To begin with I interviewed a VW enthusiast in order to establish a use for the project. After receiving feedback on the project I realised that there wasn’t much of a backbone to the idea, just lots of research documented in a publication and presented, plainly.
By interviewing a keen traveller, and VW enthusiast it helped me to build on the concept i had already. I also asked myself what I would want in a book if i were an enthusiast as well. The DIY aspect of ‘hippy van life’ was what grabbed me the most – in the same way it did with DADA and Punk. I began brainstorming ideas of intricacy. What materials cry for use, what could I use that could then be used further?
For the travelling I have done already, one very key aspect of it is documentation. The keeping hold of fond memories you’ve had in the past. Treasuring these, along with the van. It is after all about preservation at the end of the day. I came up with the idea of a integrating a useable scrapbook at the back of the book, with the hope it would open up a more personal response from the potential consumer.
As a keen traveller they were perfectly happy to chat to me about their love affair with their van, refreshing my and their own memory with all the beloved journeys taken.
I wanted to make many changes to the final publication. So, naturally, I drew all over the mock up version with ideas of how to improve. Starting with the cover, I went through page by page scribbling all over the design elements that were wrong, highlighting simple spelling mistakes and generally taking note of any areas that were open to improvement.
Using two images from my previous research I was able to super impose the psychedelic pattern that I had designed originally for the cover, onto the the van itself, both a front and back view. Suitable for the front and back cover. One of the things that stood out the most with my previous design was when you picked it up, you didn’t know what your going to be in for. To eradicate that issue, I redesigned it.
Much better. Now to add to the intimacy factor I need to alter the design slightly. As the vehicle represents an memorable experience, I must reciprocate this, and give the reader just that. For the front cover I have created a stencil of the “friendly face” the VW Bus has, the idea is that by using this stencil along with the print out of the cover itself, I can emboss the most prevalent features of it, inviting the audience to experience these features for themselves.
On the back cover I have taken another aspect of van life and used this to my advantage. Signature 60′s curtains, a key feature on every bus produced during this era. There’s nothing more to make you feel at home than curtains right? So i bought a roll of lace and thin wire and created dollhouse curtains to be stuck onto the back. The two horizontal metal grooves running along the back window will hold the words “Experience, Reminisce, Preserve” hanging from them in the similar way a dreamcatcher would. The aim of this is to encourage future readers top open the curtains and engage with the van itself. Prompting them to look inside, learn, and utilise.
I also experimented with foil to see if it was possible to use it on the embossed surfaces on the cover, further encouraging the viewer to interact with the book. So far this hasn’t been successful, but I have 3 more rolls of foil and hopefully once I’ve mastered it, it will look brilliant.
So thats the front and back cover sorted.
The design elements were all a little muddled up to say the least, when I originally created the mock up. After sitting down with the tutor, showing him my many scribbles, he advised me on what was best to do. Once I had spent a bit of time putting all my focus into what looks best page by page I was nearly there. I had shifted around the text boxes, added a little more colour, and overall made the entirety of its content look more appealing. I looked into 60s colour themes and applied these consistently across all of the inside pages, using green and yellow for headers and quotes. By making the font smaller on all the pages it allowed me more space to play around with layouts. The lesson I learnt here is that less is more.
Below is two double page spreads displaying sections of the new layout, new grid structure, boxed text and overall neater look.
The images within the book were also dragged and dropped off google. BIG MISTAKE. I went back over all of my research, searched through the library and scanned in every image I used, writing down correct references as I went along. All in all, this made the book more professional. Flicking through, there isn’t a blurry image in there. Result.
In order to create the finished hardback cover, I had to cut down bits of card to the appropriate size and using mounting spray glue to attach the cover to the card. It was a sticky process. I also had to cut down the handmade paper to fit the measurements of the inside to get the ‘scrapbook back’ in motion.
To finish, I would like the entire book wire-binded in order to fit in with the scrapbook, DIY feel, the book should have.