The focus for my publication, iconic British automotive design, stemmed from my research into Jaguar cars, specifically the E-Type, that then moved into other iconic British cars.
I wanted to aim my work towards the more stylish and sophisticated of British gentlemen as I though this would be the audience that would be most interested by something like this. There are no specific high-end automotive magazines, however, GQ has car articles and is targeting the exact audience I wanted to aim my publication at. I therefore decided to use GQ as the basis of my publication, not however copying or emulating their style, but producing something that would appeal and interest their readers with the same finesse that GQ has.
My initial idea was to produce a small bound book/publication/supplement that would inform the reader of some of Britain’s most iconic cars; something similar to high-end magazines and publications, such as Creative Review and GQ. After some careful consideration and having come up with other designs, producing a fully bound book would not be possible to produce to the standard and quality I would want. With this in mind I decided to create a non-bound collection off cards that contained the same information as the book.
I didn’t want to produce just a selection of cards as they would have no real value or point, however, I didn’t want to produce something bigger than magazine size. Although it would not be bound, I still wanted to produce a publication that would be a supplement to an edition of GQ.
GQ recently produced a supplement to their magazine, focusing on watches. The publication is extremely crisp, sharp, engaging and informative. It iPad version of British GQ Watch Guide is also extremely interactive, allowing you to gain more information by touching certain areas. The amount of information within the supplement is impressive, containing opinions, images, style guides, interviews, infographics, links out and illustrations.
GQ as a publication is spread over both print and digital and therefore I wanted my publication to be in both forms, printed and as an epublication.
Due to my limitations, however, I will not be able to make my epublication interactive, instead it will be a simpler page/slide publication.
My main focus for this piece of work was layout, and after having a critiwue to discuss whether what I wanted to produce would be suitable, this is where I started designing.
Before I could produce initial designs, however, I needed to make a decision on the content and elements to the work.
There will be slight variations between the printed supplement and the digital one due to how they will be used.
The differences between the 2 formats will be as followed:
The printed supplement will be able to be printed double sided and therefore the information on the front should relate to the information on the back.
The digital supplement will be a continual document ant therefore will just be a stream of pages.
The cars that are documented in the supplement were chosen after putting a small questionnaire into the public domain and using the most popular vehicles. The people who filled in the questionnaire were mainly potential GQ readers and older gentlemen who have grown up with the vehicles.
The chosen cars were:
Aston Martin DB5
Land Rover Defender
Preliminary Layout Ideas and Designs:
I decided to cut the number of cars I looked at due to time restraints, as the sections I wrote for each car took longer than I had previously expected. I also chose to remove the contents page as I thought it was unnecessary and surplus to requirements.
The layout I settled on was the one I though functioned best, both printed and digitally, as well as providing the most information in the available space.
The layout, in terms of print, is 11 double-sided cards. These cards consist of; a front cover with a blank reverse, a introduction with a blank reverse, 1st car image with information on the reverse, 2nd car image with information on the reverse…7th car image with information on the reverse, 8th car image with information on the revers and finally the reference page which can over flow onto the reverse if needed.
The digital document is exactly the same as the printed document, but all of the blank pages are removed and the information relating to the image is put to the right of said image.
I wanted to design the document so that it would appear perfectly on an iPad as that is the only size restriction the work had. The printed supplement could also be the same size, as it had no constraints.
Now that I wasn’t binding the cards I wanted an alternative way of presenting them and holding them together. My initial idea was to wrap them in black tissue paper and seal them with a sticker on both the front and back. For this I designed some simple stickers to seal the wrapped cards so that if they were to accompany a GQ edition they would not just be put into a plastic sleeve.
I chose to work with entirely black and white (with the excuse of the photographs) as I thought it looked the most professional and aesthetically stylish, powerful and in keeping with something you would find in GQ.
For similar reasons to the colour I chose to use BodoniFLF Bold Italic for my headers and titles. Bodoni is a sophisticated and elegant font, which is used in high-end fashion magazines globally. I thought it was an appropriate font to use as it emulates the elegance and sophistication of the automotive design, the publication and the audience. After some research into which body type fonts compliment Bodoni I chose to use Futura Medium as it was simple, legible and readable, yet was not over powered by the Bodoni.
BodoniFLF Bold Italic
A decision I made whilst producing the supplement was to use only lower case letter in my titles and headers. This decision was simply made because I thought it looked better aesthetically.
As I was unable to acquire primary photographs I sourced secondary ones. With every photograph I sourced I had to ensure it was printable in CMYK, making sure the colours did not lose any of their properties. With each image I also had to ensure the dpi was 300 so that they looked clear, crisp an unpixelated when seen on screen. Finally all the images had to be cropped and resized to the actual size needed so that they would function fully through all of the software I was using. All of this photo editing and photo manipulation was done in Adobe Photoshop.
Once I had sorted out all of the photos, I wrote all of the information and found all of the necessary facts for the main sections of the supplement. With this all sorted it allowed me to use Adobe Illustrator to position all of the components for printing.
With all the work finished in Adobe Illustrator I transferred all but the images over to Adobe InDesign. In InDesign I had set up a 20-page document that I could transfer my work from Illustrator into. Transferring all the positioned text from Illustrator into InDesign whilst, at the same time, placing different images into the document so it looked the same as the print edition was difficult and time consuming. This was due to some pages requiring the image to be placed before the text was transferred and vice versa.
When everything had be correctly arranged in InDesign that was saved/exported as a PDF so that it could be put onto an iPad
For printing the Illustrator files had to be converted into PDFs. Each double-sided card became a PDF and then they were all combined to produce a large PDF containing every side of every card.
After the work had been printed it produced a problem. It became obvious that the black tissue paper I had intended to wrap the cards in would not be substantial enough and therefore not suitable.
As an alternative container I produced a card envelope that was thick enough to hold all 11 cards and allow them to be removed and replaced easily. This also meant that the item became more of a collectable as it now had its own packaging and holder.
The stickers were used to seal the envelope and also as an aesthetic decoration on the front, showing what was inside.