We Make Adventure With What’s Called Choice
Cover design by Susie Lepro
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by John P. Corrigan
Publications are inherently collaborative. The working relationship between contributors can vary. Traditional book and magazine design separates authors creating content, and production artists, translating the ideas of others into a visual form. Contemporary book and magazine publications encourage artists and designers to author meaningful and expressive content beyond the idea of a “published” monograph. Today, many designers are initiating their own projects, wielding their visual skills and knowledge of the publishing industry to become their own producers. The designer as publisher is in a unique position to unify text, imagery, layout, and final production into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
As an educator and teacher of design, my pedagogy dynamically integrates the creation of books and collaborative projects among students. Collaborative books require each student to act responsibly, creating content that is both social and interactive. The creative act of making a book becomes a physical archive to the learning process. Graphic design is bound to the written word. Strong language and narrative skills allow for a better understanding of hierarchy, structuring content in an appropriate and meaningful context for an intended audience. Books demand the rigor of aesthetics, editing skills and production considerations—the book itself becomes a reflective didactic.
This book project was loosely designed and reflective to the needs of its participating students. As the faculty adviser to this project it was my intention to fully allow, and openly encourage, the students to define and structure the books parameters. As a group the students determined the subject, established the ‘rules’ of engagement, outlined the structure, defined the creative parameters, and maintained its aesthetic voice. Each student was allowed the freedom to work independently within his or her designated pages. As the thematic content shifted, each author/designer respectfully reacted to the needs of the group and overall integrity of the book.
A predominate theme of the book is a collected data set. The content is collected through a Q & A format. The group determined a series of fifteen questions based on general categories of interest. A sixteenth question, based on Occupy Wallstreet and The Other 99%, was uniformly asked through social media sites. Each student authored their own series of questions in order to obtain a unique set of responses and given sixteen pages to expressively present their research in whatever aesthetic they determined as appropriate. The title of the book, We Make Adventure With What’s Called Choice, was concocted by combining words from a collection of favorite quotations gleaned from the collection of responses.
The student’s dissemination of this project has produced a richly diverse book. It is both reflective and personal. Each of the authors varied interpretations present a diverse and varied cultural snapshot. Each collaborator presents a critical exploration of personal connectedness.
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Collaborative Book Design
BFA Graphic Design Studio
Fall 2011 Publication Design
DES 386 001_Cat.#1936
John P. Corrigan
Title & Half–Title
Copyright & Contents
Illustration and Design
Jennifer Hackett, Timothy Hirschey, Susan Lepro, Hailee Mierow, Ashley Moncrief, Leah Monson, Mackenzie Owens, Micayla Sipe, Caitlin Teague, Daniel Thiede, Lou Vang