Reflect on the three process books shared during this unit. In your post, assess how each book design successfully and/or unsuccessfully communicates the designer’s ideation process and guides the reader through the creative process. Are there specific communication tactics that any of the designers use that you may want to integrate into how you present your own process?
I think each of the three process books shown as case studies within this unit’s curriculum communicate well each of the designer’s processes. As a brief overview, I was initially drawn to Jamie Turpin’s ‘table of contents’ image, maybe because we both come from a similar background (I gather she has a background in building arts) – but probably more so because I found the use of color and categorizing quite helpful. Within each of the broader categories of her process she incorporates much ‘finer-grain’ detail which the user can peruse if they desire – essentially, it functions much in the same way that a good poster does; there is a wealth of information and intrigue, and it’s available to the viewer at whatever level of engagement they desire. I think this can relate to my own goals and aims in communicating my design process because I want the method of communication to be both complex and simple, so that it can be “understood” in a sense at a glance, but also to have the robust information behind the brief overview that it actually does.
What was interesting about Jane Dorn’s process book was the well-integrated mix of book-quality typographic setting and ragged sketchbook scans. I think some of the best and most interesting design, architecture, and art books in existence today have found a way to strike a line between the informational and pragmatic realities of text and communication (fine typographic setting) and the messy, circular, cyclical, unpredictable nature of design process or artistic process. I think her process book is getting to this place where it’s achieving this kind of balance, and I find that quite compelling. I would like to strive for that in my own work someday, and maybe produce a “process book” which is both a compilation of sketches and messy scans, and a formal, well-composed book. Ironically, I found her process book itself more compelling than the actual final product for that project (but don’t tell her that!). It was quite nice.
April Bliss takes a similar approach as Jane, though on my initial glimpse through her process book the first (and rather overwhelming) sense I got was that there was SO much information (maybe too much?). I think this gets at a notion I find often in my own work and in the representation of my design process – what do I show, and what do I not show? Probably a partial answer to this question relies on a good assessment of your target audience and also what it is that you’re aiming to say. But even with that said, I’ve been in situations with clients and in my job where I’m unclear as to whether or not I should show a little bit of process or a lot.
All of these process books were well-crafted, extremely thorough and varied in their approach. It makes me wonder if someone like Hugh Dubberly (whose current representations of design process are so polished and awesome-looking) has piles of his own process books like this laying around from the past. Who knows!