Type Radio evaluation

We were asked to design 3 double page spread or 2 double page spread and 2 single pages on an interview of a chosen designer of our own choice. After going through the transcripts and listening to the interviews on Type Radio, I’ve decided to work on Irma Boom. Having grasped what she’s like and got my own interpretation of her, I started to create visuals and thinking of how I could combine this into my design. 

I struggled with creating visuals that brought out my interpretation of Irma Boom – her duality and contrast between style and personality. I started off with making collages where I combined different people’s faces. I also tried to cut up some writing and jumbled them up so that it created an interesting pattern and sort of is like an encrypted message in a puzzle. However it was still a rather literal way of presenting my interpretation of her. 

I looked into how I could make use of the size and folding of pages to help present my chosen designer. I tried out having multiple folds on a page but I didn’t like it. I thought it would hard to place the text on the pages. I also considered using French fold so that you would have to look inside the folds to decode Irma Boom and get the whole picture of what she’s like. 

I decided to look at the research I’ve gathered on her at the beginning of the project and go back to reading the given transcript again. I then tried to think of Irma Boom as a metaphor so that it would carry my interpretation of her but not be too literal. I came up with a few of them and decided to make some illustrations and visual based on those metaphors. I didn’t like the visuals I’ve created and decided that the metaphors I’ve come up with didn’t exactly present her as what I had in mind. I listened to the interview on Type Radio again and flipped through my notes. I picked up how she said she doesn’t think of her studio when she’s at home and vice versa. Her quote of ‘when I’m up I don’t think of down, and when I’m down I don’t think of up’ inspired me to use a light bulb as the metaphor for Irma Boom. I tried linking it to the other aspects of her and it worked to bring out what I have in mind. 

I tried creating various visuals with my chosen metaphor of light bulbs. I used ink and tried writing with the light bulb. It was quite hard to control the amount of ink the light bulb dipped into. I also dabbed ink onto the light bulb and played with it to create different patterns. The prints came out interesting and abstract and I liked how they turned out. 

Having created suitable visuals, I then worked on the layout of body text. I thought using a trapezium layout would make it more unconventional. It’s not very often that trapeziums layouts are used. The gradual increase in length of text as you read through the interview/ go down the page also conveys how Irma Boom looks shy but is daring and bold in designing her work. It also reflects how you have to really know her to find out what she’s really like. 

I tested the layout with different formats and sizes, portrait and landscape. When comparing the two favourite formats I’ve got – 250x335mm and 190x255mm, I decided to go with the smaller one. Although the format was specified in the brief to be larger than A4, I thought the layout worked better on the smaller format. And having discussed with Hannah and David, they agreed and gave permission to use a format smaller than A4. 

Overall I think it is a really fun project. I’m pleased with how my magazine spreads turned out. And looking back at the ideas and visuals I had at the very beginning, I must say there are some great changes. I really liked the different day workshops as we had a lot of freedom in what we wanted to create. They also introduced a lot more ways of creating our own visuals. Magazine publication and layout designs are definitely something I would like to explore and work on more.