"Five Things" Book Design Project


Joyce Chen / 5 Things Book project.
Ms. Chen's project received a Student Gold, and a Student Best of Show Award in the Louisville Ad Fed Addy Awards 2019.

Lynn Ogawa / 5 Things Book project

Logan Wells / 5 Things Book project

Taylor Simone Thomas / 5 Things Book project

Eb Chatham / 5 Things Book project

Duration: 6 weeks
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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

The prompt: “How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? Five Things, a podcast from 89.3 WFPL and Louisville Public Media, explores those questions and more.” Tara Anderson is the host and producer of Five Things, a podcast about the objects that tell our stories, gave permission to use this prompt for our project. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/496650990/five-things
The project: Design a book form featuring five things. Either use your own five things as source material, or interview a friend or family member about their five things. Must have either a special binding/container format, or have some unexpected or interactive element. (additional parameters and assignment handout are available from leslie.friesen@louisville.edu)

Learning Objectives

Develop their own content—words and images—for a book project. Integrate type and image(s) with a clear visual system. Explore possibilities beyond a traditional printed book form through interactive elements and/or special cover or container for finished piece.


Deliverables included completed physical comps; pdfs of project, and a digital presentation delivered to podcast host Tara Anderson and the class. Various steps in the project —idea generation, peer feedback, etc.—were also included in their end-of-the-semester process journal.


The project exceeded my expectations. Almost all students went beyond "easy" solutions and really pushed the envelope. This may be partly due to the personal nature of the content and that they were very engaged in the subject matter. Tara Anderson, who hosts the podcast, came in for their final presentations. An outside guest is always an additional motivator for that final presentation. I did allow more time than originally planned. We ended the in-class portion of the project on schedule, but with the need to get printed output from outside resources as well as the additional "making" time for interactive elements and cover, the final due date was pushed back to allow production time. Meanwhile their second class project was started in studio time, and they worked independently on the final production stages.

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