For next week
1. Update and finalize the inside matter of your book
2. Create a cover and an index (if desired) for your volume. The assumption is all other volumes would carry your system. Since your volumes would likely sit on a shelf, consider type on the spine. Your front or back cover should include at minimum the following text:
* United States Department of Labor
* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
* Occupational Outlook Handbook,
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001
We will have a final critique next week.
Keep working through your system by adding four more professions to your layout. Come in after break with a printed copy of your five professions, trimmed and ideally bound into your book model. If time does not allow, then you may bind your layout separately.
The intention, as always, is for you to see your project in as realistic as a form as possible — then to share your latest work with the class so that you are emphasizing the areas that are most developed.
For next week
Come into class with a working design for one occupation. Remember you are creating a system that will be applied to every single occupation within the book. Your system dictates how all occupations will ‘act’. How will one occupation display similarly or differently than the others. How does your design create order, but allow for visual variety?
Look for ways to extend the “grammar” of the book model into the 2D space. The structural decisions you’ve made for the outside should connect to the inside. You may need to make another model if your book structure changes.
A pdf for next week is fine, although you should be printing on your own to hone the design.
Meet in the auditorium at 11:20a for the lecture
Present your book model(s) that communicate your systems to the class. What are the parts, and how do they connect
to form a consistent grammar? What influenced the decisions that you made? Make specific mentions of content when appropriate. Also consider discussing what the advantages are of your structure versus other options?
As you know, we are in dire economic times. The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 9.9 percent. Particularly helpful to the unemployed is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook. The directory provides descriptions and other essential information of every common profession. The format for the printed version (online as pdfs) appears much as it did in 1976 – at least ideologically. Take inspiration from the collected book assignment and find a more dynamic way of designing the printed Occupational Outlook. Note the Web page version is at http://bls.gov/ooh/a-z-index.htm and the 2010 pdf is archived here.
This five-week project asks you to invent organizational systems that can be used for the more than 200 occupational entries. An overview of the project:
* Week 2: Design the graphic matter for one occupation in that model
* Week 3: Updated design and model with a minimum of five occupations
* Week 4: Final group critique.
* Week 5: Revised copy due
In this first week you are tasked with understanding the content and building a “model” that communicates the structure of the complete work. What systems might be helpful in organizing the material in a clear but engaging way? How can the shape, binding, paper and other object-like qualities be used to create order and variety? How many volumes do there need to be?
Your book model can use blank paper or pre-printed material to help focus our attention’s on your systems. Be prepared next week to speak to the systems you’ve created and why.
The model should derive from close scrutiny of the material itself. Form opinions about what is valuable. Are photographs or illustrations helpful? If so, what kind? And treated how?
Go as far as you can within this research phase. Bring in books or examples on your laptop that show similar projects.
The trim size is up to you. Your model may be a miniature, if you like.
The book is double sided, full color capable.
Due next week
Pass your book to the person on your right. Take thirty minutes to scrutinize your classmate’s book. As you did last week with the printed books, point out the discrete systems that appear within the work. How did the maker of the work connect the disparate parts? Find moments of intention and surprise.
Present your findings to the whole class. Be sure to point out specifics within the book. Allow the maker to chime in at the end of your presentation. Discuss as a group.
Due next week
The activity today was meant to show how a book can hold together without relying on an overly repetitive structure. The books from today’s activity each interweave seemingly disparate elements (parts) to create a varied but cohesive whole (system).
Create a bound book of any size and page count using printouts of other people’s work, found magazines or newspapers, discarded paper and/or other material. Make an effort to collect a variety of material to sort through.
Although your sources will vary, the overall book should hold together as a single work. Consider the paper type, the trim size, the placement of type and images. Although there are factors you can control, the trimming of the book will produce unexpected internal proportions. Do not be concerned with the subject matter of the pages.
Do not collage or add marks to the printouts. You are gathering, arranging, sequencing, folding, rotating, trimming and binding only. Take risks within this small gamut. Be prepared to present what systems are at play in your book next week.
I have brought 12 examples of recently published books for you to study. I am asking you to spend an hour scrutinizing a single book in order to dissect its whole into its core visual parts. How did the designer, or how can you, connect those parts to form visible systems? How do those systems connect to form a cohesive book design.
The systems used to organize content and create a coherent experience within a contemporary book may rely more on paper type, image use, and type families than on the repetitive placement of elements.
Note page size(s), text block size(s), running heads, folios, colors, and other organizational matter. What paper is used? How do the systems connect or fragment the work? What reasons might the designer have had for arriving at these choices? What system(s) does the book rely on to define its grammar? Is there an overall concept that produced the systems? How do these systems connect to the content.
Present your findings to the whole class and comment below with the name of your book, author and the key properties of your book (ex: changes paper, grids used to denote subject matter, etc.)