Ephemera Development

I started my piece of Ephemera by placing the text, images and logos required in the booklet which were provided by the client, which were the organizers of the event. We had three questions to consider for the piece of ephemera. These were:

  1. For whom am I designing
  2. To whom am I designing
  3. For what reason are we communicating

We were designing the ephemera for the organizers of the Super 7 Design Festival, sponsored by Designboom, taking place in the CHAPTER Arts Centre in Canton, Cardiff.

To whom we were designing were the guests at the event and the attendees of the event, who would be numerous designers, illustrators and creatives.

What we were communicating were the interviews that took place with the 7 designer guests that were going to be speaking to the audiences at the event.

I first started by looking at the design of the Designboom website, looking for layout designs on Pinterest to generate my own ideas and sketches, and laying out the text, logos and images required in the piece of ephemera on InDesign. Before a group tutorial, I decided from inspiration that I wanted to crop and edit all the images to make the layouts interesting. For example, I cropped the portrait of Eike Konig so that it was spherical in shape and there was clear contrast between the blacks, greys and whites. This would make the photo more visually interesting and eye catching, especially considering the final piece of ephemera would be printed on a laser printer.

I needed consistency in the style of crop and contrast in the photos. Although the shapes would be different it would keep the viewer visually interested in the piece of ephemera, apart from the spacious layout I was planning on having.

For the layout of the text I kept to a three column grid for each A5 page. I used the Calibri typeface in Regular 8.5pt for the answers, Bold 9pt for the questions, and the profile in Bold 12pt for each designer. This would show the reader they were different speakers, and that the different paragraphs had different purposes. For the names of the designers as the headings for each of the double pages, I downloaded a trial version of ‘Blenny’ from the font library on the Dalton Maag website. The font had nice curvature and made the layouts visually more interesting and aesthetically pleasing with the contrast between the conserved typeface and the blank space around it. I also thought the typeface went well with the first double page for Eike Konig and the spherical design I used in the photo.

I decided to emphasize the spherical design for that page by creating a circle with the elliptical shape tool on InDesign. I made the shape big in a grey colour with no outline. I placed the shape behind the text as a feature of the background. Again this made the page design more visually interesting.

Eike Konig.jpg

I tried to make this consistency in design the same for each double page.

I made small improvements to the text and layout before printing the final product. For example, I needed to read through the text for any small errors, hyphenations, spacing, and uneven rag. I also wanted the pace of the booklet to be consistent, meaning that certain layouts weren’t too cramped. Because Jessica Walsh had so much information in her interview and profile, I needed to use up a page before her double spread. This ensured that the pages were evenly spread and allowed breathing space for the reader. This also made it aesthetically pleasing. Before printing and binding I needed to make the inside margins larger to allow for room if the binding didn’t go to plan. I increased the binding from 5mm to 10mm. This made the columns slightly thinner, however I still had room leftover to make these changes.

After double checking for improvement I could have made to the smallest of details, I exported the document as a PDF, set a pages. To ensure that I trimmed the pages to size in the right places, I included crop marks into the export settings. I trimmed the pages down to the crop marks and bound the book at the spine with needle, binding thread, a bone folder, and an awl, referring to my recent blog post on binding a sketchbook. We were not required to use hard covers.

Unfortunately the laser printer had made vertical lines visible down the fully black and grey parts of the pages. These lines were cause by a scratched drum in the laser printer which was not able to be fixed at the time of printing. Anyhow, the design of the ephemera booklet was all I wanted to be shown instead of the poor quality of the print.

To present our ephemera to the class, we laid out the ephemera booklets onto tables and walked around to look at each of them. All of them were extremely impressive and most of them consistent in layout design which was what made them aesthetically pleasing. We were all paired up with someone to give critique on each others work. Features of the overall design we needed to consider in our written critique were:

  • Hierarchy – Balance, Contrast, Path for the eye
  • Pace
  • Type Detailing
  • Consistency
  • Ambition (play)
  • Graphic Systems

Under hierarchy I was critiqued on my lack of consistency in layouts of pages. For example, my images we all different sizes to compensate for space of text. However, I thought this made the pages visually interesting, while at the same time keeping the reader informed. I also kept consistency in my grid systems for most of the pages, apart from the page on Morag Myerscough and Sawdust.

For type detailing, small mistakes I made the the indent at the start of answers was described as misleading and messy. He also thought that the font I used for the heading of each designer did not fit with the overall design of the page. I thought the font suited perfectly with the majority of the pages because of the different shapes that the viewer could see in the backgrounds.

As far as consistency in my design was concerned, the background colour that I chose to match the photo for Felix Pfaffli and Sawdust, drew unwanted attention to my critics’ eye. He also said that I would benefit with consistency by adjusting the images so they were all the same size in the same place. Consistency was also lacking in the leading of the headings for each page. I tried to compensate for lack of consistency by challenging myself with by producing interesting layouts.

My critic said I was very ambitious with the variations in designs for each page, however he felt that I needed one page with an overarching design to suit the brief.

Finally, for graphic systems, my critic said there was good use of grid systems.


Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

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