Monday, 9 February 2015


Over the weekend each member of the group was tasked with collecting some secondary based inspirational research and developing some rough concept ideas for the yearbook. On monday we had our second group meeting in which we aimed to define the specifics of the project and develop a final concept. 

Rough notes taken during the session are displayed below -


After briefly reviewing the visual research collected as part of one of the initial tasks we progressed with the group meeting by discussing ideas for the theme of the publication. 

In both previous years the BAGD graduates responsible for the publications design have chosen to integrate some sort of visual theme into the final outcome, in the 2013 version they had the student attribute specific shapes and in the 2014 version they had the small symbols relating to the specifics of the project. Therefore, after a brief discussion we came to a cohesive conclusion that as part of the project we will integrate a visual theme into the final outcome. 


A problem that was identified while reviewing the two previous versions of the graduate yearbooks was the fact that they lacked personality. The design and student work featured, although often flawless, gave the audience no idea about each students personality and individuality, aspects which define us as designers and help to set us apart from the crowds of other graduates finishing university at the same time. 

In our PPP module, John has repeatedly informed us about the importance of personality in a competitive industry where you can have multiple people going for the same job opportunities. Therefore, building upon the lack of personality in previous editions of the yearbook, our group decided to base our theme on the individual members of our year. 

Aspects of the theme could include;
  • Class photograph - similar to the ones in school.
  • Portrait photograph - putting a face to the work.
  • Portrait illustration (all done by same illustrator - visual consistency).
  • Self portrait (done by individual student in their own style).
  • Small illustrations on double page spreads.


After defining a visual theme for the outcome we progressed with the project by outlining the various design decisions, such as the colour scheme and type of stock that will be used. As previously mentioned, the aim of the session was to develop a final concept and outline some of the supporting design decisions that have relevance to the proposal presentations on Wednesday. 

The areas we finalised decisions in are listed below; 
  • Binding method
    • Finishing techniques
    • Stock


    When choosing a binding method we took into consideration three main things;
    • FUNCTIONALITY - Will it allow all pages of the book to open?
    • COHESIVENESS - Does it fit with the theme and communicate individuality?
    • APPEAL - Will it impress creative industry professionals & potential employers?

    In the first group meeting we landed on the idea of including small tabs within the book which would be featured at the start of each students individual spread. The idea is that information such as the students personal description, portrait etc, can be featured on the tab leaving the double page spread free for the placement of images. 

    The two images below illustrate the effect we want to achieve. 

    Project by Passport Design Bureau 

    Due to the choice to use tabs within the publication, which will be printed on a slightly thicker stock than the pages, we plan to use binding pins to hold the publication together. Using the binding method allows us to not only ensure that all pages of the outcome will open easily, but gives us freedom to arrange the pages in any order we want. If we decided to perfect bind the publication for instance, pages would have to be arranged into signatures which could affect the placement of the tabs.  


    The outcome is being created as a representation of one of the best graphic design courses in the country and therefore needs to showcase not only our amazing design work, but needs to also illustrate the impact printed design can have. To achieve this, the group decided to include a range of finishing techniques within the publication to showcase the amazing things that can be achieved through print while simultaneously creating an outcome the audience want to keep hold of. 

    Some of the perceived benefits of applying finishing techniques to the outcome have been listed below ;  
    • Illustrates impact of printed design - Important to our industry.
    • Creates an aesthetically engaging outcome people want to keep.

    As the project will be produced by Evolution Print in Sheffield we decided to access their website to find out what finishing techniques they have available and subsequently, the range of finishing techniques we are able to apply to the final outcome. 

    • Muller Martin publication production machine (collating, stitching and trimming).
    • Heidelberg cutter and creaser (folders, wallets & tabs).
    • Folder with continuous feeder.
    • Stahl combination folder.
    • Combination folder with knife unit & continuous feed.
    • Programatic Guillotine.
    • Four hole drilling machine.
    • 10 station upright collating machine.
    • Heidelberg platen (numbering, perforating and cutting).
    • Shrinkwrap machine 
    • Ram packer.
    • Winterling hand stitcher.
    • Valleto stacker.
    • Cucciolo stacker.
    • Poly bagging machines.
    • Rotec pile turner.
    • Auto creaser. 


    Finally, before we decided to start defining the decisions specific to the selection of stocks that will be featured in the publication I decided to get a GF Smith paper sample box so we could physically assess the styles and weights of the papers we want to include.

    One improvement we outlined when reviewing the two previous editions of the graduate yearbook was the choice to use one stock consistently throughout the publication. Although consistent design elements help to create a strong, cohesive outcome, we wanted to include a range of different stocks as they have such importance to our industry.

    The stocks would not be used randomly, but instead, each would have a specific application within the outcome, one paper type would be used for the bulk of the pages, another for the tabs and finally a thick stock for the publications cover. 

    While reviewing the stock selection available in the GF Smith sample booklets we were able to form a rough list of papers which could potentially be featured in the outcome.

    The list below evidences our choice; 
    • COVER - heavy matt stock (300-600gsm) Brown/Grey colour.
    • TABS - Medium matt weight stock (240gsm) Off white colour.
    • PAGES - Light matt stock (120-150gsm) White colour.  


    After finalising the decisions we were in a position to start creating the proposal which will be shown to a number of course administrators in two days time. As all members of the group had a heavy workload of additional on-goiong projects we decided to split for the day and work on the presentation tomorrow.

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