Print / Illustration
About the Project
The main goal of this project was to incorporate knowledge of typography and grid systems, and make appropriate design decisions based on the content. This aim of this book is to show my skills as both a visual person as well as verbal and using those skills together. The audience of this book is teens and young adults located in the bay area looking for a bite, my peers, and future employers. There weren’t many constraints, except the fact that we needed pages in multiples of 4, for printing purposes. The end product turned out to be somewhat of a Yelp/Food Guide in a book sort of thing, but presented in an elegant way for print.
When I first started thinking about content, I thought about a Yelp style food guide. Yelp is one of my most used iOS application and most visited websites. The design is simple, clean, and easy to get information out of. That combined with my love of food convinced me that this was the way to go. The only problem was, Yelp is a web/mobile application, and this is a book. The design choices that work for applications usually won’t work for books. Because most food guide booklets/magazines I found online were more of simple straight up reviews of restaurants without much information, I had very few options for design references.
We started by creating a one page spread. I went with what i had seen so far, just reviews, and pictures, but it didn’t go so well.
My first shot at making a book, as you can see above was made with the mindset of making a very simple, reading book. Just the restaurant, review, and pictures. However, I realized that this was not what i wanted did not display my visual skills at all, and was a bit hard to read. I ended up trashing the whole thing.
This was closer to what I wanted. The first page had a good amount of information about the restaurant, and the spread had two nicely sized images for visuals, and a map. However, I still didn’t find it aesthetically pleasing. I felt that the information should be better presented, so i redesigned the first page.
Round 1 Redesign
Now, the information was called out a bit more. I removed the labels from the map, because they didn’t match any of my fonts. However, it was clear that the map as a whole did not fit in with the book. I also didn’t like this set up because the map was too big in proportion to everything else. It made the information look small. I should also point out my poor design choice to use a regular capital with small caps. Don’t do it.
So after a bit of restructuring, I made a more major change to the first spread.
I decided to draw my own map here, to match the style of the book. The information is displayed at the top near the restaurant name, which i though was more appropriate. A lot of things from this version influenced my later design choices. One thing i didn’t like about the book still was that it didn’t look very modern, which was a problem because I was designing this book with the more modern, younger population. Not only that, but my professor pointed out that the color scheme on this was too medieval, and didn’t match what I was going for. After all, I was going for a Yelp feel. So I decided to simplify on the colors because it was a very likely case for me that less is more. And thats exactly what i did in the next round. During this time my teacher also showed me a great design reference on Behance: Reference Here, for a book based on Zomato, which people call the Yelp for outside of the United States. Finally, I had the perfect design reference.
Here, you can see that I decided that I wanted just one font, and I choose Helvetica. Sans serif to give it a more modern look. This was my first design that I liked even just a little bit. The issue was that there was a lot of blank space in the banner on the left, and a lot of white space near the restaurant title. Someone also pointed out that a lot of things around the restaurant title are around the same weight, and perhaps consider clearing up the hierarchy. One thing that many people thought and I agreed on was that the icons were quite large. So heres what I decided to do about these things:
My final round. Of course, there were a lot of smaller changes in between, but this is the important one. I replaced the content in the banner with some excepts of actual Yelp reviews. And I moved the address to under the map, where it sits very nicely. I threw in some labels on the major roads, but not too many labels. As you can see the problem of too much blank/white space has been solved. The icons are smaller, there’s a clearer hierarchy, the banner on the left is lighter to draw less attention to it. Towards the end, there were just so many small changes I had trouble deciding between, like how the page numbers should be represented in the table of contents, how the fork and spoon should be at the beginning, tracking and kerning in things like the title in the cover page and addresses, things like that.
Overall, this book pictures exactly what I want. A Yelp style guide that serves to introduce people to some really awesome restaurants around the Bay Area.