Upon reflection of my experience with Project 4: Blog Book, I have come to the conclusion that I felt a varied range of emotions. I enjoyed this project because it gave me experience with laying out a book. I find using InDesign to create a book as fun and ultimately very rewarding. I also liked how a book of our blog posts was the final project: to me, it is the perfect way to wrap up the semester and display all of the work and lessons we learned over the course of the class in one place. This project helped us exercise skills like using a grid, choosing typefaces with a purpose, creating a dummy, staying organized, and creating a layout in InDesign that successfully houses text as well as images.
Things I found to be good/beneficial:
Creating a dummy:
Although I had created a dummy book prior to this class, I really came to understand it’s importance during the beginning stages of this project. I would even go as far as to say that this project would have been nearly impossible without creating a dummy. Creating a dummy helped to decipher which order I wanted the content of my book to be layed out in, how many pages I would need to set up in InDesign, roughly where I wanted to place my text and images, and much more. It also helped with the printing process as we had to convert our file from reader spreads to printer spreads, something you truly cannot do without a dummy. It gave something physical that I could look at and use to guide me, like a map, through the creation of my book.
Looking for real-world examples:
It also made us look to the real world for help and inspiration: this project became alot easier if one physically looked through “real” books to see how they were arranged. It forced me to look through my “graphic designer’s” eyes, so to speak, because as usual, many of the things I was searching for in these books are completely invisible to the average person. For example, when a non-designer sits down with a book, they are most likely not doing so to check and see if the running headers are italicized or not; or what point size the body text is.
Using the Grid:
This project had a strong emphasis on using an underlying grid to aid us in laying out the content of our book. This was a great experience because it gave me practice with splitting my layout methods 50/50: partially trusting the grid, and partially trusting my own instincts, or “eyeballing it”. Practicing using a grid was beneficial and honestly makes it alot easier to come up with a clean, aesthetically pleasing design.
Deciding what typefaces to use:
This step was really important in creating the book. It proved to me how far I had come from the beginning of this class. With this step, I exercised my conscious decision making when it came to typefaces: I am no longer just choosing to use a font for no good reason, or simply because “I like it.” I have matured and grown in the class, and can more easily apply a typeface to a body of written language in an appropriate manor.