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mardi 4 décembre 2012


Definition and objectives:

As a final major project, I am producing a "survival guide for erasmus students", an illustrated book which contain a collection of tips and personnal anecdotes to promote the erasmus experience and help the students in their personal experience.
It has to be funny and friendly, to make the information attractive and also to be a reassuring object. To obtain that, my pillars are:

-       •  funny illustrations
-       • friendly tone in the text
-       • communicative layouts

Also, it seems to me that talk about my personal experience was really important to make it human, so I included little comics telling my stories.

Some inspiration: an advertising from 1kilo3, an advertising company that favor humanity, quality and fun.

1kilo3, advertising for Lirio, Philips


I started with layout researches, because I wanted to involve them since the beginning and it helped me to visualise my content.

I was influenced by the way artists like Delphine Mach or Noemie Marsily make their layouts; and also by “Studio Pomp”, which had publications similar to what I wanted my book to look like.

Studio Pomp, "Graduation Guide for design students", 2012

© Delphine Mach

In term of images, I wanted something sketchy looking, but with strong masses of color, like Mela Koehler.

Mela Khoeler, "Fashion", 1907-1914

Then the layout became more precise and I started to write the text and produce the illustrations.

At first, I worked on the administrative part, wich seems to be daunting. It was difficult to visualise and  similar to a classic brochure.

So I tried to work on the entertainment part. I started to include crazy layouts, closer to my first sketches.

At this point, I had the idea to include comics telling my personnal experience. It was a good way to involve the reader and humanise the content. 

Now I had found a system that worked, with informative content (typed), tips (handwritten) and personnal anecdotes (comics). I got most of my pages done quickly, the style becoming gradually more precise.

Eventually, I came back to the first part (administration) and found way to make it personnal and fun. I replaced the first illustrations, that were very standard by little allegorical monsters.

Back in St Luc, I will have to adapt my work considerating the feedbacks of my teachers, but my objectives are to finish the chapters I could’nt do here (by running out of time), the cover, and more importantly write the part “after the erasmus”, which will be based of my experience there. Finally I will have to concentrate on the production part (printing, diffusion,...)

While I was working, I had the luck to be constantly with my audience : international students. It is a very specific audience with specific needs. It is important to precise that I am my own audience too.
It have to be small and transportable. Also, I don’t want something too precious, because (clumsy) students must feel comfortable to manipulate it.
To print it, I will use the selfpublishing website “Inky little finger”.

An accurate alternative to the book would have been to make a website. Indeed, the content would be easily adaptable in a very interactive interce: the chapters could be “tags”, and the little mascots could be clickable and movable buttons. It would also be more accessible to my audience and more time-related. 
However, the book support is important because of his materiality. It communicate more humanity and makes it a reassuring object. It also makes it something unique: there is plenty of websites about the ersasmus experience, but almost no books.

So, if I work on a web version, it could be derived from the book, but not be the main product. Here is a ruff example:

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