Practice 1: Design Boards

Below shows digital versions of the design boards accompanying Practice 1, collating ideas, research, development and the final outcome of this module.

Printed A3 versions have been printed and included in my submission portfolio for reference.

These boards are working towards Objective 4:

To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

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Objectives: Reflections and Evaluations

At the start of the semester I set myself several revised objectives to work towards in resolving my working research topic.

I have reflected on each objective which can be seen below.

Objectives and goals:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

I aimed to speak with both Vogue UK and Vogue Japan, and aimed to carry out questionnaire’s or interviews with at least 10 females from both the UK and Japan, in order to gain quantifiable data. I have spoke with Vogue Japan in regards to obtaining quantifiable data in regards to obecjtive 1.B, whilst on my International research trip to Tokyo, however was unable to secure a meeting/interview with Vogue UK. I do not feel that this has hindered my research progress as the information gained through speaking with Editors at Vogue Japan answered some of the questions which I would of posed to UK Editors. I do feel though that without speaking to Vogue Japan this would of hindered cross-cultural research, and in retrospect was most beneficial to travel to Japan to have such candid and honest conversations with Vogue. I feel this has tremendously helped with my research working towards resolving my research topic/question.

In relation to the above objective I feel as though I have researched heavily into self-perceptions and social media and feel that travelling to Japan has allowed me to spend more time researching magazines in as much depth, especially cross-culturally. Even though fashion and beauty industries are becoming more digital, social media has been a more current point of research in a Western context, whilst magazines have been more of a focus cross-culturally with social media not being as ‘big’ in Eastern cultures in comparison.

I contacted course leaders of various, relevant fashion programmes at the following HE institutions in the UK after being unsuccessful in making contact with HE institutions in Tokyo – Leeds University, Leeds Beckett, CSM and Manchester Met in regards to objective 1.A. The aim of this is to obtain both British and Japanese contacts from fashion courses whom may be interested in completing a digital questionnaire in regards to my research topic in the hope of gaining an insight into cross-cultural influences. I did not hear back from most however again do not feel this has hindered research as contingency plans were put in place in order to still collate research as required. In regard to objective 1.A. I spoke with Toni Hollowood an MA student at CSM studying a similar subject matter, and found this to be of great benefit to gain similar perspectives to that of my own, whilst also pushing me in further directions of research which helped with objective 1.B.

I planned on collating a series of data from at least 10 British and Japanese females between the ages of 18-24 in order to gather and analyse measurable and comparable research. In response to this, an anonymous questionnaire was written and shared by myself, contacts in Tokyo and via Leeds College of Art in order to gain different perspectives working toward both Objective 1.A and 1.B. I opened up the questionnaire to male participants also in order to gain a different perspective and in sight of the research topic at hand.

In addition, whilst in Japan I spoke with a beauty blogger working towards Objective 1.B. I have not spoken with bloggers in the UK or USA as feel this was achieved in Semester 1, allowing for comparative data to be collated.

An interview with Brittany Rhodes, a competitive female body builder of 24 years, in order to gain a different perspective on my research topic, in relation to Objective 1.A. whilst also interviewing two models based in the UK, working again toward Objective 1.A. In addition, interviews were carried out at ASOS, understanding perspectives from an International brand and e-commerce point of view, working toward both Objective 1.A and 1.B.

In regard to objective 1.A. research trips to both London (7th/8th Jan 2017) and Tokyo (16th-23rd Jan 2017) were carried out in order to gain comparable and measurable visual data and field-research. Methodologies included looking at AD Campaigns of Western brands for example Chanel and Topshop, in order to see how these are promoted in the East for example, in order to see if the same models are used and what language is used. This allowed me to see if influences such as this can affect the perceptions of those in Japan being exposed to foreign visuals of cultural icons and western celebrities for example. Store managers at Burberry were spoken to in London, whilst also looking at visuals, look books and AD Campaigns. A similar approach was carried out in Japan, whilst attending relevant exhibitions to strengthen research and support interview/research findings, and looking at magazines/products available and packaging in comparison to that of the UK beauty and fashion industries. In addition, secondary research was used to inform my primary field-research, i.e. looking at recent technologies such as the Shiseido Makeup Mirror, which were analysed and looked at whilst in Tokyo. In Tokyo, as planned and discussed in Semester 1, I visited the Flagship Shiseido store in order to speak with staff about such advances and their customers feedback, whilst also finding out that such technologies are not available in the UK, and only are used in they Flagship store. A full list of measurable methodologies can be found here; 

  • Visual Research
  • Comp Shopping
  • Verbal Research: Interviews
  • Publication (Magazine) Research
  • Technological Advances

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

Semester 1: I have researched into the policies of charities such as B-EAT, as discussed in depth in both my report, and in my first professional context presentation, however, industry links have secured a meeting with ASOS’ Corporate Responsibility and Design teams in order to gain a better understanding on their Model Welfare Policy, working towards both objective 2 and 5. In support of this, and to add context to my research, I have also secured interviews with two models working in industry to gain their insight on my research topic, whilst discussing whether or not such policies would be of benefit and feasible to the industry to further help with research working towards objective 2 and 3.

Semester 2: In regard to the above, this semester I met with ASOS and two models as noted, in order to gain information on my research topic and the use of policies aiming to positively tackle issues surrounding self-perception and body image in the beauty and fashion industries. This was working toward objective 2 and 3. This was also working toward objective 5 however this objective has been omitted since undertaking research and realising that an international policy is not feasible and can not be achieved. In addition to this, I spoke with Vogue in Japan regarding their own policy; The Health Initiative, which also is working toward objective 1.A and 1.B. These topics and findings have since been discussed in my dissertation in depth.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

Working toward this objective, I have carried out meetings and interviews with a range of participants as discussed above, including two models working in industry to gain a different perspective of research working towards objective 2 and 3, and a female body builder to also gain a different perspective. I also met with MA student Toni Hollowood from CSM, employees at ASOS and Vogue Japan in order to gain different insights on my research topic and the subjects covered within this. In addition, I also met with a beauty blogger in Japan. Furthermore, an anonymous questionnaire was created, receiving 25 responses from a range of male and female participants. All of the above is also working toward objectives, 1.A, 1.B and 2, as well as Objective 3. By speaking with a range of people with a range of perspectives, i.e. consumer and industry insight, I was able to gain a range of pragmatic an interpretivist data for comparative, cross-cultural analysis.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

I had planned on collaborating with Leeds-based commercial photographer Scarlett Carson in the aim of producing an editorial campaign working towards objective 4. This was originally planned for semester 1, however due to time constraints has been put on hold, and since other priorities had taken over allowing for this to unfortunately take a back seat. This is due to how much research was undertaken in Semester 2, accounting for travelling time and analysis time also.

During this semester, one practical project was undertaken, a sourcebook of beauty trends, looking cross-culturally at two contrasting cultures, looking at socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’. This was derived mainly from my International research trip to Japan and my findings, which I found extreme in regard to Western culture and trends. Each spread reflects a trend with supporting blurb that has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation. However, I plan to look at this much more in regard to theory and heavy analysis Semester 3, when producing my independent magazine. The sourcebook was originally going to be a mini-magazine or zine, testing the target audience for the ‘final’ version in Semester 3, however, I realised whilst designing that this book should be more of a sourcebook of trends to highlight to those, male or female, in the industry the contrasting beauty trends and cultures, opposed to producing a magazine twice.

In Semester 3, I aim on producing an independent magazine which collates the research and interviews carried out in both the UK and Japan, using interviews as articles as the main anchor point of the magazine. I feel as though I have had to carry out all of the research done to date in order to reach this point of deciding how to go about the practical work for both Semester 2 and 3, yet feel that research has informed the direction of my practice and the practical work itself. I also plan on collaborating with photographers, interview participants and the beauty blogger I met in Japan in Semester 3 in order to produce the magazine.

Feedback from various designer friends, whom gave advice and feedback the copywriting and typesetting in particular, especially in relation to the justification of text, widows and alignment in order to perfect the editorial aspects of the book. Feedback on practical work in Semester 2 was given from various designer friends, whom gave advice and feedback the copywriting and typesetting in particular, especially in relation to the justification of text, widows and alignment in order to perfect the editorial aspects of the book. I found this particularly useful to the perfection of the book, whilst also listening to the advice of printing services whilst printing and binding the book. In addition, spreads, cover art and development posts, were shared on my Instagram account to test reception from a relevant beauty and fashion related target audience; and positive feedback was received and reassured themes/aesthetics. Please see screenshots below:

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/daniellemuntyandesign/

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Practice 1: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for structured and streamlined work to be undertaken in relation to my research topic and current practice. I have found this module really enjoyable, and have experimented with digital and print-led processes in order to achieve a practical outcome meeting objective 4, as shown below. In addition this module has allowed me to make critical designs judgements based on research and previous exploratory work in order to meet the learning objectives.

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4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends

During this semester, one practical project was undertaken, a sourcebook of beauty trends, looking cross-culturally at two contrasting cultures, Britain/the US and Japan, looking at and focusing on socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’. This idea was derived mainly from my International research trip to Japan and my findings, which I found extreme in regard to Western culture and trends. Each spread reflects a trend with supporting blurb that has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation.

This idea was originally derived from a plan to design and construct a magazine, half of which would be English and reflect Western culture, and the other half in Japanese, reflecting Eastern culture and my research findings. I decided however, due to time and the workload involved in this to carry this out in Semester 3, under Practice 2, however this idea has once again changed slightly. I am now looking to produce a magazine which covers the research and interviews carried out as a more independent magazine, whilst working on promotional platforms to advertise and gain feedback/direction. This has been discussed more in my objectives and goals evaluation.

In relation to this semester and the practical work carried out, I feel that I have covered complex issues researched, which have been implemented in a visual manner which is suitable for either a male or female target audience interested in my research topic, as well as the beauty and fashion industries in general. I have found working on this project interesting in regard to experimenting with a range of digital collage and binding techniques, looking at different paper stocks and print methods, whilst also exploring layout and typography, strengthening my graphic design and editorial skillset.

By creating this book, it has enabled me to collate ideas and research findings in a streamlined and structured manner. I feel as I had collated such a large amount of visual and theoretical research, this module has enabled me to synthesise these together in an understandable and suitable outcome which is relevant to both my personal and professional practice.

As in Semester 1, feedback was gained from online sources, utilising Instagram to reach the specific target audience set out in my research topic, whilst also seeking editorial design-led feedback from designer friends and freelance clients.

In terms of binding, several methods were experimented with, whilst also utilising a professional printers in order to gain a hardback version for my professional portfolio of work. Even though I experimented with binding methods myself, I felt it was beneficial to source a professionally printed version also for my portfolio, being finished to the highest of standards.

I feel it has been of benefit that all 3 modules undertaken throughout this semester combined, with key theoretical approaches such as self-perception being applied to my practice continually. I have also found being aware of, and interviewing professionals and interdisciplinary/creative practitioners has added further context and support to both the aesthetics, format, content, context and tone of my work. Therefore, it has become apparent over the course of this module that these have become heavily intertwined, and that my research findings have directly influenced my practice.

I would of liked to of gained more feedback on the finished, printed and bound book however feel that this can be done in Semester 3 prior to starting my FMP as discussed briefly above.

For the submission, I have included design boards for this practical project, which includes in-depth contextual information supporting research and professional context in relation to my practice. This also showcases photography by myself, which has been taken in support of using these images on my professional website and digital portfolio going forwards, as well as being able to showcase this project in a more professional manner. The boards also include an evaluation on areas of improvement allowing for critical, future development going into Semester 3, whilst critical thoughts and problem areas have been flagged throughout the design process on my blog.

These boards can be found both on my blog and within a labelled folder within my submission portfolio.

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East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends – Hardback Photos

Below shows a small selection of photos which have been taken documenting the hardback version of my Beauty trend sourcebook which has been outsourced and printed professionally. I wanted to achieve a high-end, professional, quality finish which would be able to be used in my professional portfolio going forwards.

The inner stock is 135gsm matte paper, with no show through. I am really happy with the outcome, and feel it was worth outsourcing this print to show what the book would be like if for sale, whilst also showing the artwork to the highest of standards.

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East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends – Book Developments

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Below shows a range of developments of the sourcebook created for this module. A various range of books have been printed and bound using different paper stocks and binding methods. I found that each had different pros and cons as noted below.

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The above have been printed using laser printing on 110gsm paper stock and have been stapled to bind. I found that this would be perfect for a zine, being quick and cheap to produce being very cost effective to produce in mass, however do not give a ‘book’ finish. The print was very good quality and found that the colours really popped on the page and left no ‘lines’ as found with other print experiments shown below.

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Above shows the staple binding leaving a crisp finish, whilst below shows the high print quality on the inner pages.

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Above shows another book produced using laser print, however a 135gsm gloss stock was used, opposed to a matte finish as shown above. I really love the quality of the print, as it gives a glossy finish mimicking that of a magazine. I also found the colours to be much more vivid on gloss stock than on matte. I found this the closest to the desired aesthetic as possible. No lines were also found on the print, however 2 pages were found to have not fully flattened layers when printed, showing an outline of a bounding box from the InDesign document. The paper stock was too thick to saddle stitch, and found that stapling was a much more suitable outcome, whilst also being easy to reproduce, however the paper stock is slightly more expensive.

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Below shows a laser print copy printed on 80gsm stock. I found this to be the weakest of all the prints due to leaving lines on the pages when printed, as well as many bounding boxes to be seen, as the InDesign document didn’t embed the images properly. This was rectified on later copies. With this test print, I also found that some artwork needed amending due to being too close to the bleed line, whilst also needing to amend the alignment of some body copy and artwork, as when trimmed was too close to the paper edge, leaving an unprofessional finish. This was amended digitally prior to printing any further books/experiments. In addition, with the paper being quite thin, print on the previous side was visible, showing through.

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Below shows two booklets which were saddle stitched in different techniques. I used white cotton for one, and pink for another but found that the pink was too much with the cover artwork, and also made any small errors very noticeable, whilst the white cotton allowed for a much cleaner, sleeker finish. I would of been happier with this bind had the paper not been so thin, 80gsm, again showing through print on the other side of the paper. Using an inkjet print for these two books however left a perfect print, with no bounding boxes or lines to be shown, and found this the highest quality print so far. Canvas paper was used for both covers, giving a thicker, textured cover, and contrasting matte inner pages. I found though that on occasion as shown below, show through was still visible, dampening the overall quality of the book.

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Above shows one test print (pink cotton saddle stitch) whereby, the cover was printed 10% larger to allow for allowance on the edges of the paper, whilst adding a slightly different aesthetic to that of the other books produced. The print quality on this version however was the best I believe out of the experiments shown, with no show through due to using a 140gsm card stock on an ink jet printer, allowing for more of a ‘book’ feel and finish and a more luxury aesthetic.

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Japanese Beauty VS Western Beauty Mini-Mag/Zine/Trend Sourcebook: AMENDED FINAL DRAFT

After carrying out test prints of the final draft of my source book, I noticed several errors including alignment and grammatical errors, whilst noting that some of the artwork was too close to the edge of the page to warrant a professional finish and wanting to rectify these prior to printing and binding a final version.

I have made such changes, and the final amended draft can be seen below.

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Japanese Beauty VS Western Beauty Mini-Mag/Zine/Trend Sourcebook: FINAL DRAFT

This is continuing to work towards Objective 4: To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

 

Below shows the final draft for my beauty trend source book before experimenting with print and binding processes. I would like to experiment with the following binding processes, in order to see which is most cost effective/viable to produce multiple copies whilst also considering aesthetics:

  • stapled
  • saddled stitched
  • perfect bound

The final draft has undertaken some further changes in comparison to the draft shown previously, taking into account feedback from various designer friends, whom gave advice and feedback the copywriting and typesetting in particular, especially in relation to the justification of text, widows and alignment in order to perfect the editorial aspects of the book.

The book is currently 40 pages, including covers and has been designed so that the book can open from right to left, or left to right, mimicking editorial and layout styles of both British and Japanese publications.

Additional graphical elements have also been added in order to balance page layouts and add more depth to various spreads, whilst some elements and backgrounds have been changed/deleted/added in order to improve the aesthetics and give more of a polished and finished look to the book; upon reflection I felt that some of the pages seemed better than others in regard to design and execution. The cover has also been slightly adapted also along with the intro page, adding further stocks and design elements to add an element of consistency to the book even though each spread depicts a different trend. I feel much happier overall with the changes made in regard to the aesthetic of the book post-changes.

In regard to copywriting, each page has blurb which has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation, however much more theory and heavy analysis will be included in my research-led magazine which will be produced in semester 3. I wanted this sourcebook to be more light hearted and primarily show two the beauty trends in two contrasting cultures, looking at socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’.

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Superdrug: Collagen and Tanning Supplements

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Above shows a series of images taken in Superdrug. I noticed these products whilst browsing and felt that these were quite unusual to be seen in the UK. I have not seen any Collagen based products in the UK, only in Japan, and found it quite surprising that such products can now be bought here too, even if on a smaller scale. The packaging still denotes, anti-aging and younger skin benefits, the same as in Japan. I am unsure whether Superdrug are catering for an Eastern audience here, being in a multi-cultural city, or whether Western trends and culture will also be pushing this too soon. Other copywriting I found that was interesting is shown on the packaging above, “helps maintain healthy/radiant/beautiful” skin, alluding again to the idea that with these products you can be and can maintain beauty and youth for longer. I find that such products denote such copywriting for marketing strategies unknowingly giving the end-user/consumer an altered perception or idea of ‘what is beautiful’.

I also noticed “tanning tablets” which I found a major contrast to that of Japan and the skin-lightening products/tablets/masks/drinks available there to counteract tans, and found this representative of my practical work and the trends discussed throughout my book. I felt that this really highlighted such different trends, and also emphasised the difference in cultures and ideals in regard to skin colour.

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Japanese Beauty VS Western Beauty Mini-Mag/Zine/Trend Sourcebook: WIP V6

This is continuing to work towards Objective 4: To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

Below shows the most recent development of the sourcebook in regard to aesthetics and content with full body copy applied and written in line with each spread. Various amendments have been made to the cover on both the front and back, however I still feel that there is room for improvement as I am not quite happy with the design of every page. This is something which I want to gain feedback on and reflect upon more so I have printed off each spread in order to take a look at the book printed as opposed to digitally as I feel this will help with any final amendments and changes which need to be made.

East Meets West – A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends v8 by DanielleMuntyan on Scribd

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