Design 1B: Form and Meaning

Visual Archive


Anything that you have an accumulation of can be a collection. An archive is a collection of historical documents or records. Not all collections are archives, but many become relevant with time. For our next project you’re tasked with creating a collection of 25 items. Any time you see a multiplicity of an object, you begin to notice similarities and contexts in a new way. Seeing multiple of an object allows for this kind of in depth research that observing one object does not. The way the object is documented (consider the various image making techniques we’ve explored this semester) and organized helps direct the viewer on how the object is meant to be experienced.

Create a visual archive of 25 items. The content of the archive is entirely up to you and should reflect one of your interests or ruminations. Consider different ways of documentation and think about how your visual approach informs your perspective on the collection. Mundane, everyday objects tend to be easier to work with than complicated or sentimental ones. If you’d like, you can focus on one aspect of your objects rather than documenting it in its entirety (for example, shoe imprints vs the entire shoe). Once you’ve created an archive, develop a name for your collection – this will be the name of your book. Design a cover that captures the spirit of the collection.

Deliverable Options

Option 1 – PDF

  • Assemble a designed, multipage PDF that highlights your collection. Use InDesign to do this. Define the layout and consider what kind of content would help structure the page: for example: page breaks, categories, page types (full bleed, half image half text, a grid of images). Make sure that your whole document has a uniform quality to it and that any additional content helps communicate your idea.
  • Dimensions: Either 8.5 x 11 (spreads or single pages) or 1920 x 1080 px (widescreen digital format). RGB color space!

Examples: Mary Ping Look Book, K-Hole Editions, Urgency Reader – Queer Archive, 93.1 Jack FM Los Angeles, 2009 vol 1 – Guthrie Lonergan

Option 2 – Instagram Story

  • Use your class instagram account to create a story and save it as a highlight.
  • Consider adding additional content using instagram’s editing features (gifs, scribbles, text, tagging things). Consider how you can use a combination of media to tell a clear story and to add interest to your collection.
  • Consider using a combination of photography, phone videos and graphic text to communicate the story.
  • If you’d like to, you can also design parts of instagram story in photoshop/illustrator and upload them that way. If you choose to do this, design the asset at 1080 x 1920px.

Examples: Hassan Rahim Thumbs Up, Eva Stories (sensitive content), Diet Prada, RoAndCo Highlights

Option 3 – Website Using Scoby and

  • Publish your collection using Scoby and Scoby is a page creator built on by Elliott Cost.
  • To use this, first create a public channel that houses your entire collection as well as any other information (text, supporting assets).
  • Once you have the collection, connect it to the mother channel. You’ll then be able to see your collection here. Once you create it, use simple CSS to the collection channel and see it update on the website. Note: While this is a new skillset, it’s in your reach to learn how to use basic CSS. I will help you with this if you choose to do it! Please let me know ASAP if you’re doing this, I’ll provide steps and resources.

Examples: Karen Rose Artwork on Scoby and on, Cubist Google Earth on Scoby and on, Red and Black on Scoby and on

Requirements for all options

  • Should have decisions for order and pacing
  • Should show your entire collection
  • Have a title and designed cover for it
  • Have a thought through narrative – literal or implied
  • Should be a designed experience (there should be reasons for everything you design)

Due date

03/30 (Draft 1) 04/05 (Final)