Portfolio Hand In

Having completed at least three physical portfolio hand in’s over my experience in university (including foundation) I feel I have improved with each one.

I really enjoy curating my development work in a flowing and coherent way so that my reader can see my journey of experimentation’s made from start to finished result.

This is some really great experience with selecting work that has gone into the Professional Practice portfolio.

The organisation and tidiness of my collection of work is something that I wish to continue to perform in my professional presentation for client contact.

Hobby Craft were particularly good with supplying me all the things I need in a excellent quality of product for an affordable price and Abbey Book binders is definitely a connection that I will be keeping.



The Exhibition

I have participated in helping the show build and now that it is completed I have set up my show piece being two copies of my printed children’s picture book called ‘Grumpy Granny’.

My idea of how I wanted to show my work involved some smashing in the morning.

I sourced these clay pieces from the ceramics department throw away box having asked the tutors for this source of scraps. By not making my own ceramic piece it removes the environmental problem of firing.

I learnt that could only use fired objects as air drying clay has some dust properties that pose a health and safety issue. Lucky enough I got my hands on some excellent vessels to therapeutically smash on the day of my deadline!

I then went to share my idea of combing some broken ceramic pieces to go along with my showing of my children’s book to connect to the event of Ella who accidentally broke a vase in my story.

Amelia (head of year) assisted me with the presentation/composition layout of these items.

We achieved something eventful and interesting and I am very pleased with the result.

Having seen how this piece looks like a show object I decided to also include my other copy of the book for people to pick up and read.


The print quality of my book came out beautifully, the feel is very smooth and professional.

I hope to send this work to relevant opportunities such as publishers and competitions in hopes to grab the attention of writer collaborations and attaining a publisher for my work.

Trip to the Printers

I attended a trip to the Printers with Dan Peterson and the book club (fellow book making students). I was introduced to the machinery involved in printing, different paper thicknesses and gained advice on the best paper quality to print on being a silk finish.

I had also had a lot of guidance from Dan Peterson in tutorials on how to prepare my work for the printer. Where I learnt about the bleed, exporting and layout of the documents.

Using this information was really useful for when I went out an organised for my own book to be printed with the nearest place from the uni being Abbey book binders to achieve the professional hardcover results that I was after.

Taking with me an example book in the same dimensions and my set up on my laptop I ran through what I had prepared.  The assistant from Abbey book binders also named Dan taught me a few little tricks on InDesign for next time to make things easier for my design role in the future.

I asked to see examples of the quality I was going to get and I was happy with what I was feeling and seeing.


I was quoted £150 for 3 copies,

£70 for 1

I was happy with this figure and was told to expect them rather quickly.





Front and Back Cover

My front and back cover of my book went through multiple design possibilities.

I started with using images from within the book and experimented with hand drawn text for the a personal and authentic touch to the title.

Such as these:

front cover exp1front cover exp3



another expFront cover and backfront cover exp 1


From the feedback that I received the grumpy granny watching some TV (shown above) was the best idea I had developed. However I quickly grew to dislike reusing an image from within the book. So I decided to recreate a new interpretation of grumpy granny using that image as an idea. This way the pages within the book can remain a new experience for my readers.

This lead to this design:


Image placed on to the spread but needed a better placement:

front n back

My final front and back cover design:

I wanted to fill the spread with colour to achieve a striking and fully entertaining result.

I developed the idea to reuse the front image to make the back image. In fact this made the spread work as a whole really nicely.

The process involved setting the placement of the front image, cropping it to size then I duplicating the square image and flipping it to produce the back. When these two pieces where fitted together I then used the content aware of the spot healing tool to create a tidy result that I was after. This was to avoid the unwanted line between the pieces placed side by side on the spine area to make the images come together as one piece.

front and back coverGrumpy Granny Front and Back cover


new text try out

This is the hand drawn text from the front cover. I really enjoyed getting into the emotion of each letter. By turning the scanned image white background to transparent I was able place just text onto my desired background image.



The Final Text Decisions

Using the feedback to look into InDesign typefaces to create a professional result for words to go with my picture book. It took a few goes to get the right look. I needed my font to be received as friendly and gentle and then suddenly burst out with life when the words suggest loud sounds like SMASH. This way the visual aesthetic of my words embody the moods of my characters that connect to the imagery to convey emotions such as fright, anger and enthusiasm.

Having experimented with hand drawn text I had already an interesting composition layout that I felt was fun and had a sense of personality. Rather than blocked on in a predictable format of simple sentences I liked to use the space and guide my reader on a less predictable pathway through my story. To have eyes move fluid like a river through the book.

Here are some before and after experiments:


Typed in Bahnschrift.

bahn example-5


Typed in Century Gothic.

grumpy granny spreads pdf-5


bahn example-8


Experimented with hand drawn element for loud words following the suggested advice from my tutor Anna.

grumpy granny spreads pdf-8

Making sure I got feedback from various friends and tutors before I took my work to any printing stage made a remarkable difference to the quality of my result. Sometimes you have all the ingredients but it takes a someone from outside of the work to suggest the thing that its missing.

The word ‘SMASH!’ has character like I wanted it to have for the scene. Which was to convey the impression of a loud and frightening sudden sound.

A combination of hand drawn and InDesign text in the friendly typeface of ‘century gothic’ was used. I wanted to avoid creating a scary book or one that is stale. So the text needed to convey the love and gentleness of both character throughout to keep it warming and symbolic of the environment of home. This way my book is a pleasing experience that sees through the problems that present themselves in the story.

Colour Control

My images went under a repetitive process of editing, printing, reviewing and editing.

I had to make sure how the colours would appear when printed, knowing that what is original will differ from what is on screen and what is on screen will differ from what the printer can produce.

This process involved my use of Photoshop and manipulating the setting of curves and levels. The image below also went under construction having felt that it needed to be more representative of the text reading it as a dusty room.

Lots of scanning, printing and checking:

I also made pages that had lots of white space or an opposing white page with text into full spreads of colour by creating background washes and using Photoshop to work them into the white spaces.

This way my book was fully colourful and not so sparse and empty.


page 14 and 15 double


spread 5 b


My pages are much more exciting and attractive working over the full space of the spread but keeping it partially transparent in parts to create a sense of playful depth preserved in the perceptible evidence of my image making process.




Text Experiments

This post shows more of my explorations of text that I experimented with for my book Grumpy Granny.

This involved a lot of time spent on InDesign and also printing out multiple dummy books to see how they are perceived in the destined format.



I looked into typefaces that I felt gave a friendly impression to evoke my message of home throughout the story and to be received as a welcoming journey for my audience to be drawn too.




It really helped to place a few different typeface experiments on the same page to see the comparison of their visual effect.

In this case (shown below) I wanted to avoid a font that was too heavy and use something that is more light in weight to avoid the text distracting from the image.

I wanted to achieve a harmony between both image and text to create a fitting relationship that would empower my message of the work .


anotherbahn example-5

I explored the various spaces that the images offered.

I hadn’t originally planned on using text directly onto the image from my storyboard but as I like to work with space in my image making anyway I had no issues with finding room for my text when I developed this idea.