I chose the Wainwright Building, hailed as the first skyscraper in the world, and located in downtown St. Louis, as the cultural site that I wanted to create a folded pamphlet for. I wanted to create a pamphlet that introduces the reader to the architectural philosophy of Louis Sullivan, one of the architects of the Wainwright Building, and how he applied that to the Wainwright Building in downtown St. Louis. I wanted the pamphlet to be an expressive representation of Sullivan’s philosophy, and create a sense of discovery as the reader unfolds the paper.
The architectural elements of the building informed my early folding methods, as well as my final form. Sullivan emphasized the height a tall building should have, so I knew I wanted my pamphlet to expand vertically, to embody height, which is central to Sullivan's theory.
In my first design iterations, I focused on the location of information, and how to use color on different panels to create visual interest. I wanted to put very little information on the pamphlet at first, but I realized it was necessary to have at least some informational text to contribute to the strength of my concept. I chose two sans-serif typefaces in an attempt 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 after applying it to my design, I found it lacking. I came up with two new patterns, one more geometric, and one based on line, similar to my previous idea. Both patterns reflected the structure of the building, and were more complex. After iterating with both patterns, I decided on the one that was shape-based, since it provided a sense of the architecture without being blatant and maintaining some level of abstraction. I also changed my original colors, which I had drawn from images of the Wainwright Building, to be more saturated and strong. I also changed my typefaces to Caslon and Trade Gothic, to reflect modernity, and the time period that the building was designed and built in. This helped balance a historical but modern feel, between the typeface and geometric pattern.