So my initial designs for the book were super boring. Everything I created looked dead and like it would be better off thrown in the bin. I started out making a book I thought I could get printed with Blurb where the minimum to print is 20 pages, but realised I cannot fill 20 pages for this project so I decided to make my own A5 booklet instead. That design came out just as awful- it didn’t look remotely thought through and just all in all very un inspiring as seen below:
First and second book design, by Lisa
So after getting some help and feedback from a friend about what I could do to change this, I decided on making a concertina A4 thing instead and when I started designing that, everything just fell into place. It was instantly more fun to design and I could play with the format more, making it fit my app better as well.
This is in A1 size so it makes to folded A4 books which I then could make a cover to as well to make it more stable and so it s able to stand up. The only thing that concerns me a bit is if I have enough information on here but I think I ticked the most important boxes anyways so off to print!
To accompany my app, I need to make a book explaining the visual identity of London Poetry. As I have no idea what usually goes in such a book, I started researching it and focused on three different companies: Apple Pay, The Barbican and Skype as I thought they were a good mix of digital and print stuff.
Apple Pay- divides their chapters in: overview, apple pay buttons, do’s and don’ts, avoid mistakes, examples.
The Barbican- introduction, logo, lock up, grid, typeface, typography (line space, weights) and then what their different posters look like for different events like art, film, theatre etc.
Skype- logo (what it looks like and do’s and don’ts), typeface, colours.
Based on this I’ve thought about what I need to incorporate and so this is my list: introduction, logo + do’s and don’ts, typeface and colours.
The logo for my app came about with me approaching the work a bit differently than I normally do. I thought about what the logo would look like as an icon on the homescreen of an ipad before anything else and realised I wanted it to be really minimal in its expression because it has to work when being really small. It also had to reflect the app so what I did was to use a part of a scanned letter I did but cropped it so it’s only showing the edge of the paper and blackness of the photocopier but in a wavy way because I moved it around. And then I coloured it in pink and blue to go with the rest of the feel of the app, making it a bit Jessica Walsh inspired as well. The waves also link to the Thames and how London looks like from above, like a map. In this case, an extremely abstract map.
Logo for app, work by Lisa
I decided to use this wavy feature for the type in the logo as well as it reflects the app so well. My posters all have that wavy, bendy thing going on really accentuating the movement I created when scanning the letters, so picking up on that was a good way to go.
Logo tests, by Lisa
Now that I finally feel like I like my app idea to the point where I’m actually inspired, working on my screens went really quick. After one intense and productive day I now have an app concept and a prototype to show. Thinking about how to make my application interactive, I decided that I want the user to be able to do what I have done as well- create poems about their experience of London and make them into posters that you then can print. Making your poems into visuals. It works by you choosing the letter that you want for your poster, then you pick the colour and lastly you write your poem on it, add to gallery and print!
In terms of the design, I used the same 4 colours I had in my first prototype (blue, yellow, red, pink) for navigation as I think these also work for this idea. The font for the text is Avenir Next Medium and the letters I have manipulated are set in Big Caslon. I found out that I like the outcome of the manipulated type better when it’s set in serifs but as I am overall a very sans serif person and I needed a type that wasn’t so ornate for the rest of the text in the app to fit with the kind of strict and geometric design, I went with Avenir Next as it a bit rounded so it matches the curvyness I have going on with the posters.
This project has been on hold for a while for several reasons but the main one being that I still wasn’t happy with my idea and that has made it really difficult to continue with it. Doing more research, I went back to some of my original inspirations: Jessica Walsh and her usage of bright colours and a lot of blue, pink and purple, architectural photography focusing on geometry and angles (but this time I looked more into colour and minimalist photography) and text.
Moodboard, by Lisa
Sticking to my last idea about making collages from places in London, I’ve now developed the menu system for my app. I made it into a simple square using triangles to divide the different sections to mimic the ‘cut out feel’ of the collages. The font is called Expressway and one I chose because of its quite angular and sharp form yet still being inviting and friendly. Because of the colours I use, the design can easily look too childlike so a rounded font wouldn’t do- it was simply too friendly and I needed something to balance out these colours. Expressway does that successfully I think.
What my app idea is lacking and what I have been struggling to come up with is how the user will interact with it. I have gone through so many ideas (help!) yet none of them have really involved any interactive aspect and has mostly felt like a presentation of my findings and work. To tackle this problem I am now thinking about letting the user build their own picture of a place from the pictures I have taken in the form of collages. You will be able to save these collages to a gallery and make several different versions from the same picture.
Three examples of collages made from places I have visited and collected conversations, work by Lisa
Placing conversations in the places I found them may not be working out for me. These images are two of my outcomes and I liked the result for about three days but now, not so much. I feel like I need to develop this idea more because it is just too one dimensional. The photographs aren’t really working as I would like them to because of the poor quality of my camera and the visuals doesn’t seem inventive enough.
First outcomes for app, by Lisa
So, I have decided not to do the photographs like this. Instead I want to make my app more focused on type and text, perhaps with a few images as well but very abstract and made from cut out paper like what I did in this post because I enjoyed that very much. I want to incorporate poetry more somehow and make the conversations communicate more by themselves.
Designing my logomark for the map of me, I played around a bit with shapes of buildings and mouths as I wanted to capture both conversation and the city but it didn’t really work out. It just gave the impression of buildings talking which I wasn’t really going for. I also didn’t want the mark to look too crowded, but use only a couple of shapes. After a lot of drawing I came up with the idea of two stylised mouths half open like in the middle of saying something.
The opposite of what I had planned, my mapping of conversations has had to be done a bit backwards. Instead of first finding conversations and then exploring the area around it in search of a good photograph – I have had to do all the photographing at once. I wanted my images to be kind of high contrast between shadow and light which means I have had to time my work to London’s weather. I need sunlight. The lack of time I’ve had to focus on this has also forced me to change my approach. Maybe for the better!
The other day I went on a photo safari through parts of London I like – a walk I will have to do again but listening at different places instead of only seeing.
Contact sheets, photos by Lisa