Bear books improvementsPosted: April 28, 2016
To kick start the process of improving on this years projects I decided to do go back and improve on my, newly named, ‘Three Small Books on Big Bears’. Designing the books was probably the most time consuming thing I had ever done, but also one of the most fun projects I have taken part in this year, so it wasn’t too bad.
The feedback that I got from David Wrenne was excellent. Definitely the most detailed and constructive feedback that I have ever gotten from a tutor. He listed everything that I had done well, but more importantly he broke down what needed to be changed in order to improve the books.
One of the main criticisms he had was that the books where too similar to each other, and that a lot of this had to do with the fact that they all used the same colour scheme. Originally the books used 2 colours, a dark grey and a creamy white. The colours worked well together but when looking back I did notice that after a while the pages got repetitive. A lot of this was down to design, but from the start I had decided that I wanted the pages to have similar layouts, which was mainly due to time constraints.
I figured that the best way to make them stand out as individual books, while still keeping them as a trio, was to give each one a unique colour. Now the original colours will still play a key part, as they are basically black and white, but there will also be a hint of something different in each book. I went for a simple light grey on the first book, as it fit in well with the design and is very easy on the eye. The second book has a deep blue, which complements the depth of the American woodlands in the background. For the third book I kept the same colour scheme, as I felt that the white fits the polar bear perfectly. Here are some previews of the pages with the new colour scheme.
For the front covers I had quite a lot of contradicting opinions. David thought that the covers were too similar, whereas a lot of my peers and family members really liked the simple design. To try and figure out what to do I did some research into other books covers that utilized the same design over a series. An interesting set of covers that I found where the new Lord of the Rings book covers.
Each one has a circle in the centre of the page, with a black background and text above and below it. The only difference in each cover was the colour of the circle and the illustration behind it. When looking at my covers I thought that they were quite similar in the sense that they have a consistent shape that changes colour, with the only major change being the different environments behind it. I think that they are simple and with the colour changes, have just as many inconsistencies than they do consistencies. This is why I have decided to keep the covers the way that they are. Although I did make some changes to the text so that the title stands out even more.
Going back and improving on the books was a lot of fun. I was quite pleased with them when I first designed them, and obviously it is always tough to hear criticism of work that you have put so much effort into, but that is how the design industry works. After getting a lot of help with grammar from my parents, I have finally sent the books of to get printed out properly. Hopefully they will be done in time for me to take pictures of them and put them in my portfolio, as real images are a lot better than digital mock-ups. You can view the entire project, along with my other work, on my portfolio site –www.tobycottrelldesign.myportfolio.com