For all of the last semester of the last year we worked on our final major project. It formed a substantial part of our final mark and would also be presented at the degree show. For 18 weeks we would be working on a brief we created, so it had to have substance and genuinely interest us to keep the momentum going and not run out of steam half way. This was about the same time that an Apple event had been called, one which would eventually lead to the unveiling of the iPad. It was a time of great discussion about the future of print, would this Apple tablet put the final nail in the coffin of the print industry?
This seemed the perfect topic and for the next four months I was busy keeping track of all the discussion and opinion that was being thrown about the Internet. The sheer amount of research certainly helped with my reflective journal (a project that ran alongside the final major project and helped illustrate our research). As I was researching print it made sense that the final outcome would be something related, I played around with ideas of a book, magazine, zines, posters or blog articles. I produced a series of ‘poster’ zines to document my research and provide a chance to experiment with layout and paper stock.
By the time that the Easter holiday rolled around (half way point more or less) I was playing around with the idea of a ‘pretty book’, a book whose contents perfectly demonstrated why print still had plenty of life left in it. During the four week holiday this eventually became ‘Is print dying?’ a book that brought together all my research and provided a space at the back for some of my work to be committed to paper. After playing around with format I settled on a 40 by 25cm spread (the closest rational approximation of the golden ratio) and a seven column grid, this grid allowed a great deal of flexibility whilst staying close to the three column grid I used for my own work.
The content was divided into five sections with the headings physicality, personality, permanence, futuregazing and creativity. The first three were the key attributes of print in my mind; how it feels, its layout and the permanent nature of paper, and the last two let me look ahead and include more of my work. I came back from the holiday with 180 pages of content that in the remaining weeks was refined before being printed on GF Smith Naturalis smooth recycled and hand bound by P&G Wells.