I never would have guessed that OCAD University would give me the chance to design their graduation catalogue. It’s been so long since I have stepped foot in the school. When I accepted this project, I knew this was going to be a beautiful commissioned piece.
The aim for this project was to create a catalogue that would show case each hand designed piece of art by the student body. I wanted the work to shine and the design to compliment it.
Thus a simplistic but in yet tasteful layout was born. During the ideation phase, we went through a lot of different ideas and it was difficult to commit to one idea. I not only had to cater to the OCAD community but I also wanted to add a splash of my own style to it.
We considered a lot of different colours for this year’s catalogue. Mint green was on the top list due to its mellow and abstract nature. But the most challenging part of this design was the cover.
The cover had to portray and represent everyone in the department. I couldn’t just use anyone’s artwork and call it a cover because that would be “unfair” towards the other students who worked so hard throughout the year.
I couldn’t decide so I used everyone’s work and gave all the students the right recognition they deserve.
Here are some interior spreads form the catalogue.
The uploads for these spreads made the colours extra bright but I want you to get a feel and flow of the book. Please excuse the off colours that you see.
I was lucky enough not to get into any serious trouble during my childhood/teenage years. I am confident to say that I was well put together and had a good mentality. My friends were fairly nerdy and all we wanted to do most of the time was play video games after school or during the morning hours of Saturday.
But for other people, this may not be the case. I collaborated with another designer on this book simply because we needed to get this book to the book stores as quickly as possible. The value for this book is stunning. It is jammed packed with useful information on how to get yourself out of the criminal records book. It provides quick and easy facts about what you should do if you were “finger printed.”
Walking through the design, the cover shows a very fierce passion red with a finger print, that is invalid of course. The red also reflects back to its home land; Canada.
The interior design was the hardest and one of the most detailed job I had to design. It contained a lot of charts, graphs, tables and pull quotes. It was definitely a pain to micro manage all of these styles and elements because along the way it was confusing me on which styles to apply.
The beautiful thing about this book is, it really pin points the crucial information a victim might need to get out of the system. It is a well designed and written book, backed with a wonderful support system. The author provided a number where you can contact them with any questions you may have about getting rid of your criminal record.
If you would like to purchase a copy, click here. (Amazon.ca)
Its always a challenge trying to find the perfect cover image. At times a designer would need to be resourceful and create their own composition.
The Power of Harmony is a perfect example of this and it never cease to amaze me how well this works.
The story talks about two girls coming together as friends. They face different challenges through the school year and discovers a very unique bonding with each other.
I used the two stock images and combined them together to create a new image. A filter was used to portray a vintage/old school vibe, paired with a hand written style typeface that reflects a more personal touch.
If you are interested in purchase the book. Click here (amazon.com)
Since we were on the topic of typography, it got me all excited and wanted to share more pieces that I have designed that was soley based on type. This book here is a collection of poems by Daryl Hine. This was his last book and I wanted to give it a superior type treatment.
This composition is basically graphic design 101. I used many different types of contrast ranging from size, texture, colour and movement. Since its Daryl’s last book, his name has to be more dominant and bold but contemporary.
The title is what captures me the most because there is a high level of contrast being presented here. They’re colour, san serif/serif type and size. To top it off I gave it movement, starting from the left and leading all the way to the right. The whole title flows very well.
But like all designs, I felt that I could have done better due to the fact that the cover stock is textured. Thus the black text disappears a little bit, you need to see it with detail in order to read the beautiful set type.
If you are interested in purchasing this book click here (Amazon).
As a bonus, here are some initial ideas that I had for the book that did not make it. Which one do you like?
Coming back from a long weekend and getting back to work was always a tricky shift. Especially when you come back sore and bruised from snowboarding at Blue Mountain. I had such a great time that I didn’t want to come back but it is time to work again.
This week I want to share this piece with you. It is an expressive typography composition that features the quote “now or never.” I was greatly influenced by Tim Burton during my years of design school and I wanted to reflect his style in this piece.
The composition comprises of two different typefaces. The now is a serif type that is slowly transforming into a custom never san serif typeface that reflects nature and a grudge kind of feel. To top it off, I illustrated some very rough, straight vector drawings that benefits the marriage of the type.
Till this day the piece still speaks to me and I look back on it from time to time for inspiration.
The best days are snow days because books become your automatic best friends. And today is one of those days. The whole publishing house was sent home due to extreme weather conditions. As I sit here panting and wondering what I should do with my afternoon, I figured, this is a good place to start.
This was one of my first books that I had to design where I was the model on the front cover. Even though there isn’t much to see, it was still a good one. The story begins with a boy falling off a tree. He gets sent to the hospital for treatment and is told that he is lucky to be alive, like they all say. He buys the lottery and wins a ton of money. Through this, he goes through a lot of phases of who is his real friends and who just wants to be friends with him for his money.
The composition here is basically design 101. The idea of having certain elements from the book (boy, tree and lottery) and pasting it on a canvas to create a directional story. The upside down tree represents falling and confusion. The boy is dumb founded about where his life is going and to make matters worst, the lottery ticket represents obstruction. The direction starts from the top of the tree then leads the eyes down the book for the rest of the elements.
The interior stays consistent and remains clean for the eye of the beholder. Dumb Luck is one of the stronger novels in the Red Deer Press book list and continues to be a time less design.
You can purchase Dumb Luck by clicking here (Amazon).
Ever since I was a kid, I have always said that picture books are the easiest books to read. Till this day, I still feel the same but designing them is a whole different story. This was one of my first picture books and certainly not the last one of its kind.
I love the fun illustrations and the engaging story about how butterflies come to be.
When I first laid my eyes on the artwork and rendering, it gave me a very comfortable vibe. The chosen palette of colours was so vivid and soft. The drawings were very unique and fresh. What it was missing was interactive typography.
The interior stays true to the cover artwork and has an abundance of playful characters. I designed the story in a way that compliments each illustration, making it more fluent and adventurous!
The most challenging part was designing the activity at the back of the book. Children would get a chance to educate themselves and share fun filled games with friends. It was challenging because there was so much information to micro manage and I needed it to be clean and informative.
If you are interested in buying the book. Click here (Amazon).