100 Design Projects: Part 4

The final class focussed on books and book design. Some of the projects we did included:

– Bookshelves that were unusual in their design. I drew a couple of designs but my favourite was the one in the shape of a fish-tank. Imagine having that on a wall to house your books!

– A poster advertising the merits of books to encourage more people to read

– A poster for Putney Library as a venue for people to discover new worlds through books

– An 8-page graphic novel featuring myself (yeah that was a bit crazy – not only did we have to develop a whole storyline in 15 minutes, we had to draw it as well)

– The frontage of a bookshop of any kind; mine was a travel bookstore with a facade that looked like a globe

– A cover for my autobiography if it was written today

– A logo for a photography magazine called ‘First Impressions’

– The cover of a magazine that doesn’t exist, so we had to invent one and then draw a cover. I created one for a magazine called (rather unimaginatively) ‘Innovation Monthly’

– And last but not least, we had to make a book from scratch. Some of my classmates made beautiful ones, I went a bit left-field and made a notebook that looked like Pac-Man, the idea being as you flip through the book it would look as if he was eating something, with the pages altering in size accordingly. One piece of advice for anyone who wants to make a book from scratch: don’t make a circular one! Much easier to use the traditional square or rectangular shapes when you’re working with needles, thread and glue to stick it together.

The whole course was a crash course in creativity. No idea was too bad, we were forced to think on the fly so planning was out of the window. For someone like me it was uncomfortable in the beginning because I’m so used to getting briefed in advance and having some time to decide what I want to do. But there’s definitely something to be said for working on the fly – as planners we probably don’t do that enough. It’s a very honest way of working, and it brings out the assumptions and thoughts about an issue or brand that you might think about but never really voice. This incredibly agile way of working encourages creativity as well – injecting ideas of all kinds into a situation is the only way you can solve a problem when confronted with something that at first glance seems insurmountable, but probably isn’t.

Absolutely glad I did it.

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