Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures In Design

© Adobe
          While completing the final portion of the food desert project, I used Adobe's InDesign for the first time. After a quick tutorial, I was left to my own devices. I had a little trouble understanding how the final PDF would appear, causing me to export it a few times before I was finally satisfied with image placements. Going over the PDF in class showed me what needed to be fixed, changed, and moved around. While I was generally pleased with my "final" product, I am now actually happy with the overall appearance after applying feedback suggestions. Nicolas Bourriaud's The Radicant mentions journey forms. This collaborative book will act as the final leg of the journey into the food desert, chronically each artist's individual experience in the world.
          In my previous blog post, I discussed the aesthetics of Joel Greenberg's book Urban Wilderness. While considering the design for the six pages I had to work with in InDesign for the collaborative class book, I kept in mind the clean layout and formatting that Joel Greenberg used. I chose to not clutter my pages with several images, placing at most two images on a page. I do enjoy a nicely configured grid of photographs, but for the photographs I had for this project I felt their aesthetics benefited from only two images per page. After trying several different types of text, I chose to nearly omit text from the pages, allowing the photographs to speak for themselves. I used the same photograph and text of canned goods that I used in the video I created for this project as my cover image. I felt it was a powerful way to draw attention to the issues in the food desert without using an abundance of text throughout the layout. I feel that when every artist's images are placed in the book, it will read in a way similar to Ed Ruscha's instructional art work Twentysix Gasoline Stations. There won't be step by step instructions, but the photographs may present themselves as a narrative that shows the journey form. Perhaps, if someone picks this book up in the library, they will be compelled to go out and photograph in a food desert.


  1. I think in the case of the food desert, it was probably best to omit most text and let the person get a feel for what was going on inside of your head on your journey, rather than spoon feeding it to the viewer. Sometime too much text can overtake an artwork, and letting photos speak for themselves is often the most powerful option.

  2. We have talked in class about what an outside viewer might think of the book. I agree that the photographs create a narrative that show each of our journey experiences. I was wondering if we will be able to get our points across, and if we have become part of the shaping of images and realities in the world.

  3. It would be possible to experiment with using few images and allowing for more white space to make the few pictures you included more powerful. Did you see an advantage of InDesign over the MagCloud template we used last term?

  4. I enjoyed the sparse styling of your pages that are going into the collaborative book project. Your images are strong enough that it might be overwhelming to have more than one or two on a page at a time. Also, I agree with your views on using text. I think unless the text has a definite and clear purpose, it should be left off entirely. Great work!