverables

I was pleased with the final design and I think it successfully fulfilled the brief. I had to learn some new skills when it came to making the final leaflets and thank you cards, for example how to score the card so that it would have a small 2mm spine so that it fit neatly around the leaflet when folded. As I am producing all of the final twenty deliverables myself, I have to be very self-disciplined to make sure that each one was folded carefully and to a high standard.

Outside pages before folding
Inside page before folding
Final deliverables with the thank you card separate


Final deliverable


From start to finish, this was a fairly smooth, quick process. The client was always very happy with what I produced and she was happy to provide any more information I needed at any point. We maintained regular meetings to discuss the design and kept well in contact via email. The project was extended and a new deadline put in place after the client decided that she didn’t need the deliverable until a later date, so after a speedy start, I ended up having longer to refine the design and making process. I met with my supervisor several times over the process and each time got useful feedback that I fed into my work and tried to improve on.

Something I would work on if I were to begin the process again would be to not be so restricted by the clients initial ideas. I think that although the client wanted a certain style and certain typefaces, I could have been more imaginative with their application and maybe suggested some solutions that pushed the boundaries a little just to see if she might prefer another approach. I think I was lucky that my client was so complimentary about my work but I think it made me less worried about coming up with something extremely creative. I think also, because I knew that the project only originally had a few weeks to come to a final design, I was worried about spending time experimenting and so just went with something that was safe. I would like to have pushed myself a little more with the design of the inside pages.







Department of Typography clock design and build

Review of design agencies project write ups

I looked at the way Pentagram structure their write ups on their website and with all of their projects they take a very image based approach, explaining most of their process in the captions beneath the images. I also looked at Designinc who also use large images, however they also feature three short paragraphs under the headings background, approach and results.

The brief

The brief was to come up with a functional clock design (clock face and hands) for the typography department and create a report to explain the design decisions made.

Purpose and function

The clock will be used in the typography department and so the audience is anyone who looks at the time in the building, including lecturers, students and visitors. It needs to be functional, so regardless of the design, it needs to still function as a clock and be fairly legible.


The brief was quite open and the client wasn’t very specific. For the project to be a success, the he wanted me to explore lots of possibilities so that I could come to an informed decision on which design would be the most appropriate.


For my research, I looked into clocks designed by Max Bill, in particular his designs for kitchen clocks. I noticed how the numbers on the clock have been updated so that the main numbers represent the seconds rather than the minutes to better suit the purpose of the clock.

Max Bill’s kitchen clock design


After seeing Max Bill’s clocks, I thought about how I could tailor my clock design to cater especially for the typography department. I decided to segment the hours into sections to show different groups of hours in the day. I began with the department closing hours in purple, open hours in blue, and lunchtime in yellow. Originally I had the opening hours from 9am until 6pm but when I spoke to the client, I was told that it would be better to go with 9am until 5pm as this was the times that the typography department ran lectures and official meetings.

I decided to push the concept further by adapting the numbers on the clock from the conventional 1 to 12. I thought that seeing as the majority of the time people work in the department during daytime hours, it would be more appropriate to use the PM numbers from the 24 hour clock, for example 13 instead of 1. I decided to use the numbers 09 through to 20 (9am until 8pm). I was quite worried to bring this up in the real jobs meeting as I wasn’t sure if it was ridiculous but I actually got some very positive feedback from the idea. I learnt from this that I should explain my ideas with confidence and not hold to see what the feedback will be before I appear proud of my designs. If I appear confident with my design decisions then others will be more likely to believe in my ideas as well.

I considered adding the other un-used numbers from the 24 hour clock around the middle but this became too complicated to read.

Experimenting with the segments concept and where to put the 12 hour and 24 hour numbers

Design process


I began by thinking again about the number placement. In my original versions shown above, I had the numbers and the dots all in the same circle. This didn’t work well as in order to fit in all of the numbers, the type size had to be very small. I decided that they needed to be in different circles. I tried the numbers both on the inside and the outside and thought about how the dots and numbers would interact with the clock hands.

Number placement

I decided that if I put the dots on the inside then I could make the minute hand interact with them. I thought of having a hole in the end of the minute hand so that when the hand moves round, the dots appear through the hole.

My first clock hand design was slightly too thin and due to the length of the minute hand, the two hands look out of proportion. I tried having the hour hand slightly thicker which worked better as it was shorter.

Experimenting with thickness of clock hand

I tested the hand positions at different times on the clock to check that the interaction was smooth at all points. I adjusted the size of the hole so that only one dot would fit in at any one time.

Testing the different hand positions
pushing the concept

I showed my ideas to my supervisor and he seemed to think that the concept was interesting but thought that I could take it further. He encouraged me to really push the boundaries and think about how much information really needs to be in each segment and how clear it needs to be. In the yellow lunchtime segment, I tried removing the dots entirely to show that there is a break. The continuous, circular flow of dots literally stops between 13:00 and 14:00.

I also tried dulling the numbers within the purple segment by making them a dark purple colour rather than black. This is to push the idea that time is less important in the department between the hours of 17:00 and 09:00.

It occured to me that when we talk about the 24 hour clock in relation to one didget numbers, we usually add a ‘0’ before to clarify that it means AM. Because of this, I decided to change the ‘9’ to ‘09’ to remain consistant. This also improved the spacing of the 9 compared to the other numbers as previously, the single didget was vastly different in width.

I also tried a version without any numbers out of the hours of the department opening hours. I thought that this could still be functional as lots of clocks miss off all of the numbers except for 12, 3, 6 and 9 and there was still enough information to be able to tell the time. I decided however that it wasn’t as clear. I decided that this idea possibly pushed it too far, as although it makes sense conceptually, the brief still claimed that it had to be functional and deleting all of the visual cues did make it harder to read.

Deciding how much information needs to be visible.
Futura research

I was encouraged to look into the typeface Futura and how it was used on clocks. I looked at some examples of clocks that used sans serif typefaces similar to Futura in the 1920s. They inspired me to try both the typeface Futura, and a new colour palette in my work and create something in a similar visual style.

Futura research
New design using Futura and a new colour scheme.

The change in typeface made the clock instantly more legible as the letters were heavier and had more of an impact. The dark colours contrasted well with the white numbers.

Experimenting with colours

I had to experiment quite a bit with the colour of printing as it always come out differently from what I was viewing on my screen.

Mock up of Possible Final deliverable

I have got to a point with the job where I have created a mock up of my design that I am happy with and am awaiting feedback on my design from the client. There were a couple of difficult things to accomplish with the mock up, for example cutting out the circle on the end of the minute hand.

Finished mock up

Communication with client

Throughout the process I maintained regular contact with the client and showed him my work at different points for feedback although the project had a quick turn around. If there was a longer timeframe, we probably would have had more meetings.

This project was made both easier and more difficult because of the freedom I was given by the client. It was easier because he didn’t have a specific solution in mind meaning I could, to some degree, decide on my own concept and make my own design decisions. It was challenging as there was very little direction. I had to come up with my own ideas entirely and as long as I explored lots of options, the client was happy.


This job really developed me as an independent worker as I had to think creatively on my own, yet still satisfy the client. Overall, the project ran smoothly. I think if I started the project again, I would begin by printing designs at scale earlier as I learned more about the size and arrangement of elements once they were fitted into the frame than looking at them on screen. Having never done any clock design before it was an interesting job to work on. I have realised over the process that there is so much more to clocks than meets the eye and there are so many more possibilities than I initially imagined.