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Design Something With…

Design Something With…

A GUIDE FOR EARLY GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

 

Design Something With… is an introductory graphic design reference book for high school students in career and charter schools. It’s divided into three smaller books tackling subjects like Design Basics, Typography and The Grid, and Production because books are heavy and you should be allowed to pick and choose what you want to carry. Each book is given a designated primary color and fit in a box set rendered after a Pantone color chip. The type system uses Helvetica for most primary headings and embraces Baskerville for all body copy. 

Design Something With... Design Basics

Design Something With… is a candid take on introductory level graphic design information. It uses sidebars, added opinions, and advice throughout to give perspective on what separates academic information from that of the real world. Inspired loosely on the revival of Memphis design in today’s modern aesthetic, it’s a bright, interactive vehicle meant to engage and entertain the audience.

Design Basics: Table of Contents

“Each book utilizes production techniques like fold-outs, pouches, accordion pull-outs, and smaller books to give a visual and tactile learning experience.”

Design Basics: Elements of Design
Design Basics: Adding scale to the Elements of Design

Type & The Grid

 

The second book in the set is called Type & The Grid. It gives the reader perspective on type through a hierarchy of learning. First, it explains the elegance and anatomy of the letter. Then, it moves into full words and how typefaces and kerning make an impact on their appearance. From words, we move into lines and paragraphs – discussing leading, raging, and eventually moving into type on a grid. Because type and the grid are technically separate topics, they’re given different colors to represent their sections. They are so closely related, however, it was appropriate to put them in the same book.

Design Something With... Type & The Grid
Type & The Grid: Type Anatomy spread
Type & The Grid: Explaining the difference between a font and a typeface. Showing examples of type classifications with accordion fold.
Type & The Grid: Listing the most common typefaces and providing their perfect match under every flap.

“I used visual cues [like highlighting the rag] so the reader leaves with lasting impressions that build stronger design practices.”

Type & The Grid: Paragraph rag

Production

The third book in the set focuses on Production. It covers resolution, color in print and web, binding and production techniques, client relationships, budgeting, and tips for excellent craft. Though the book has a heavy focus on print design, it instills vital knowledge on the reader about producing a well-manicured comprehensive design for a client. With the design industry heavily embracing technology, I find design students struggle with their craft. Design Something With… Production provides tips and tricks to combat this issue.

Design Something With... Production
Production: Spread on CMYK color printing
Production: Spread on popular book binding techniques

“Illustrations simplify complicated production techniques and provide comic relief to combat the dry nature most textbooks have.”

Each of the books ends with a ‘Words of Wisdom’ section. Here, professionals in the industry share their real-world responses to questions students are afraid to ask in the classroom. Questions like, “What typeface are you sick of?” and “Should a design student know art history?” are answered here.

BLOG POST
Want to know more about this project?
For extra spreads and more insight detailing my process and design thinking, visit my blog post, “Writing & Designing a Book.”

Oedipus Rex Cover

Oedipus Rex Cover

This cover design for Oedipus Rex is inspired by the climax of the story. Oedipus Rex is a story about a man who cannot escape his fate. He was destined to marry his mother and murder his father. He had lived his entire life blissfully ignorant of this prophecy until the climax of the story. After his wife and mother figured it out, she hung herself by her garment disgusted at what she had done. Shortly after, Oedipus discovers the horrible truth and in a fit of rage he takes his mother’s garment pins and stabs his eyes and leaves his kingdom. This moment in the story has the most recognizable imagery, so I decided to add a modern take to the classic Greek tragedy.

Print

Regional Design Award

2018

I approached the title with a typographic approach and arranged the letters to look like an eye chart with the “I” missing in the word Oedipus. I felt like it was a clever way to communicate with the audience once they reach the climax.

I then used a painting technique from the 1960’s where I filled balloons full of watered-down, acrylic red paint with air. I threw darts at them to get a gory splatter effect. I originally got the idea from my favorite movie, The Princess Diaries.

On the back, I arranged the Oedipus Trilogy to look like a blood spatter graph to inform the audience there’s more to read, and they’ve only just begun.

Pincha Salt Magazine

Pincha Salt Magazine

Pincha Salt Magazine is a culinary lifestyle publication I designed. First, I sampled written article content from Food Network and Lucky Peach Magazine. Then, I worked on each of the layouts for my articles. I had to cook each dish, and then learn food photography – which can be a little tricky. It’s important to shoot your dish when it’s fresh. This means your camera, lighting, and set have to be completely ready. I had to use placeholders to prepare my set so I wouldn’t waste any time when the food was finally ready to shoot. 

Front cover & back cover ad
Contents
Feature article spread

“Pasta and salad dishes should be shot from an aerial perspective because they typically appear flat from any other angle.”

I worked to demonstrate a variety of publication themes. I created two articles, each with variations in composition, two ads, an infographic, and an interactive cover that folds out to reveal the cover photo’s recipe.

Monthly calendar with illustrations and one page ad
Feature article spread

“To make the pancakes appear fuller, we inserted small torn pieces of tortillia between each of the layers.”

Blog Post
Want to know more about this project?
After I bound my final comp for the magazine, I also designed a digital version. For more information, visit my blog post, “Pincha Salt Digital Magazine.”