I recently undertook a commission to design a poetry anthology for the Make Our Rights Reality campaign– a youth led campaign for a human rights based approach to mental health which I have been part of for a few years. I have designed a digital PDF version (linked above) as well as a version for print and an EPUB ebook version. It can also be found on the campaign website here.
This isn’t my first time designing a book for digital PDFs and for print, but it is my first time working to a company brief- they supplied the content as well as their branding guidelines (colours, fonts, logos, ect) and I maintained a dialogue of sending drafts and getting feedback then making changes as needed. It was also my first time working with the EPUB format- I had to essentially throw the graphic design rules in my head out the window as EPUBs don’t keep formatting such as kerning, tracking, and leading as they are made so that sizing and fonts can be changed to enable easier reading. Images had to be removed for this version too as they were far too small and not resizable on the EPUB, as well as removing the decorative bits of design and page numbers. I also had to reformat the text so that titles, author names and the actual poems were all in one text box to keep the content in the right order- everything kept shifting and moving to the wrong place every time I exported it as an EPUB. I’m really pleased that I stuck it out and finished this version in the end as I learnt a lot about that particular format and would feel more comfortable doing this if needed in the future.
Overall I am pleased with the work I have done on this and the charity I worked with are very happy so my first ever commission was a success! My main criticism of myself was that it took me longer to complete than I would have liked- the EPUB was trickier than I thought it would be to figure out (and isn’t as aesthetically pleasing because of the restrictions of the format) and with quarantine happening feedback was slower coming which slowed down my process. I think next time I’m going to give myself a tighter deadline and schedule to stick to to make it easier for myself and to deliver faster. I’m looking forward to receiving my own printed version too which will hopefully be printed and sent out soon!
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