Pop-Up book reflection


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I based my pop-up book on the 2004 Tsunami disaster that affected countries that shared a coastline with the Indian ocean. It was a tragic event where 230,000 people lost their lives. I wanted to capture this event through this project since I remember the day it took place as I was in the South of India when it happened. I found a poem by Sharon Esther Lampert titled “How many tears can the ocean hold?” which gives a more poetic meaning to the tragic event. She compares the overflowing waves of the ocean to overflowing tears of the Sumatran fishermen. I found the poem to be extremely moving and thought that it would fit in perfectly with my illustration style.

Some of the pop-ups have hidden elements such as the hands between the waves. The idea here is to try and save the drowning people but you can’t save them because their fate had already been sealed.

 One spread that I really enjoyed working on consisted of the art of kirigami, which is a variation of origami that includes cutting of the paper (from Japanese kiru “to cut,” kami “paper”), rather than solely folding the paper as is the case with origami. 


Production and Reflection


Figuring out how to execute the design for the invitation was probably the hardest obstacle of this project. I figured that I would need to divide my page into 3 panels for my design to work. I worked in illustrator at first since it was faster and easier to put together ideas over there and then moved over to setting up my file in Indesign since it is more print friendly.

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I thought that it was imperative to let people know about the 2 different exhibits– Riwaq and Mathaf. I visited both the exhibitions and even though they were from the same person I found that they told different stories. The exhibition in Al-Riwaq was more political and dark. I found it to be extremely intriguing how he had hidden messages throughout his work. The one in Mathaf, however, was more personal. He included a lot of his diaries and poetry inspired work. I felt like the work that was exhibited here was more colorful too.

The type of paper that I worked with was also important since I had a lot of folds and didn’t want my final piece to bulk up. I tested out a few different types of paper the one that worked best for me was thinner paper since it produced the most refined result. It was also easier to mail since it was thinner and could easily fit into an envelope.

I decided to play with this idea of separating the two exhibits. The bookbinding method of my choice further supported this idea. On one side the user would flip to the “Riwaq” spread which was more monotonous. The other side (the “Mathaf” spread) would contain a more colorful collection fo his work.

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Museum invites- Dia Azzawi


Dia Azzawi is a prominent artist in the Arab world and plays an important role in the promotion of Iraqi and Arab art to wider audiences through numerous exhibitions of his contemporaries work and in authoring publications. His work consists of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. When I first visited his exhibition at Al-Riwaq I really enjoyed the diversity of his pieces. What I loved most was how abstract his work was– like the desert rose. His storytelling style created an atmosphere of ambiguity.

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My initial idea for the invite was to create something that would fit his mysterious style. After researching for a while I found a style of binding called Jacob’s ladder. The Jacob’s Ladder artists’ book structure is borrowed from a folk toy traditionally made of blocks of wood held together with ribbons. The structure is held from one end and allowed to dangle vertically. When the block being held is tilted, the remaining blocks flip over in succession, producing a cascading visual effect. This was the tutorial that I found most helpful–

Title Sequence


This was one of my favourite projects this semester and it helped me realise where my primary interests in this field lie. I learned that I really love working with videos and experimenting on after effects. I used a mix of analog and digital for my title sequence. All my main visuals were shot by a camera, and all the typography that was placed into it was done digitally through after effects.

The most fun thing about my process was finding props and other 80’s themed memorabilia (and re-watching stranger things) for my video. The props used in each scene of the video were key moments in the tv series. I also tried to connect the characters to the props, where their name would appear once the prop is shown.

Storyboarding was very helpful as it encouraged me to plan out each scene of my video. Having a course of action to stick to helped me produce things quicker rather than thinking about what to do next. Even though I didn’t stick to my storyboard completely and still had a few changes it did help to have an idea in my head about what my video would eventually look like.

I think the only problem that I ran into was getting my cuts to time with my audio, especially the final scene with the neon lights flickering out. But I think I got it to work in the end.



Print manual


Basic rules

  • Maximum bleed – 5 mm/0.25 inch
  • Slug- 15/20mm
  • Always work in RGB. Once designs are finished, change to CMYK.
  • Round up to a whole number in the color panel (CMYK). Eg. If it is 56.78 change it to 57. 
  • Gradients are good for 1color and 2color print jobs.
  • Go to: File—>document color mode, to change RGB to CMYK before printing.
  • Always File—>Place when importing pictures.
  • Rasterized images for Photoshop and Vector images for Illustrator. 
  • How to name files..

name of project.date. (+ƒ for final file)

Eg. slice.28.07.2016ƒ (alt+f=ƒ) 


  • cmd+click – select objects hidden behind other objects
  • cmd+K – preferences 


  • cmd+k – preferences
  • Do not make art on InDesign. Make it in illustrator and then export it (cmd+d)
  • When resizing an image in Indesign: do not scale up or down more than 105% or less than 95% 
  • Ideal number: 100%, 300/300
  • Do not use transparency/blend modes in Indesign. 


  • shift+cmd+U to desaturate (b&w)
  • cmd+L & cmd+M to adjust contrast(
  • color correct (cmdL+cmdM)
  • before printing change to greyscale (image>mode>greyscale)
  • save the file as a tiff
  • -white reveals, black conceals-
  • Make sure while clipping an image to select the image and not the background. (no marching ants in border)




Theme cafe


At the beginning of this project, we were told that we would be creating a whole brand identity system. This project would be based on how we choose to apply the system that we have created. The first step was to think of a theme to go along with our cafe. I chose to do a “terraria” themed cafe as it would encourage people to be closer to nature.

A terrarium (plural terraria)  is a closed or open environment. It’s a miniature ecosystem. Inside a closed terrarium, you’ll notice many different natural.  Photosynthesis, respiration, and the water cycle. The water in the terrarium is constantly recycled, passing from liquid form to gas and back again. As the moisture in the air condenses on the glass walls, it returns to the soil and is absorbed by the plants’ roots. Keeping terrariums around you also have many benefits, including health benefits, minimalising anti-pollution and improving your mood+emotions. 

I had 2 contrasting elements in my system– the organic shapes of the flowers and the geometric logo. I thought that this contrast made it more interesting. The color palette that I used comprised of earthy tones, mainly cool colors to promote calmness in the space.

My menu consisted of herbal teas. The initial idea was that people could pick out their own herbs and make their own tea. The herbs could also have healing properties to promote better health.

The biggest struggle I had during this project was getting my logo to match my pattern(organic flowers). By adding the white to the logo, it matched a little better as the flowers had parts of white in them. I made small changes such as making the business cards that can also be used as a puzzle and printing a double sided water bottle label to make my system more interesting.

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final packaged product


This project helped me learn the basics of product packaging. It made me realise certain factors behind designing commercial packaging, like ethical factors. We need tho think about the things that we support and if our design goes against our ethics. Eg. designing packaging for a tobacco company even if you don’t support smoking. It really made me think about design and how impactful it is on a consumer.

One of the hardest parts of designing the packaging was figuring out where to place type on a 3D object and make it look good. Till now most of our projects have dealt with placing type on paper which would lay flat. When placing type on a box, we need to take so many more things into account, like choosing whether to have text wrap around the object or not. In the end, once I was able to figure out my type, everything else fell into place.