On Tuesday Amber and Danny introduced the BAGD yearbook brief, in which students are tasked with getting into small collaborative groups to organise and present a proposal for the course specific publication that is distributed at the end of each final year.
The brief, if the proposal is successful, is quite an extensive undertaking. Therefore, it was suggested in the briefing that students engaging with the project should work in small groups of around 3-4 people, ensuring that the workload is both shared and manageable.
For this project, I am working in a team of three people, consisting of myself, Danielle and Joe.
YEARBOOK ASSESSMENT & ANALYSIS
After organising the group we decided to progress with the brief by collecting a body of secondary research, the aim of which was to review and analyse the yearbooks produced by past members of the course.
The process of analysing the past yearbooks was really beneficial to the group as it not only allowed us to identify the aspects of the publications that worked well, but also allowed us to outline areas of the books that could be improved. As a consequence of the analysis a number of applicable ideas were generated that could be used to form aspects of our proposal.
- The cover was doubled up as a contents page listing all of the designers featured within along side the year of graduation.
- Work produced by students was categorised using this key which was in the first few pages of the publication.
- Symbols from the key were included next to the projects so the audience can determine how the work was produced.
- Each student has a double page spread to fill with images and information, the layout of which has been predetermined so it is consistent throughout the whole publication.
- Page information included the students name, disciplinary focuses, a short personal statement and their achievements and experience.
- Parts of the book were divided by double page spreads such as the one displayed above.
- The booklet also included an interactive aspect, allowing the audience to access more information on certain projects by scanning the page with their smart phone.
- The idea is really effective as project descriptions were often not included on the spreads. However, personally I am not sure how many people would have engaged with the feature as accessing it included a lengthy setup process.
- The cover of the book included a foil stamp illustration showing the shapes created by 'the grid'.
- Unlike in the 2014 yearbook edition, the format of the publication was square, a design decision that has a lot of limitations when it comes to creating layouts for the book.
- In the preliminary briefing it was made apparent that we should move away from this format.
- A short introduction on the first page has the primary function of introducing the course.
- Each member of the course has an individual shape created for them using the grid, an aspect of the publication used to illustrate each students focuses and preferences - useful for potential employers as it allows them to review work that has relevance to them.
- Each member of the course had a single page to display work and therefore could only ever include a small number of project images.
- Furthermore, only a short description was included communicating information about the designer - More information was needed!
- The publications pages had also had a number of full bleed project images.
- The final page of the publication included the grid with each individuals path overlaid to create an engaging yet relevant visual.
While we were reviewing each of the yearbooks notes were taken to record the successful aspects of each publication and any ideas that were generated during the analysis process.
Notes taken are displayed below;
SUCCESSFUL ASPECTS -
- In the 2014 Yearbook they separated students work in relation to how it was created, personally, collaboratively and/or for a competition or live brief - The idea of separating students work is relevant and helps to break up work.
- Each student had limited space to display work in which they could choose to feature as many projects as they wanted - Layouts were all predetermined.
- Student information in the 2014 edition was limited to their name, their disciplinary focuses and a small personal description - much more successful than the 2013 edition in which information was very limited.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT -
- There was no photographs of the students, just a name and work focused information, we ascertained that this was a problem as their personal identity was lost and we had no face to associate with the work.
- The book lacks designer identity, the importance of which has been repeatedly discussed in the PPP modules.
- The 2014 yearbook edition lacked any production techniques such as die cutting and embossing etc - As a design course we should be showcasing such techniques.
- Pages could include a small project description.
- We could create a third year website/ instagram account - shows story of graduation/promotes end of year show etc.
- Include engaging production techniques where relevant.
- Different stocks could be used throughout the publication.
- A flap, around the quarter length of a page could be used to display student information with an arrangement of project images displayed below.
- Size should be similar to the 2014 edition, good scope for layouts and handy enough to easily carry around.
- The key created for the publication should extend to wayfinding at the final show.
- A class photograph could be included - similar to the ones you have at school - could fold out.
- Branding could also be created for the yeargroup, such as a logo for the promotional instagram account and posters for the end of year show.
While generating ideas for the outcome we decided that an instagram account, created to showcase our third year work and raise awareness of the course, would be hugely beneficial to our year. Not only would the account allow us to display our third year work in a public sphere consequently raising awareness of the course and individuals, but it would also allow us to record the journey of graduation.
Some of the benefits we thought of are listed below.
- Showcase work third year work - Raises awareness of individuals and course.
- Allows us to tag industry professionals and studios - networking benefits.
- Allows us to document the story of graduation in a public sphere.
- Allows us to build a base of followers to whom work will regularly be displayed to.
- The account can be passed down to the year below ours once we graduate so they can continue the page and access the audience of followers we gain.
Despite the concept being part of our proposal for the yearbook we decided to create the instagram account anyway, as even if our group doesn't win having a third year account has countless benefits. Therefore, before leaving for the weekend we created a course email and instragram account.
Once we had created a course specific page we immediately started the process of adding studios, designers and project images for members of the course. There was an immediate response to the creation of the page which quickly started to gain multiple followers and likes.
Finally, before we separated for the weekend we decided to set ourselves some small tasks to be completed for our next group meeting on Monday. Completing these tasks will enable us to quickly generate a final concept and
- Mood board/blog posts - Inspirational publications (focus on production techniques).
- Publication Ideas/concepts.