Portfolio Layout Ideas: Initial Research

With my books & stories theme, combined with the interesting portfolio layouts looked at during this weeks tutorial, my mind went back to some of the stories I read as a child. The most interesting ones were the ones which were interactive- you know the ones, with the push/pull levers, openable flaps, letters to unfold, and holes & gaps thoughout the book itself. I have fond memories of a few books- Peepo! by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, where circles cut out of the book would allow you to say ‘Peepo!’ to the baby through the pages, The Jolly Postman also by Janet & Allan Ahlberg which had envelopes inside that you could open in order to pull out and read characters private post though letters and postcards etc., and Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell where the animals for the zoo were under flaps which you could lift to reveal the animals.


Peepo by janet and allan ahlberg

Peepo!– Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Jolly postman

The Jolly Postman– Janet & Allan Ahlberg


Dear Zoo– Rod Campbell

This led me to the library to discover more interactive books, the ideas and theories of which I may transfer to my portfolio. The books I found ranged in both interactivity and content, ranging from fiction books for children to encyclopaedias, and non-fiction books on a single subject.

I discovered a number of pop-up architecture books, where turning the pages allowed some well known buildings to jump from the page and construct themselves infront of my eyes. There were also flaps to open on each page, which revealed further buildings and information on them. This interactivity enages the reader in the subject, even if they do not know about the subject.

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Building Stories by Chris Ware (1967-) came in a box, with all contents placed inside. This allowed me to look at the contents in whichever order I liked, which brings an individual experience to each person who reads it. Each item within the box also had a different layout, size and individuality, which gives the impression that each piece has it’s own identity, but are related by style and content. It is a collection that tells a story, rather than a book that tells a story.

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The other books I found had varying layouts, texts, flaps, 3d pop out’s, fabric/texture insertion and voids to engage the reader, no matter the age.

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This research allowed me to further investigate different layouts of books that I could incorporate into my own portfolio for the project. I like the interactivity of each of these precedents, and how they engage the reader and involve them in the reading and discovery of the story. The next step would be to think how these ideas could be taken further in the portfolio process.

2 thoughts on “Portfolio Layout Ideas: Initial Research

  1. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/205078214X14030010182146#.VhZr5flVhBc

    Theres a really interesting article in ‘Architecture and Culture’ called ‘Binding Architecture: Drawing in the Book’. Its all about artists books and using the book as an actual piece of the architecture or artwork to reinforce the message, as opposed to just using the page to simply draw on. I thought maybe it might be useful. Theres a copy of the issue in the library stacks in the basement!

  2. These are all really nice examples and it looks like you had a great time with the books! The pop-up 3 dimensional aspects are interesting as something to explore more in how the 2d plane of paper could transform into a 3d space almost as a stage-set for the different stories within your book? Think of how these strategies could be used less literally than the form of an entire building but rather as vignettes or thresholds between the different scales, worlds, people, narratives and objects that your book navigates. Perhaps the pop up can depict this journey from the macro world of the city in context and all the associated stories and references right down to your microscopic paper investigation? Looking forward to seeing a first draft of how you begin to investigate these techniques!

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