Developing the Brochure

We’ve spent a great deal of this blog writing about the development of our audio tour for Breary Banks, but there is another component to our audio visual guide – the visual part. In addition to the audio tour, we needed to create a brochure to go along with it.

We had been thinking about the brochure since the very beginning of our project, especially when we created our mood board and started developing our aesthetic for the guide. We spent a great session with Tom Smith (one of our favourite IT people from the University of York), throwing out ideas and concepts and eventually came up with a rough idea that we all liked. It kept our scrapbook theme whilst still providing a great amount of information.

Following our pitch to the Leeds Museums and Galleries curators, we had a few tweaks to our concept, but overall, we were really pleased with it, and set the brochure aside to concentrate more fully on the audio guide for a bit. About a week later, we finally sat down to really begin working on the prototype…when we hit an ‘uh oh’ moment. It was that moment all designers dread, when they realise that they overlooked a crucial detail that drastically alters their design. In our case, it was something as simple as margins, which would break up the cover design that we had envisioned. Luckily, Tom was with us again, and as most of the group was working on things for the audio guide, he and a couple of us started hashing out a few alternative ideas to present the rest of the group. In the end, we solved the crisis, coming up with a new layout that took margins into account but also kept to our scrapbook theme.

Now that we had a better feeling for the layout, our group split up, most of them going back to Breary Banks itself to run a pilot test on our audio guide as Tongtong, Meghan, and I stayed back at King’s Manor to focus on things for the brochure. We decided to use LucidPress to build it on, as it was a browser-based program. This meant that multiple people could work on it at the same time, and we also would all be working on the same file as well, instead of sending around a new file every time someone updated something and hoping that they hadn’t edited an old copy. Both these were key to a project that has multiple creators and a tight timeline, which made this program absolutely perfect for us.

Tongtong worked on the map and icons as I spent the morning building a good base for everyone to drop their information into, turning our rough layout into an actual thing that would be used by the public. Things were going really well… until we broke for lunch, and the power went out in the city centre of York, including King’s Manor. This meant that we had no power and worse still, no internet. Still, we didn’t let a simple little thing like a power cut slow us down. We decided to work off our laptops until the batteries gave out and Meghan set up a hotspot on her mobile so that we had internet. We kept working for three or four hours like that, doggedly determined to not give in despite the technical difficulties. By the end of the day (and the end of our laptops), we had a put as much into the brochure as we were able, and had a good framework for the others to drop their content into.

Last week, we were all together again, spending two long, excruciating days editing our audio guide stops and pulling together the rest of the brochure. This was where the decision to use LucidPress turned out to be brilliant, as we had at least five people working on the brochure at any given time, each filling it in with pictures and text and adjusting fonts and colours and layouts as it all finally came together.

What does the final brochure look like? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…

Written by Ashley

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