Typography Book Publication

Experiential Graphics- Small Scale (features or elements)

Project Narrative

This project was created for my 'Typography I' course at my university. I was tasked with creating a publication layout for a typeface of my choice: Akzidenz-Grotesk. The requirements included: a front and back cover, 6 interior pages (3 spreads), 3 sections divided logically, a minimum of 3 photos, 2 pull quotes and some sort of diagram. Some of the other logistics included: a 450 minimum word count, folios (page numbers), heads and subheads and at least 6.5 inches of surface area when closed.

This project touched on 5 stages of process: research, planning and sketching, digital set-up, layout, and refinement. Typical stages of the design process. I chose to further develop the project beyond the specifications that were assigned. This made the time frame more intensive, but the challenge more rewarding when the project was finalized with more content than required. I had to work more closely with my professor and spend more time out of class making refinements, then getting feedback and repeating until complete.

I created 9 spreads and 1 front and back cover. I wanted to take the idea of the project and expand it with the potential to create a system (a larger book publication), since that was a more realistic approach to graphic design work. At that point in time, I was particularly keen on learning more about real-world design approaches, outside of coursework assignments, so I would often push myself out of the general scope of the project – with permission from my professors.

This project had been done many times before by the previous students of the class, and we looked at those examples as a ‘diving board’ for my own work, so it was important for me to create something different from what had already been done. For context: Akzidenz-Grotesk is a typeface that has previously been used for the New York City subway system. It has since been replaced by Helvetica, a younger and very similar typeface. The transportation system is one of the most notable uses of Akzidenz-Grotesk, so many students and designers previously had used that as a mode of inspiration for certain devices and accents in their designs. Although there is nothing flawed in using inspiration from real life instances, it had been done so much and so well that I wanted to take a different approach that was not linked to how the typeface is used in reality, but instead something that was a good design approach that could be used as a standard for a series of works (ex. a large publication or several volumes of a smaller publication). Hence why there are a few repeated layout styles across every few spreads. One I got through the minimum requirements, it was important to see if the visual identity of the publication could be expanded over a larger flow of content – the reason why I ended up with 9 spreads instead of 3. That is beauty in the creative liberty that can be taken in coursework projects.


Project Details

Submission Category

Experiential Graphics- Small Scale (features or elements)

Date of Completion

December, 2022