Communication Design 2019

Welcome To My Blog!


Mikayla Plaw (Photo Credit – NZ Herald)

This is Mikayla, she is a hard working 29 year old General Manager of Organisational Sustainability at a Waikato business. She has a strong passion for sustainable living and looking after our environment. She has not only made it her mission to make her workplace more sustainable and environmentally conscious but to bring some of these changes into her personal life and hopes to inspire others to do the same. She is a firm believer that there are small changes in which everyone can make to ensure our world is safe and sustainable for lifetimes to come. She goes out of her way to reuse things that may end up in waste, supports products that are eco-friendly and even grows her own produce.

Publication Idea

My idea is to educate others on the importance of our supporting a healthy environment & living sustainability through the story of an individual going above and beyond to protect and sustain our world. I will be focusing on the idea that it only takes small changes from a large collective to make a huge positive impact on our environment.

Research & Ideas

Publication Moodboard

My ideas consist of making use of natural colours, primarily greens and browns, as they relate and have a calm and relaxing effect. I also aim to incorporate as much natural or recyclable material as I can to resonate with my theme. I want to make use of the laser cutter in some way for my publication front cover. I intend to take a minimalist approach for my layout with effective use of white space and bold lettering for emphasis, I believe this style will represent Mikayla’s character well. I want to experiment with using the sewing machine to create my publication binding.

Interview Questions –

Above are questions I set out to ask Mikayla, with a focus on her participation in personal sustainability. During the interviewing process I found Mikayla to be very confident, making the conversation flow rather than it being straight questions and answers. Though this was more time consuming I found it to be very effective to gather interesting information about her life and things that may not have arisen from the questions I had set out.

Layout Concepts

4 x 8 Grid
6 x 6 Grid
4 x 4 Grid

These are some possible draft layouts I created and plan to experiment with while designing my publication.

Weekly Update: Sunday 22nd September

This week I focused on creating layouts I could use for my final publication. I also did some further research on layout concepts to get more inspiration in ways to design my publication in a more interesting way.

Laser Cut Cover Design

This is a concept design for what I plan to use the laser cut to create a stencil. I plan to use 240gsm paper so it will still be able to fold in half to do the sewn binding.

Weekly Update: Sunday 29th September

My week consisted of refining my draft layout. I also did further research on layout concepts, typography and photography ideas. Unfortunately I have still not been able to get any photos which is making it difficult to do much more with my layout with out my final images. However, I did some cover experiments and designed my final cover and have it ready to laser cut. I decided I would also like to somehow incorporate different page lengths in my final design. By the end of next week I will hopefully have all my final photographs, as well as doing an experimental cover test with the laser cut machine. I would also like to have all the editing for my photographs done and a prototype of my layout.

Photoshoot 1 –

A series of my best images from shoot 1

Photoshoot 1 – Evaluation

My first shoot with Mikayla didn’t go as well as I was hoping. A lot of my photos are quite similar and I wasn’t able to get the variety of photos I was hoping for. There are a couple of photos I would like to retake and experiment with different angles and wider shots. The weather was also very overcast and was raining on and off so made it difficult to get some shots outside which was necessary for some of my final photographs. My favourite shot I was able to capture is of Mikayla filling up her reusable water bottle at the kitchen tap. The lighting in her kitchen made it easy to get well exposed photos which was what I was initially hoping for. I plan to meet back up with Mikayla again and take some more photos to get a larger selection of images and retake the ones that I am not entirely pleased with.

Raw – Edited

I edited my photographs in Adobe Lightroom making adjustments to the contrast, highlights, shadows and clarity.

Publication Prototype 1

When trying to create my first publication prototype, I ran into some problems. I wanted to have quite a wide landscape book which I would sew bind, but unfortunately only being able to print on A3 meant I was restricted to the length I was able to have. Due to this I decided to downscale my book size. This also meant I was able change my idea to use a hard cover for my publication instead of having to fold it.


Updated Publication Ideas

My refined moodboard which contains layout examples with natural colour schemes, concept of fold out pages, use of incorporating infographics and single page binding.

Weekly Update: Sunday 6th October

This week I made a lot of progress. I was able to take some of my photographs at the start of the week. I then spent time sorting through photos and editing them. I also created a new moodboard with updated ideas as displayed above. I was also able to print my first prototype which was helpful to figure out what needed to be changed. This week coming I am going to focus on taking the rest of my photographs so I can finish the placement of my images in my publication. I am also going to start doing some illustrations for my final design.

Photoshoot 2

This is a display of my best images from my second photoshoot

Photoshoot 2 – Evaluation

My second photoshoot with Mikayla went much better than the first shoot. I was able to capture a range of different photographs and experimented with different angles. As well as also getting some of the shots i couldn’t get during the first shoot due to the weather.

Raw – Edited

An example of raw and edited images

Final Images

This is a series of the final images displayed in my publication. Overall I am pleased with the outcome out of my photographs. I think they work well with my theme.


These are some illustrations I have created in illustrator by tracing my photographs with the pen tool. This was completely experimental as I had never actually tried it before but I really liked the outcome and its simplistic appearance.

Experimental Illustrations

Here are some samples of experiments I created as infographics which did not flow well with the books theme so I am going to created new ones using a similar tracing technique as I used on my photographs.

Laser Cut Cover

My first laser cut experiment

After getting my first cover laser-cut I found that the holes were slightly too small for the needle and thread I would be binding with. I didn’t want to risk making a mess of the hole by forcing the needle through, so I decided to get the cover recut with larger binding holes. This gave me a spare front cover to experiment with coating in a gloss lacquer.

Weekly Update: Sunday 13th October

At the beginning of the week I was able to get the rest of my photographs. This made it a lot easier to rearrange my layout to suit the images I had taken. I finished sorting out and editing all my final images. I also was able to get my first prototype of my cover using the laser cut. This week I also made a start on illustrations to be used in my final publication, along with some infographic experiments which didn’t go to plan. I managed to also get my writing done for the content in my publication. In the week coming I am going to focus on getting my presentation ready, as well as finishing my final layout so it is ready to print by Friday.

Summative Presentation

Cover Experiment

Experiment with lacquer on test laser cut

This is the front cover I tested the gloss lacquer on, I really like the clean glossy finish it gave the card. I have decided I am going to do this on my final publication as well.

Infographic Illustrations

Updated infographics I designed for my final publication.

Final Layout

This is my final layout for my publication

Weekly Update: Sunday 20th October

Thankfully, this week I was able to get the last of my final images and layout complete. I finished creating my updated infographics and illustrations. I also did a test experimenting with lacquer which went well. My weekend was spent preparing for my ‘public intervention’, as well as printing my final publication.

The Binding

Single Page Binding

For the binding of my publication I used a single page binding method I found on YouTube. The binding process for my publication didn’t go as well as I was hoping, Before starting on my publication binding, I did some test binding on some scrap paper. I realised to use the hessian yarn I had brought was still too thick to thread through my new laser cut cover. I found it to be quite a difficult stitch to do as it involved keeping 6 simultaneous threads for each binding hole, which made it difficult to keep them all tight. Due to this my book is quite loosely bound, but the pages all open perfectly and I think the end result still turned out well.

Final Publication

Photographs of my final publication

These are a few photographs of my final publication. I am happy with the printing quality of my images. I think that the fold out page work well. However, if i could change it I would maybe have some sort of cut out indicating that the page opens because it is not that obvious and may be missed. I would also experiment with changing my illustrations to be less detailed in the face. Some of my illustrations make Mikayla look slightly mad which was not the case in the original photo. Overall I am pleased with the end result.

Public Intervention

This was a test print I did for my public intervention. My poster was made up of 10 A3 pages stuck together in vertical panels of a photograph I took of Mikayla with fruit in her hands. I plan to display this in the communal lunch room at Mikaylas workplace.

Public Intervention Photographs

Final poster for my public intervention

Public Intervention Timelapse

Public Intervention Evaluation

For my public intervention I set my poster up in the communal lunchroom of Mikaylas workplace. As this is somewhere these people go every work day they were quick to notice the poster, which was good as I was able to capture it getting some attention in my timelapse. Most people talked about how they liked the photo and the colour it brought to the room. It also sparked a lot of questions as to what the photo was for, which I was then able to show some people my publication and explain the purpose. I initially wanted to shoot my timelapse at a wider angle but was unable to due to others privacy while having their lunch break.

Final Rational

I have created a publication to raise awareness of the current state of our environment and the small changes that everyone in our society should make to help make the world a more sustainable place. It follows the story of an environmentalist, Mikayla Plaw and displays some of the small changes she has made in her life that she urges others to follow. In terms of the overall design of the publication I have tried to use natural and relaxing colours throughout to align with the theme. I decided to use a recycled piece of card for the front and back covers which I coated in gloss lacquer to make it stand out and have a cleaner finish. On the front cover I have used the laser cutter to create a stencil of the publication title “A Simple Change” and an illustration of a small sprout. I decided to size the book slightly smaller than A5 to resemble the size of a small journal to give it a more personal feel. However, I still wanted to be able to display my images in a powerful, prominent way. In order to accomplish this, I utilised fold out pages, so I was still able to display my full-sized images. On the cover of these fold out pages I decided to use some traced outline illustrations of the image that lies underneath to encourage the reader to see what lies underneath. I incorporated illustrations into some facts to create infographics as I find it is a more effective way to display statistical information and hopefully shock the readers into making some of the same sustainable changes in their own lives. Lastly, I decided to place some personal quotes from Mikayla herself which I found to be quite simple yet inspiring and definitely a powerful closing to the publication.


Final Zine Cover

Final Photographs

This is a series of final photographs displayed in our zine.

Formative Presentation – Part A + B

My Photographs

Photographs I took around the campus

Here are a few photographs I captured around the AUT Campus.

Raw & Edited

Above shows some examples of Raw & Edited Images .

Cover Experiment

Cover Design Concept

I designed a draft cover in Adobe Indesign to potentially use for our zine.

Moodboard & Ideas


Above is a moodboard I created with existing layout ideas and colour schemes I have gathered to possibly experiment with in our zine.

Zine Theme

Our zine idea was to showcase the natural orientation of the South Campus and how it positively impacts the people on campus.

Group Presentation

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