designer brochure

April 17, 2014

Here are the first two brochure thumbnails that I had completed before we changed course on the preparation for our project. They are scanned as front and back, but looking at them on the page I will be scanning each one of them with the cover flap open but the back flap closed to show the continuity of design in that configuration…coming soon. UPDATE:  The open flap versions are now loaded with their corresponding thumbnails…these are front page open, back page closed.

The first has the cover with the title “PLANES CRASHING”, and Tibor Kalman’s name on the front, all done in intersecting planes on the page to give a three dimensional effect with the type. I would also possibly use the MAD logo as a grounding “floor shadow” underpinning the intersecting planes. To pull it off, the idea would be to use translucent tints of blue, pink and yellow or green for each word, similar to the jazz at willisau poster that Ferranto showed us last week, but in 3D perspective. The inside flaps would have sections of text plotted on the grid, with dotted lines that mimic icons of flight paths leading from one piece of text to the next.


Planes Crashing brochure - Outside

Planes Crashing brochure – Outside

Planes Crashing brochure - inside

Planes Crashing brochure – Inside

Planes Crashing with Front flap open

Planes Crashing with Front flap open



The second brochure used the title COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES and would be a play on the grid itself. I thought I would use Kalman’s iconic crumpled paperweights in small size to create the lines of a grid, but then place text blocks outside the areas you might expect them to be. I also wanted to use the image of Tibor Kalman’s “Things” Napkin Quote which admonishes us to “throw this thing away”, and as a handwritten element to further underscore the idea of hand penning or coloring outside the lines.

Coloring Outside The Lines Outside

Coloring Outside The Lines Outside

Coloring Outside the Lines - Inside

Coloring Outside the Lines – Inside

Coloring Outside The Lines Front flap open

Coloring Outside The Lines Front flap open

Kalman Brochures Open Fronts (both concepts)(PDF)


Another way I’d like to explore Tibor’s “Things” quote further is to design the brochure in a way that makes it imminently disposable, or reusable; again to “throw this THING away and make your own THING” as Tibor instructs us.

At this point we are now to work with display type and come up with six ideas for the brochure title, using two contrast pairs each to create them. I think the title of my first brochure serves as one, the graphic line elements with the lettering on the second brochure need to be a bit more thought out but that will serve as number two, and I’ll be posting four more by the end of the day.

Check back later!


April 20, 2014



(and a Color version of one of the original two above)

“Bad Boy” theme, “Coloring” theme with a nod to the typeface used in COLORS Magazine, Planes Crashing (made in Adobe Ideas app on my iPhone…kinda cool if a little cramped way to do a color thumbnail on the fly…only unfortunately I didn’t catch that my “planes” layer and my “crashing” layer are in the wrong order; “planes” should be on top. Also, it’s a little indistinguishable in the simple thumbnail, but the white shape in Coloring Outside the Lines_02 is a reverse silhouette of Kalman’s crumpled paper 3-D design from M & Co Labs.


Bad Boy Thumbnail_01

Bad Boy Thumbnail_02

Coloring Thumbnail_01

Coloring Thumbnail_02

Planes Crashing Thumbnail_01


April 30, 2014


Below are the mock-ups of my first published draft; I actually went through at least 4 or 5 layouts until I was finally pretty satisfied with this one (and I realize it is way different from either of my 3-page Thumbnail sketches. Because the body text takes up so much real estate on the brochure, I abandoned the idea in earlier drafts where I was breaking up the pieces and plotting them apart from each other, hoping the reader would connect the dots. Instead, I approached it in larger segments, allowing for an introductory section on the first inside flap, a chronological summary on the inside middle section, and two closing paragraphs to bracket the entire piece; one on each of the right inner flap and the back page. Finally, I need to decide whether to tweak the phrasing in some of the paragraphs so they aren’t linked to a previous one that isn’t geographically close in the layout. One that comes to mind is the phrase “in that regard” in the last paragraph on the back page. That excerpt can almost stand alone.

Graphically, I experimented quite a bit with how to break up the image fields, and alternate solid color with transparency to echo the idea of layers of intersecting planes. I came up with a grid that was split in half vertically and in thirds horizontally, with the middle third a bit more narrow than the top and bottom third. It feels like it works pretty well so far.

I deliberately left out an image of the designer as I felt that most of his portraits that I’ve seen are from specific periods of his design career and are thus more iconic of those unique times (and I’m already treading that border with the artwork I chose; all from M & Co. days).

Anyway, enough talk, here’s the goods:




Just playing:




May 1, 2014



Trying for more unity front to back, including the cover. Not a lot of negative space I’m afraid, and that’s with cutting out one or two paragraphs. My best solution was to let a couple of the text blocks span the entire width of the panel to allow more flow, echoing the center row that runs through the inside panels. In flipping the letters in TROUBLE when opening up the panels, I also decided after looking at it both ways to spell trouble correctly when the right panel was folded in, then jumble the letters when the panel was opened.



May 6, 2014






Some tweaks and the addition of another image, changing the “museum of art and design” to match the blue of “Good Designers”, change the background of pull quote to blue in “Trouble”. Will examine changing position and/or size of exhibition dates.



May 9, 2014


Well, really, the 12th or 13th draft but who’s counting? In this draft, several changes:

  1. Messed up the “TROUBLE” reveal even more. I got lucky as the position of the yellow paperweight image works well since the darker yellow areas serve as a natural drop shadow to the large B, helping it to stand out.
  2. Reworked the cover in two ways. In both, I changed font style to give a sense of building from drafts/change. The blue K seemed like a good idea in that same vein, and the fact that it’s the first letter in Tibor’s last name is nice. In the first cover I used lowercase and red for “good designers” and lined it up with the Tibor quote on the far left outside panel (Tibor used a lot of lowercase bold red type in COLORS Magazine). The alternate cover maintains unity by separating “good designers” in the invisible center row that runs through the rest of the brochure. The letters M, A, K,  and E form the outer rows. This looked good to me at first, but I did lose a good place for the exhibition date and I think maybe the “E” is potentially looking too much like an “F” in this version.
  3. Added Kalman’s portrait along with the existing artwork (I distilled and recolored [Illustrator] a rotoscoped image I found of him on the internet in a back copy of AdAge). Although I used colors found in the rest of the images to recolor Tibor, I still needed something to tie together his cartoon-like portrait with the other pieces. Fortunately the rest of the work is disparate enough that it felt sufficient just to add a thin black stroke to visually lock everything together. It’s similar to, but not exactly, what Ina Saltz (and the rest of the Publication design world I suppose) calls “Typographic Furniture”.
  4. “Things” quote becomes epilogue and takes the back page, breaking the flow and becoming the metaphorical period at the end of the sentence.
  5. Added Tibor quote to opened cover/left panel running on to closed right panel. Again, lowercase red bold (Futura) with black caps and red caps to emphasize key words.
  6. Moved Paradox pull quote into paperweight row. Wondering whether to lose quote marks and go lowercase or leave it be to be able to distinguish it from the actual Tibor quote (when you make something….).
  7. Changed body text from Futura Regular to Frutiger Light to lighten text color and let the Trouble/Paperweight row with images become more pronounced (this was another idea I got from looking at how body text was treated in COLORS magazine).



May 10, 2014


So after Professor feedback, some last tweaks…some of which had crossed my mind and others which give some nice breathing room to the layout.

  1. Although the opening paragraph has the appearance of darker text color, everything checks out the same; size, leading and tracking are all nearly identical to the other paragraphs. The only thing I can attribute the darker color to is that there are comparatively more capital letters in a smaller body of text in the first paragraph than in all the others. I tried tracking out, but it didn’t make enough of a difference before it got too wide and it created more hyphenation than I wanted. On the other end of the text, I fixed the position of the byline.
  2. I enlarged the “B” in “TROUBLE” on the inside panel and brought it down to break the paperweight row a bit more decisively (something I hesitated about but we can always rely on Professor Ferranto to call us out on that stuff – he did!). I’m leaving the spacing between the “B” and the COLORS poster to the right to allow for the separation the “B” from the page; the only thing holding it in place is the “L”.
  3. Also at the suggestion of Professor Ferranto, I like the idea of changing “talking heads blue” in the Tibor portrait to white and losing the enclosing frame, tying it together with the frameless hearts on the back panel.
  4. For the pull quote, I changed the opening quotation mark to red, a small, but I think significant enough change to leave it alone from there.
  5. For Tibor’s “when you make quote,” I changed most of the text to black, leaving only “HATES” and “LOVES” in red. I actually forgot to experiment with the size of Tibor’s byline.
  6. I couldn’t let go of the red in the alternate cover…it’s too Tibor! But I did find placement for dates between the “g’s” of “good” and “design”. I changed “good design” on the original cover to “paperweight blue”, but it looks too “safe” when I auditioned it on the alternate cover…so, again, I’m sticking with red there.

KALMAN MAD BROCHURE 14 with Alternate Cover (PDF)


May 15, 2014

Actually, THIS is the final submission…one change from the 1st Choice in the 7th draft; a change of the front cover “good designers” to all caps:





One thought on “designer brochure

  1. Pingback: Reworking the portfolio… | kathink

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