process book

free improv

Process Book | Cover, Layout, Typesetting, & Content

Image oriented publications can be a lot of fun for the designer, since the challenge is to create a publication which helps reveal the visual content, without competing in the process; and curating enough material to tell the story, while ensuring the flow keeps the reader actively engaged.

One such example is a small self-referential process book I created, essentially documenting the creation of the artwork that would be used in the creation of the book itself.

Free Improv abstract design
Free Improv abstract design Free Improv abstract design

Based on some 4-inch Mylar stencils, I experimented with both analog and digital image making techniques to create imagery—from the literal interpretation of symbols as letters to abstract, meaningless combinations of shape and form. My goal, based on past extreme aspect ratio work, was to create tall skinny 6" x 20" pieces.

To document the process, this perfect bound book shows the evolution of these ideas, from experimentation to brainstorming and conceptualizing as I narrowed down to usable forms.

Free Improv abstract design Free Improv abstract design Free Improv abstract design

By superimposing these designs onto some of my photographs, I created yet another layer of interaction. This has been useful in other areas, such as album artwork and poster design, and can be found both in this book as well as the cover of my print portfolio.

An example of the use of these “free improv” images is a conceptual LP album design for the album Skyphone by the group Avellaneda. You just never know quite where these free form creative exercises might take you.

Skyphone Album Concept based on Free Improv work Skyphone LP label Concept

Explore Other Projects…

Design is process of creative problem solving as applied to challenge of controlling how a user (i.e. a reader) interacts with their environment (i.e. the book). While Book Design isn’t writing, editing, or illustration, it affects the success of all three. It is part production minded, and part visual story-telling.

learn more about paul nylander and illustrada design

I encourage you to step through my recent projects and learn for yourself how I have applied a design process to a variety of different challenges. Or jump back up to the overview.