In Typography I, our final project was to create a short book introducing a famous typeface to a general audience. I chose Bodoni, which stood out to me because of its characteristic thick-thin contract, and the beautiful letterforms this effect creates.
This project introduced me to book design, and while the process was overwhelming and confusing in the beginning, through countless thumbnails and iterations, I feel I was able to create a successful project.
When I began thumbnailing, I didn’t really know where to start, which was overwhelming. Most of my early thumbnails consisted of a one-column layout, after trying two-column layouts, which I felt it would be too crowded when combined with diagrams. As I continued thumbnailing, I began to figure out how much of a presence I wanted images to have on the page. I ended up creating many thumbnails with very thick margins for body copy, and large images.
As I began sketching diagrams, I considered which I wanted to make sure the reader had, so that they could fully understand Bodoni. I knew I wanted to include a serif/sans serif diagram and a detailed type characteristics diagram to give the reader enough information so that they could fully appreciate Bodoni, especially in comparison to other typefaces. I also decided that I wanted to keep the diagrams relatively simple, and instead focus on specific areas of the letterform. After I had sketched out some diagrams, I began to thumbnail layouts again, and create more specific spread designs. Using these thumbnails, I created a general book layout.
Once I started working digitally, I constantly iterated each spread, playing with different layouts and systems of hierarchy. I created a system for my body copy, section title and marginalia, which influenced how I laid out images. I kept a lot of white space in my spreads, and tried to create bold moments with large uses of type. I made sure to pay attention to scale shift, so that my spreads remained energetic, even if there weren’t too many objects on the page.
After critique, there are a few spreads that I would like to keep exploring. A few of my diagrams could be made more effective and clear for a general reader to understand. I also wish I would have considered my cover earlier in my process. While I am happy with my final cover, and how it highlights some of the main features of my book, I think if I had considered it earlier in my process, I could have tied it in better with the specific pages of my book.
Overall, I am happy with my book, and proud that I created something that could actually educate someone about a typeface. I was in awe of the student examples that we saw at the beginning of the project, and I’m really proud of myself for creating something similar. Typography I has shown me how to harness my confusion at the beginning of a project and shape it into a successful outcome.