The final crit went well today. We were asked to put our final printed publication onto the table in the studio next two a large piece of paper for people to write their feedback down so it is easy to remember and take note of. We were asked to devise four questions that we wanted responses to from the crit group to do with the general aesthetic and finish off the final product for this brief.
My questions were: Is the stock choice suitable for the visual content? Is the tone of voice of the book appropriate? Do the type-choices and colour choices suit the content and context of the work? Is the tracing paper dust jacket necessary?
The majority of the feedback I got was very positive which I was really taken back with. I wasn't expecting people to be as enthusiastic as they were about my book. This really boosted my confidence. People said that I had obviously put a lot of work, time and effort into making the book what it is.
There were a few points that cropped up several times, areas in which people think that I could have improved. One of them was to do with the margins and cropping of the pages. On InDesign, I did design the book to be full bleed, however, when it came to printing the book, it slipped my mind to print the pages on A3 stock. I should have done this in order to avoid the unsightly margins around the wonderful portraits of my friends and their alter egos. I have definitely learned from my mistakes here. These margins aren't a massive issue but they do reduce the professional feel of the book and it's something I definitely need to work on.
The second thing that people found annoying was the tracing paper cover. Due to the heat of the printer, the tracing paper continually curls, and doesn'y lay flat when the book is placed onto a surface. I did try to correct this by ironing out the paper but this only temporarily fixed the issue. There was a reason why I chose to include a tracing paper dust cover. For me the tracing paper conceptually represents the idea of having multi layers or faces to your personality and ego and that is why it is on the cover of the book. I also wanted to use it because I love the effect tracing paper has, I love its feel and texture. I did experiment with using an acetate piece to achieve similar effects but acetate annoys me. It feels cheap, it creases too easily and it gets dirty very quickly. I would still opt to use tracing paper in the future however I would perhaps screen print onto it to avoid the curling of the paper.
Other than those two negatives, everyone seemed to love the book. They liked the stock choice, the colours, the type and the binding method used. I would definitely like to do a run of this publication and print it a few more times and maybe try and sell it.