Connecting History: Alumni Zine
This project focused on organizing information across content and design, and how to use that organization to tell a story. It also involved a deeper look at type and grid systems.
I started by researching a graduate of the communication design program at the Carnegie Mellon School of Design: I ended up choosing Reina Takahashi. Based on my findings & relationships I saw to the information my classmates found, I planned a narrative to tell about the alumna/ alumnus. I then designed a print piece (a three-spread zine) that conveyed this narrative.
After researching Reina, I started drafting a narrative structure for the zine based on the images and information I had gathered. Using this as a guide, I then wrote a biography for Reina to use in the final zine.
I also began exploring different options for type, trying to consider what voice I wanted to convey and how I could create hierarchy in my piece.
some of my thumbnail sketches (top) and an earlier iteration of the spreads
Using the visual narrative as a guide for the content on each spread, I moved on to the layout of my zine. I started with thumbnail sketches to explore a range of ideas, then moved back and forth between higher-fidelity layouts in InDesign and sketches as I worked through my designs.
Reina works primarily as a paper artist now, and I wanted the zine to reflect or respect her work. After some iterations, I decided to create my headings out of cut paper, and incorporate layered paper throughout the spreads.
I then started considering how the covers of the zine. I worked through several iterations of the front cover, at first trying to layer my cut paper letters on top of Reina's work, then switching to my own scanned paper after some feedback from classmates. (The cover also incorporated a block of information that would remain consistent across the covers of the entire class' zines, designed by our professor Stacie Rohrbach.)
For the back cover, I needed to create a diagram that showed the relationship between my alumna and some of the alumni my classmates had researched, based on information we had collected and organized earlier. I thought showing the favorite colors of alumni would match the playfulness of the spread, but the design ended up being too busy and switched to an earlier plan that showed which other alumni were freelancing.