Mini-monograph/Exhibition guide

After researching information about Tibor Kalman, I moved on to exhibition theme and layout design of the exhibition guide. (Read more about the project and my research on Tibor Kalman here.) It wasnn’t difficult to identify the common idea behind all Kalman’s work: promoting social and political issues. So I picked that as the theme of the imaginary exhibition and started building the exhibition guide around that idea.

I started by designing the cover. It wasn’t easy because I didn’t really have a clear idea what I wanted or what the name of the exhibition would be. I began experimenting with the few main elements that I knew I would include for sure: Tibor Kalman’s name, exhibition name, exhibition dates, and name of the venue. I also knew that I wanted the cover to be quite bold to represent Kalman’s strong views and designs.

This is the development that the cover went through:

development of my cover design from the first trial (no. 1) to the final version (no. 11)

The first 5 trials I didn’t like because the color read that I thought would make the cover more powerful actually, to me, looked too old-fashioned and it brought to my mind some old Russian communist brochures. Also using black instead didn’t make it look any better. Black just didn’t work at all. I tried a version (no.5-6) using the picture of the Queen from the race issue of Colors on the cover. That had actually been my very first idea when I started thinking about the guide. However, I thought the cover looked too royal with the Queen on the cover. To me it looked like an ad to some royal portrait exhibition. In trial no. 7 I tried to make it less royal by stripping off the red background color, but that ended up looking like a cheap political poster.

After that I had to take a moment to think what to try next. I clearly needed to start from a blank page again. I still didn’t want to ditch the bold big title but I did change the color scheme completely and changed the red to light bright blue. At least not it didn’t remind me of communism or royals (no 8-11). In the trial no 9 I came up with a new name for the exhibition which also allowed me to add a faint compass layer to the final version (no. 11).

When the cover was done I constructed the body copy based on my research and experimented with laying it out with pictures. I also added a couple of good quotes from Tibor Kalman that summed up his work and views well. The last touch to the design process was to choose a typeface and to lay out the back cover.

The final outcome (folds open):

Front cover of my folded mini-monograph/exhibition guide
After opening the cover of my mini-monograph/exhibition guide
inside of my mini-monograph/exhibition guide
back cover of my mini-monograph/exhibition guide


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