One of the main projects I am working on this semester are project revisits, where we get to revisit projects from second year and redesign them using the skills we have learned in third year. For one my revisits I chose to redesign a book project I had done in second year. I had originally redesigned an existing series called “Warrior Cats”, because it had an outdated look to it and didn’t connect well to it’s more youthful audience and edgier feel of the books.
This is the cover and a spread of what the project first looked like. I really liked how the cover turned out, so I’m not planning on changing much. I had originally tried to stay away from the traditional chapter book layout to be different, but looking at the spread now I realize the chapter book style would work better and be less type-congested. I had also made it bigger from it’s original size to fit in more illustration, but now that I plan on type setting differently the overall book size will need to be smaller.
I also had done hand drawn illustrations for the beginning of each chapter, and full page illustrations for the end of each chapter. When revisiting this project I would like to change the style of the illustration, to better connect and match with the style of the cover.
I first started with sketching out new styles of the smaller illustrations at the beginning of chapters. I tried to render them in a similar style of the cover, going with a more planar/minimalist approach. Each cat represents a main character within the book.
From the sketches, I then moved to rendering them in illustrator. The illustrations match the cover better now and have a more similar style that is flat, bolder in colour, and plays with negative space and shapes.
I then moved on to resizing and re-setting the type in the book. I made the book itself 6×9, a more standard chapter book size but sill slightly bigger for illustrations. I changed the typesetting to a one column approach with bigger margins to look more like a chapter book, and also allow the type more breathing room. The body copy was also changed to a serif font (Minion Pro), which is more legible then a sans serif in the type format.
The next steps would be to render all the full page illustrations, and then to do minor type setting tweaks and editing to the spreads and cover. The cover still needs the bar code and publishing, and I plan on playing with placement of the intro and review quotes not the back.
I already like how the redesign is coming along, and I know that I am heading in the right direction to addressing the design problems I have found in this project so far.