I know it sounds weird, but form design is one of my favourite things to do. It’s like constructing an invisible puzzle – everything has to fit, and the ‘solution’ (how to use/read the form) needs to be obvious to everyone who comes across it.
Mash Millwright Field Service Labour Report
My little brother is a millwright in central Alberta. He’d been using a standard Field Report form, at left, but had a few problems with it. Some fields were redundant or not used much; others were used all the time but did not have enough space. He particularly wanted the job description area to be the full width of the page as he often ran out of room when writing up his description of the work that was done.
Upon looking at some of his old reports, I noted that most of his job descriptions were done in point form. This mean short line lengths, which are also easier to read. Instead of expanding the job description area the full width of the page, I rotated the report page 90º and made the column longer. This meant the other boxes could be reduced in width and stacked on top of each other. His clients could see a rundown of the parts, time and material used in one column on the left, with mileage tracking along the bottom.
The redesign was successful and he’s been very happy with it.
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council’s 2012 Annual Report featured their vision statement on the cover: Think More… Waste Less. For the print version, the globe was split vertically with half the message on the front cover and half on the back cover.
For the annual report’s downloadable PDF, we created one seamless image so the entire statement could be read at once.
Because of the globe, this year’s annual report featured a ‘travels and directions’ theme. A map, binoculars and compass are symbolically placed on the Mission, Vision, and Core Values page (above) and a map of Saskatchewan was used behind the list of SWRC members (below).
The annual activities article, titled ‘Milestones,’ uses a combination of signage and a travel scrapbook theme.
A subtle transit map motif was used for the Sources of Revenue graph.
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council’s 2011 Annual Report celebrates 20 years of waste reduction in Saskatchewan. For the cover, we featured the members’ list (over 140 businesses and municipalities) in celebration of their collective accomplishments. The ‘squares’ motif on the front shows an image of a landfill gradually giving way to a natural prairie landscape.
The squares motif was carried as a visual theme throughout the book. Interesting facts about waste reduction in Saskatchewan were highlighted on each spread with a small colored square.
The size and paper stock were chosen to reflect SWRC’s values. The booklet is printed on 8.5″ x 14″ paper folded in half to minimize paper waste, and the paper stock is 100% recycled post-consumer waste.
WordPress was chosen for their website platform as it will allow the site to easily evolve with the business. We also set up a custom Google+ profile for each business to boost search-engine visibility. This had an immediate positive effect on bookings at their long-term stay boarding house, R-Bar Accommodations.
Inspired by all the bits of Saskatoon’s 20th Street history that found their way into the Collective Coffee shop in the Two Twenty building, this accordion-fold booklet was completed in time for their grand opening.
Research for the piece began in the Local History Room at the Saskatoon Public Library. It was impressive to watch the archivists in action – if I so much as mentioned something I was on the trail of, they would run with it, and soon I’d have a stack of archive materials sitting on the table awaiting perusal.
The inside of the booklet features two historical panoramas of 20th Street, and photos of several re-incarnations of the Two-Twenty building (including stints as Kanigan’s Furniture and Joe’s Cycle & Sports).
The outside of the booklet has some details about the ‘coffee philosophy’ of Collective Coffee’s Jackson Weibe, and the story of the Two-Twenty building, owned by Shift Development‘s Curtis Olson. The Two-Twenty is part of an ongoing revitalization of 20th Street that began with the riverbank development and the Farmer’s Market on 19th, and houses Saskatoon’s first co-working community.
One of the details we managed to hunt down was the history of the vinegar factory in Riversdale. Reclaimed wood from the vinegar vats was used in the façade of the front counter at Collective Coffee. Jacob Semko, a local artisan and printmaker who crafted the counter, said the wood gave off a strong whiff of vinegar when cut. These days, of course, the only thing you can smell in the café is espresso.
Production notes: We used a Xerox color laser printer to print the piece and printed the booklets two-up on a 12″ x 40″ piece of paper, the maximum length that the printer would accept. The first edition was a run of 50. The scoring was the tricky part, since it adds ‘creep’ to the panels, and I’ll need to adjust the score marks for the next batch.
Grant Unrau at Stun Collective let us use his facility for production and I think I am in love with the old guillotine slicer! A girl can use a littler leverage once in a while….