For this project, I had to research a graphic designer, write a biography, and design a book that reflects the work of the designer. The problem was not from writing about the designer, but compiling all of the information and transferring the text into the book. Throughout the process of designing the book, I felt confined to the four-column grid and a strict structural layout. It was difficult pushing past the standard book layout and coming up with a creative concept. I found that sketching out the entire book by hand and having a rough, but visual representation, of the final product is very beneficial.
Tadanori Yokoo is the designer I was assigned to research. His work is incredibly inspiring and very autobiographical. His work does not follow the norm nor is it simplistic. His style of designing and juxtaposing images and words contrast my own personal style aesthetic, which is clean, orderly, and simplistic. However, after being completely immersed in his work, ideology, and philosophy, I’ve learned to break out of what I’m accustomed to and tried something different. Yokoo is a complex and utterly unique designer. I wouldn’t want to reflect a strict, cold, and minimalistic style in the book especially since he’s the complete opposite.
I attempted to add variety to the pages, while keeping the four-column grid guideline, by cropping out some of his images from his artwork and blowing them up so they create an interesting visual interest on the page. I also took works that reflected the chapter and cropped some of his posters to create a border across the pages. Yokoo is a very colorful and saturated character, and I wanted to reflect that throughout the book by using bright colors.
Since he’s a modern designer, the type faces I used throughout the book are: Helvetica Neue for title pages and subheads, Century Gothic for chapter openers, and Baskerville for the body of text. Initially, I wanted every page to have a colorful background, but I found it daunting to the eye because it will affect the readability of the text, so I opted for the standard white background with black text.
Overall, this project was educational, stimulating, and fun. I learned a lot about Tadanori Yokoo, his time period, and grew a fascination for psychedelic art. I was able to challenge myself to break out of what I’m used to and attempt a style that’s new and different. I believe my end product is successful and something I am proud of.