Tutorial with Ray

We talk mainly about The Big Idea, as it’s going to be the core show peice, but we also had a brief chat about my business card design.

Serendipity: A Designers Guide

I had printed out the publication spreads today so I could look at them as a physical object, rather than on-screen, because the printed version obviously will be slightly different. I’m pretty happy with how it’s sized, Text and images, but there is still loads to adjust as this is just a first draft. Ray wasn’t too displeased, and suggested I try to bring more elements of Serendipity, or happenstance as he tends to call it, into the publication, and ‘word association’ was repeated.

I told him about my idea of presenting the book for the show, and the workspace I wanted to create around ‘Design For Chaos’. He was unsure of this and told me I need to focus more on the book, for this reason I’m trying to get a second opinion on it, and will hopefully get a quick tutorial with David before this week ends.

An interesting thing came up when discussing the book with Ray, which was, how he was working on a publication and the pages had no order, as of yet. Thinking about this, what if my publication had no order and it was down to the user. So I was thinking about the book being done in ring binders, so you can take out and move pages, while being a pack that comes in a box that you have to put together yourself. Of course you’d receive some kind of instructions and the box will be suited to the book, plus a nice way to present the project.


  • I’m going to highlight any mistakes I made on the first print, and any alterations I need to make.
  • Research word association and word perception
  • Design the cover and box design
  • Update and develop collage pages
  • Explore ring bindings and boxes, price

I apologies for the lack of pictures, I lost my phone on the weekend….it’s been a hard few days, but I’ll be okay.


Leon A. Heppel

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 14.23.06

  • Leon A. Heppel
  • 1912-2010, died age 97(impressive)
  • Granger, Utah USA
  • Former National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientist
  • Pioneered the study of enzymes that modify RNA
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences


Leon Heppel, a researcher at the U.S. National Institute of Health who was the owner of what might be described as the ultimate messy and chaotic desk.

Heppel’s desk used to get so messy that he occasionally would lay a sheet of brown paper over the top of all the mess so that he could continue working.

One day, as he was rifling through some papers on the upper and lower levels of his desk, he came across letters from two totally unconnected researchers.

Seeing a potential connection, Heppel put the two in touch with each other, an outcome that eventually led to a Nobel Prize.




Serendipity Cover

As important as the content of the book is, the cover comes first and is what people initially see. Like the Print Handbook I was given last year, which I was studying over Easter, I was interesting by the gatefold cover it had and would like to do it for this publication, partly due to the potential it has.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 12.23.55.png

An example of gatefold

I also want to experiment with hidden messages and the way the reader interacts with the book, serendipity is to do with discovery so an element of discover is maybe needed in the book.

obviously I’ve got to work on the content. I’m thinking of using quotes, inspiring sentences or even song lyrics. I also think it would be good to temporary seal the gatefold and see if people discover that it opens..? again just trying to make it interactive and a puzzle.

I think it would also be interesting if text on different pages lined up and contradicted itself, or went from being negative to being positive, but subtle.


I think I want the cover to be on white, or a shade of it, in a colourful collage style, spelling out serendipity in newspaper cut out, like ransom notes:

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 13.09.11.png

With possible, unless it becomes too distracting or chaotic, random text and images.

Plenty to get on with, but I’m happy and enjoying the creative freedom and experimenting with mediums and in this case, a books potential.

Serendipity book

I spent today re-doing the pages I did for the publication I intend to produce for ‘The Big Idea’. I’ve also decided to change from working on a square format to a easier A5 one.

Inside front – page spread

I think this is pretty much done. I got the idea of displaying a collage on the inside front and back from learning about the connection between serendipity & juxtaposition. The first page I wanted to simply have to definition of the word Serendipity, but I then got the idea a design the page around the theme….so when I thought about it serendipity I thought about discovery, which gets me to the magnifying glass. Think it works pretty well.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 21.36.28

How to embrace serendipity – page spread

sticking with the colours scheme and typefaces

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 22.15.25

I just decided to be experimental with this, and in fact it’s something I wanted to be with the whole publication, but to start with it was a little messy. I’ve still got the content to add, as I’ve used some of the google text, but that shouldn’t take long as the layout is pretty much done ready.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.11.37

Google – page spread

I decided to abandon the colour scheme for this page, although, I might create an alternative version to see what it’s like with the colours I’m working with.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 14.48.43

Inside back – page spread

This will be the collage that starts on the inside front cover. The opposite page with have a quote about Juxtaposition, in relation to serendipity that is. All the images I used where from  Pixabay, which is a royalty free website. Again, I’m happy with this.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.27.55


I’ve got the following spreads to finish:

  • The Map(which is a big one)
  • The Creative challenges
  • Additional spread – explain the connection between serendipity and creativity
  • Front cover
  • I also want to add quote through the book

The Big Idea

I decided to put the SSP project behind me for the meanwhile, and revisit ‘The Big Idea’. So today I went into uni, working at home had become very difficult for some reason, and instead of going on my mac I spent the first hour + sketching out my plans for the publication.

FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)

I’d come to realised that my original spread designs for the publication weren’t very tasteful and messy, so I wanted to work on that, and after doing the SSP event guide I felt like I had a greater understand on uniforming a book.

I wanted to work on:

  • Style
  • Colour scheme
  • Typefaces
  • Necessary pages and info
  • Imagery

I was also considering the need for the digital platform. I think there could be, maybe, a digital side, even if it’s just a twitter account that could have all the necessary info, without having to design anything.

Re-visiting The Big Idea

As I want this to be one of my show pieces I’ve decided to spend a bit of time over easter developing it.


Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 15.58.48

This is what I was left with when I finished the project. I had created a simple website, a number of spreads for the publication, a cover design, app design.

One of the most noted piece of feedback was that that the simplicity of the website and the app, didn’t feel uniformed to the publication, which as the core of the project. For example

A spread from the publication

Tip spread

A page from the online site

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 16.51.04.png

I’ve got to work out whether I work towards the website being more like the publication, or the other way around. The publication is mean’t to be more than just a book, I want it to be interactive, inspiring in it’s design and context, while the website, in proportion, is a lot smaller, say this because If I’m producing the book I needs to be sustainable and the website just need to be simple and user friendly. I think the icons are what need to connect the touch points, which leads me to another criticism….the design of the icons.

Since the project finished in February I did re-visit it once to develop, well experiment, with the cover design for the book.


Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.00.10


Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 19.02.02

I felt like the cover wasn’t doing any justice to the book, and I know how important a book cover is in making a successful publication, I also wanted to integrate some flat-design into my work, so I thought I was worth experimenting with. So I thought about what my book mean’t, the meaning of the word and came to the conclusion that serendipity was to do with signs from the universe, which lead my to the idea of an image of earth. What I ideal want to do is bring in some elements associated with design, e.g. pencils, computers, books, etc.. which could circulate the earth. I’ve just been going through google and I got some ideas from these images:


Plan is to experiment with colour, text and imagery. I think I’ll do that tomorrow with some work for SSP.

Experimenting with flat-design

First play around with flat design

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 18.44.36

Quite happy with this. Want to make it appear more mystical. After working on the background colours –

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 18.45.23

Love the how the blue resonated from the earth. Think I need to work on the type, as it’s starting to look like a children’s book, and I’ve started adding graphic design symbols and items that are circulating the earth –

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 18.45.49.png

The pencil spaceship

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 18.46.05

Fineliner pen, but this needs some work. I will bring in a few more graphic symbols and hopefully compose a piece to replace the original design. Oh, and was looking online and found that some design had a hand around the earth, which I like and might bring in –

Happy with the progress. I understand that I might need to alter the books design to match this, but I think it could work, and shouldn’t be too time consuming.

Oh and a little mock-up to see it in context –

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 19.02.02.png

👌 happy with this, although plenty to alter and develop, might even consider leaving the front cover title free, but the depends on what kind of book I produce, may not have a spine to work with. plus, that the purpose of the inside page?