Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jane Austen Centre Brochure

I am a brochure hoarder. Anywhere I go I grab one. The problem is what to do with them later? What's their purpose? They just take up space and yet you don't want to part with them. Unless they have a  place in a photo album or have a secondary function they are a waste of space and right now I'm all about downsizing. Therefore a brochure redesign is like a dream project for me. Because I can take it to the next level, making it functional and collectible. Though this assignment for school had two requirements, I had to use all the existing text in a current brochure while also using an interesting and unique fold. So I worked backwards. Whose brochure would I love to redesign and the answer quickly came to me, obviously The Jane Austen Centre in Bath. The next question was, what kind of fold? Well, for anyone like me who spends way too much time watching Jane Austen adaptations they covet getting a letter like Austen's characters, getting to crack the seal and unfold the paper. Therefore the fold became obvious, I would use a typical Regency letter fold.

What's unique about this fold is that it's based on one of Jane's own letters, which I scanned in and used as a background, drastically toned down to not interfere with the legibility of any information I needed to convey. While any brochure is functional to an extent I love that this made it a keepsake, like getting a letter from Austen herself. As for that red seal? No, it's not wax, but a faux wax seal sticker which can be purchased in bulk and used to add an air of authenticity. Ironically the seal in the picture is from another fandom I'm a part of. Yes, it's a seal for Hogwarts. Originally I wanted to take the wax seal further and create one in the centre's colors, but then I found out that during Jane Austen's time you could use only red or black wax, so it stayed red. Yes, I'm a stickler for certain things, also, the more you know, right?

The information in the brochure could basically be broken down into five categories: Jane Austen, Touring the Jane Austen Centre, the Gift Shop, the Tea Room, and Jane Austen's Bath. Using the centre's own logo as a starting point, I created four more icons to go with the subsections, a teacup, a reticule, a teapot, and an umbrella. These categories then easily divided the content into the sections that could correspond to the various panels the folds created. When you first open the brochure you get this nice little text area with all the information you could need with the headings set in a font based on Austen's own handwriting. In the smaller sections at the top I placed the valuable information of location, hours, and admission. But for me it was all about the interior of the brochure where I placed the map, where form and function combined in happy symmetry.

The entire interior was turned over to a map I drew in Photoshop with my Wacom. Yes. I drew a map of Bath with all the locations important to Jane Austen's life clearly marked. Why would I draw a map other than being totally OCD and always having a need to take a project to the next level? Because, to me, I find maps the most useful thing a brochure can give you. Therefore I figured I HAD to have a map. And while I haven't been to Bath I feel like I know it now. I drew out all the streets, and looked up all the names, I was not just an armchair traveler but an armchair detective, following Jane's life through the city she loathed. I hope one day to go to Bath, and before you ask, yes, I'm taking my own map. Though I also kind of want to see what would happen if I was left without a map. After this project could I find my way without any help? I have a feeling I could...


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