Monday, 25 April 2011

'What is a line?': Reading material and design influence.

For one of our 'What is a line?' session workshops, we were asked to bring along four books which related to our chosen subject. Of course, my subjects were clear: astronomy, constellations, and stars, however, I was unsure as to how design focused this subject would be.
The books I gathered were:

- Wonders of the Universe by Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen
- Philip's Star Finder by John Woodruff and Wil Tirion
- A concise guide to the stars and planets by Duncan John and
-  Dorling Kindersley Stars and Planets by Ian Ridpath

Overall, I was really pleased with the books I purchased- some elements of which had huge influence upon my work...

I loved how bold and design focused the style and layout was in Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen's 'Wonders of the Universe'- really helping the reader to engage, focus and respond to the book- visually inviting, often using bright colours- particularly in an organisation-like scheme of colour coding along the right-hand side of the page to corresponding chapters/headers.
Simple, bold geometric shapes and totally unfussy- a great design focus for the complex yet very rational world of science- would really suit the style of my own work and designs in the constellations project.

These star maps in Woodruff and Thirion's 'Star Finder' inspired me to create my own- with a Sophie twist. Although I was, of course, very engaged and interested in their designs from the start, I wanted to break them down to an even simpler and more design-like style (see work posted earlier in the blog for reference).

This book, 'A concise guide to the stars and planets', along with other internet image sources proved really useful when illustrating my own constellations. Without tracing the original constellations, I wanted mine to look as accurate and truthful to the originals as possible.

Undoubtedly the most useful book I encountered throughout the entirety of this project, 'Dorling Kindersley Stars and Planets' by Ian Ridpath was an excellently written book, with a wide target audience and a narrative and written word that wasn't too complex or imposing- a great start for the amateur star-gazer or astronomical enthusiast. This book proved most useful to me for information regarding size, name abbreviations, etc. This felt like a book I could really trust.

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