I was very excited to see Pressing On listed under our assignments this week. I watched the documentary early in 2018, and looking back now I think it was really influential in igniting my interest in design. Seeing the passion in all of the film subjects, regardless of how long they’d been working with letterpresses and how much experience they’d had with the machines before starting out, was very inspiring. Just a few months after watching the film, I bought my first design books online and started getting into the field more seriously — so it was a joy to revisit it. I think this time around, the sense of history and legacy in each machine hit me even harder: it’s touching to see how seriously the subjects take each “printer rescue,” for example, since each machine is unique and will be lost forever — not just as an object, but as a technology — if thrown away.
With our Invisible Designs assignment, I went back to redraw my grids following the feedback I got. I used six-column and nine-row grids without margins or gutters as a way to experiment (except in my website draft; that one stayed twelve-column). I tried a lot harder to stick to it this time, and hopefully it shows! Understanding that the article spread could be worked on as a spread, with elements spanning more than the single page, was really helpful. Right now, that’s my favorite layout of the three. Another thing that really helped me was plotting the elements in black and white before moving onto color, although I did tweak some details after that. Below are my B&W grids and the color versions that followed:
In developing the look and feel some more, I tweaked my color palette to have a darker brown, which was useful for contrast against the cream background color. I also went back to re-do my earthy-edge elements all in the same scale — this time creating some long strips to be used in footers and image edges. Lastly, I decided on a two-toned teal and cream treatment for images, to add more visual cohesion throughout the pieces. They definitely feel more unified to me this time around, even if things like the palette and grids aren’t used exactly the same across the board.
I’m excited to continue developing these pieces. I’m looking forward to working more on the website especially — I’d like to add some more elements below the fold, since I imagine this to be a single-page website, with the menu links auto-scrolling to different headings. I imagine the header and footer would stay fixed on the page, but the title would shrink to a single line so that the header can be thinner and not take up so much real estate on the screen. I also envisioned the teal image in the landing page to be a slideshow, featuring more pieces from different geographical areas. I think prototyping these animations, as well as any other hover or scrolling interactions, would be really exciting as a way to help the page come to life.
For reference, the artwork used in the poster and website is by Aboriginal artist Michelle Wilura Kickett. The images used in the article spread come straight from the original Print magazine article.