I chose the Wainwright Building, hailed as the first skyscraper in the world, and located in downtown St. Louis, as the cultural site to focus a folded, educational pamphlet around. The pamphlet introduces the reader to the architectural philosophy of Louis Sullivan, one of the architects of the Wainwright Building, and its application to the Wainwright Building. The pamphlet is an expressive representation of Sullivan’s philosophy, and creates a sense of discovery within the reader as they unfold the paper.
PROCESS
The architectural elements of the building informed my early folding methods, as well as the final fold. Sullivan emphasized the height a tall building should have, so I knew I wanted my pamphlet to expand vertically, and embody the height that he speaks of.
In my first iterations, I focused on the location of information, and how to use color on different panels to create visual interest. While I originally wanted to put very little information on the pamphlet, and focus on pattern. However, I soon realized it was necessary to explain Sullivan's conceptual framework so the viewer could fully understand the visuals of the pamphlet. I chose two sans-serif typefaces to highlight the height and modernity of the Wainwright Building at the time it was built.
I originally created a line pattern that mimicked decorative elements on the Wainwright Building, but it did not accurately capture the energy and innovation of Sullivan's designs. I worked on two new patterns—one more geometric, and one based on line. Both patterns reflected the structure of the building in a more dynamic way. After iterating with both patterns, I decided on one that was shape-based, since it provided a sense of the architecture while maintaining some level of abstraction. I also played with color to be more saturated and strong, embodying Sullivan's philosophy. I also settled on Caslon and Trade Gothic, to reflect the time period that the building was designed and built in. This helped balance a historical but modern dynamic, created between the typeface and geometric pattern.
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