FMP: Designing the front cover

From now on I will be focusing solely on the brochure, as one of my tutors and classmate in the graphics group suggested Blurb to me, an online company that allows you to design your own brochure, and send it off for printing. I have had a look into it, and was really impressed with it. When the tutor mentioned people in previous years have gone down this route, I asked if he had some copies around I could look at, which he did, so I was able to assess the quality, which I was very impressed. To go down this route, will mean I need to allow 7-10 business days for the design to be printed and shipped. Therefore this means the brochure becomes top priority, as my calculations tell me if the deadline is 24th May, then I will need to get the design done and sent off for by the 10th May to allow enough time (plus some contingency) – so from tomorrow I have 16 days to design it…

Size of Brochure: I have chosen the Small Square  (7×7 inches) size for the brochure from their options as this is slightly more compact, so can be more efficient while still allowing for a large spread size, to suit landscape photography, so that is what size I’ll be working to. The reason why I did not go for a more traditional size is that from my research, I feel they are too large when opened, and the reader has to scan the spread from left to right, instead of taking it all in at once.

Paper: I shall discuss this later on in the project with my tutors, as I feel this will be the best time to do this. However, my initial thoughts are that a lustre finish would complement the photography beautifully, as it will allow the colours to have true vibrancy to them, something a matte finish will not allow for. And a glossy finish would create unsuitable reflections, meaning it would not be so easy for the audience to view the designs.

Cover Design 1: So here are my experiments with the first proposal for the cover. This draws on the experiments I talked about in a previous blog post, where I am focusing on a minimal graphic that will characterise the style of the Range Rover. Out of my experiments I felt the grey on black colour scheme was best, making it look like it was appearing out of the darkness. It started with this image, and from there I felt it was missing something, and that something I realised was the Land Rover logo and slogan ‘Above and Beyond’ which I have decided to keep instead of re-invent.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 13.41.24So at first I tried placing it under the baseline I had put in place under the text, which didn’t work, so I then tried it above the car, but that didn’t work either. In the end the method I thought of that worked was to move the ‘The All-New Range Rover’ text to the top, and put the logo and slogan below.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 16.24.41I am very happy with this design, so I asked around and got a lot of feedback, which was very positive, apart from one of the tutors, who stated that it looked “childish” and that what I think is minimal and stylish “resembled a kit toy car” – which was rather odd, as no one had mentioned that before… This is a classic example of how design is a subjective thing, and it isn’t possible for everyone to like everything. To make sure this was not an opinion held by others, I increased the level of feedback I asked for this piece, which supported my thoughts.

Other comments which I received through feedback was that the car is too large, and the fact there are no wheels. I tried making the car significantly smaller, and then asked people whether they preferred the design above or this one, with absolutely no bias attached whatsoever, and everyone picked the first one as it was felt the Range Rover is a car with a big presence and the design should match it.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 16.24.20

This told me that I had made it too small, and there was a happy balance in between, so I have made another design and I think this works well. Maybe there are some more adjustments needed but I am happy with it at the moment.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 13.14.59

Returning back to the wheels, both tutors felt not having the wheels there was a big issue, especially with the all terrain capability of the Range Rover. I agree in principle, but at that point, was focusing more on the shape of the body, knowing there was not an elegant solution for showing the tyres, which has surprised me because I thought it would be an easy fix but it isn’t, so I will need to keep working on that, and will update my blog when I have achieved it.

For the back cover, I copied the format from the front, replacing the front view of the car on there with the back, removing all the text as that is not necessary, and placing the Land Rover logo centrally. Of course the issue with the wheels will need fixing.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 14.01.00

Cover Proposal 2: I wanted to try another cover design, as up until this point, I had another idea I thought may work, and wanted to experiment with it. The idea is a more traditional one, focusing on a photograph of the Range Rover in a stunning landscape, to highlight the lifestyle aspect of the Range Rover.

This also features a design style I am interested in carrying across for the brochure, which is to have the photograph dominate the page, then have a band of black at the bottom, which will feature relevant text/logos etc… I will need to be careful this is wide enough and that its contents are placed far away enough from the edge of the page for printing purposes to ensure a consistent quality.

Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 I then had an idea I really wanted to try out, which was to desaturate the most suitable design, and see how it looked. The thought process behind this was that being monochromatic, allows the form of the car to attract the main attention instead of the vibrancy of the sky or the sand as has been the issue with the other designs. Research has also shown me a monochromatic approach is one that is associated with elegance. As you can see below, I am really impressed with this result and think it looks great, and importantly is what the audience will be looking for.Idea 3 b+w

Which cover design to go for? I don’t know yet, both are strong options, and I think I shall decide probably once I have designed the entire brochure, as that will ensure the design I chose is as relevant as possible, as it may be that the design will suit one design over another.