A Pandemic in Review
Project Overview + Topic
For this project, each student was tasked to edit and compile a book on the topic of their choosing. A Pandemic in Review reflects on the current epidemic and how it is affecting people around the world. Through a visual narrative as well as a news archive, the book encapsulates the events of early 2020.
In this project we were allowed to make a book about any topic of our choosing. In this initial step, I decided that as an added challenge, I wanted to take on the responsibility of writing part of the book and also writing something that is both personal and universal. As a part of this challenge, I decided to make the book based on the COVID-19 global pandemic. This class took part in the summer and was created soon after the first wave. A part of the design problem was to create a personal experience but a relatable one while also being sensitive towards what people are going through.
Visual Exploration and Book Covers
For the initial step of the design process, there was a visual exploration using images that students find relative to their project topic. This project used images from various news archive websites, such as CNN. The images were placed in a variety of positions and alignments to create a narrative without the use of text. These images were all taken during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
There were two potential covers for the book to begin with. One used a full bleed image of what the coronavirus looks like under a microscope and another was a mask that was image traced to become a digital illustration. Both these covers represented the book well but due to the content of the book being a narrative about people and the news rather than a scientific exploration, the first covers seemed to be more appropriate.
Book Grid and Getting an Estimate
The grid for the book was decided in the initial stages for a 5x7 book (which was later modified to 5x8 due to the printing limitations). This grid system allowed for a lot of freedom to separate the two types of text that the book had: personal reflections and news postings. The book quote was created near the end of the project as an exercise of what a designer would create as they were getting a book printed and how to appropriately communicate with print shops.
Proposed Solution and Results
The quote for the book was used to print the final booklet. Hopefully, after this experience, the book can be further expanded on using the other phases of the pandemic and republished. The book was meant to cover a very personal and universal experience and was a very important way to incapsulate a life changing event. For now, the booklet is 64 pages long.