Imaging I // Here & There: Doha Havana / Process

I first started researching what types of classic cars can be found in Cuba. Through my research I found this website Cuba Autos that had a list of all the cars; their brands, model and year. I then made a list of all the names of the cars and started to look for profile images for all of them, I found front and back photos for some of them too. I asked my brother for a list of cars in Doha, and I went through the same process for them. I found a lot more classic cars than modern cars, so I decided to go through my classics and narrow them down to the cars that have distinct features. At the end I had a total of 40 cars to illustrate, 20 classic and 20 modern. Because the research took a big part of my time on this project, I couldn’t finish all of them in time for the exhibition, but I reached 26 cars at the end, and I was happy with the collection I choose.

Research

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Classic & Modern Car List

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Some Classic Car Research Images

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Some Modern Car Research Images

I then started to research different book binding techniques on Pinterest, and found a lot of inspirational pictures:

I liked the stitching details and the french folds the most. I loved the idea of adding a color on the inside. My cover color palette was yellow and blue, because the two common things between Doha & Havana ids that they are both sunny and by the sea. So I tested out french folds, that had only yellow, only blue, and one with half yellow half blue. I liked using both colors the most because as you flip through one side you would see one color and vice versa. However because the straight line down the middle might be hard to align in all the pages, I added a gradient in the middle to solve that problem.

For the title cover page, I experimented with many compositions. I choose the simplest one at the end, that used the typeface to distinguish that Havana is classic, and Doha is Modern. The two circles index wheels, and also highlight and connect the two cities with the shared “HA” in their names.

I then experimented with how I would crop the cars, so I printed them out and started folding them in interesting ways. It looked good on paper, but when I recreated it on illustrator it looked too forced. So I decided to just illustrate a normal cropped image of a car, that shows the distinctive features of that model. So that the cropping looks natural.

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As I was illustrating the cars,  I was first sticking to their original colors. However as I was working, my illustrator lagged, and some parts of the car I was working on disappeared, and all that was left was the body of the car with the background. It was shades of yellow and I thought that making the illustrations monochrome would aesthetically look great. So I choose the main color of a car and used shades of it for the whole car. As I was working on some, I choose to add a pop of color, because it was apart of the distinctive feature of the car.

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Lagged illustrator file that inspired me to make my designs monochrome

Things I Learned:

  • Happy Accidents can lead to really great design decisions.
  • Not planning all the details in a project can help create unplanned moments that end up looking much better than if you would have planned it out. Like how I crop the cars on each page. I decided to just fold the the illustrations in half and allow the car to naturally be cropped and fold around the page. It created interesting compositions of the cars, that I might have not thought about.
  • Impromptu decisions also ended up working well. Because I didn’t have time to actually bind the book by stitching it, I decided to use a binding clip. However the one I had was too small. So when I went to the book shop, they had these silver clips that worked really well with the book. Because the metal lends itself to the material of cars really well.
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