I finally started to work on the layout of my book after making a rough selection of 5 sections, which is only about half the content so far. I will divide each section or theme with a full spread with some graphic or illustration or photograph or film still to allow the images to breathe, or if you like will enable the viewer to see the narrative or expression or impression of the photos.
During my MA photography course, we had a guest lecture from Victoria Forrest (Forrest, 2018) Award-winning graphic designer who has been designing printed and digital publications for over a decade. During the conference, she emphasised some critical design planning aspects, and the top one was an audience, this was top of her list. I think my audience would be people from the Barbershop or Hairdressing industry, fashion industry and people who have not seen the inside of barbershops or have any insight to the life of barbers and the men’s grooming evolution that appears to be happening here in Hong Kong and generally all over the world. This men’s grooming service is one industry where you cant have this service delivered to your home (only as at a basic level), so you have to go to a physical place to experience the men’s grooming service where they have all the tools and proper equipment to make it happen.
Victoria also kindly did an online webinar guest critique of our work in progress books of my self and other peers, so I was able to show her the below first draft. The work I presented is a first rough draft, and I had a lot of pictures to edit before I inserted all of my sections of barbershops and themes and interviews, so this was by no means an indication of a finished product regarding book design, well anyway it was a start. As I went through the presentation, it became clear I was using many different crops of images and had many varied images and as she put it, a lot going on. She explained that because I had a lot of things going on I had to simplify the layouts and show more rigour in the design. For example, have all of my film photographs shown in a particular way or have the same crop or same size frame, so there was more consistency. I think this was something I knew needed to be done as this was really a rushed presentation, but it was a good reminder also. She also suggested I remove all the distracting colours and just have a simple layout and see how things look and then add an element after until it was enough, I thought this was good advice as my instincts are often to add elements during my early design process.
She said she thought I had done all the work with the photos I just need to bring them out and simplify my layout to bring out the best of the work. I think that I will create more designs with some different more consistent layouts and then keep adding and taking out things as a process to see what works best.
I will be adding many more pictures into the relevant sections of the book and also stripping down unwanted images I will take on board these suggestions.
Forrest, V. (2018). Design by Victoria. [online] Designbyvictoria.com. Available at: https://designbyvictoria.com/about/ [Accessed 14 Jun. 2018].