How to generate a great outcome? How to get great ideas? What is the best way for me to work?
To assist in answering these questions, I trialled some processes.
An important and helpful process was to write a brief. In the brief I answered the questions, what do I want to do? and how am I going to do it? Writing a brief encouraged a thorough examination of the design challenge, adding clarity and defining the essential nature of the task.
Through telling humorous stories about my experience of the public mental health system, I want to communicate the message this system does not aid mental health or well being. Making, publishing and distributing a zine is an awesome way to do this! As a communication channel, a zine can be budget conscious, and express my unique perspective through uncensored self publishing.
This philosophy of both constructing and producing a communication piece, allows me to contribute to the conversation surrounding mental health in Australia, to challenge, contest and create cultural understandings. (more information on this will be in the blog post covering Semantics and Graphic Languages)
To detail the printed zine, it consists of 6 x A4 double sided, digitally printed black toner on coloured paper, 2 x A4 double sided, digitally printed full colour on white paper, 1 x A3 double sided, digitally printed full colour on white paper, and 1 x 6×4 colour image on photographic paper. Hand stitched with thread for binding.
Choosing red, orange and yellow A4 paper, folded vertically into two panels, with some pages being horizontal and folded into three panels, and cutting out sections of pages to allow the page colours to ‘mix’, enabled an exploration of my approach towards colour. The flower images are also primarily red, orange and yellow. Utilising this seemingly unrelated set of images allows the person reading and viewing the zine freedom of association when assigning meaning to these images. (personally I think they look like triffids from the fiction novel ‘Day of the Triffids’ by John Wyndham – the various connotations of this make me laugh.) I assigned typefaces to portray characters (people) in the stories (as opposed to stating each character’s name every time they appeared), playing around with the idea that a strong visual element (such as a distinct typeface), often repeated can be translated by the zine reader as ‘meaning’ or representing the character (person).
Another integral process trialled was creating and abiding by, a timeline. The timeline created was based loosely upon Aiga’s Designing Framework. Detailing tasks to be completed by specific dates encouraged working methodically and consistently through the design of the zine. An important step in the timeline was an interim presentation. This interim presentation forced a realistic assessment of how the zine was progressing, resulting in changes to tasks and timeframes in order to meet the deadline for printing (and assessment submission).
The research process for creating this zine was (atypically) minimal. Choosing the zine’s topic was easy – I have wanted to convey this experience in a more public way for some time. I was also able to draw upon previous work experience in the printing industry in design related roles.