Book design

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Ideally, i would’ve embedded the word Lucian in to the front page instead of printing it. So i decided to place it in the same place in a similar colour. I used the colour picker tool to select the pink of the sky, then decreased the pinks to make a lighter colour which gives the impression of it being embedded in to the page. I think it works really well in this position as it is framed by the birds, making it a focal point of the frame. The line of the sea allows you to then look further in to the image.

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I used the same text in the first page, with a thank you to Lucian in a darker brown font to make it stand out. I feel this works well here as it immediately acknowledges Lucian. I wanted an extra page before starting the book to prepare the readers, instead of throwing them straight in to the images.

I had the text set 44.3mm away from the opposite page or image edge on each full bleed image. I found when i had portrait images that sat differently on the page, the text was too close to the image and when looking at the book on a wide view, it looked messy as everything else was in order. So i used master pages to set a line at 44.3mm on each page,  combined with using the gap tool so i could ensure they were all at this width away. But in some cases, such as the page with Kiri, the cat, it pushed the text too far in to the fold of the page. It was fine when it goes out to the edge, but in the fold it would get lost when being bound.


For ease of work flow, i used Character styles so my book matched throughout. Once i had chosen my fonts, sizes, colour and alignment, i set them as categories that can easily be selected. I decided to make the text dark charcoal grey instead of black, as i feel it takes the harshness away from reading the text on a white background. I wanted to use an structured text, as i feel the book contains a serious topic, so the text is set as something you would see in a news article or magazine to make it reflect these.

Once i had inserted all of the images and captions, i began looking at the large statement Lucian had sent me. As the text was very grouped in its topics, i thought i would place it throughout the book instead of using it as a prologue as i had previously planned. On some, i placed them as blocks on double page spreads to isolate them to make them a focal point, whilst they flowed in the order of the book providing extra information on the topic of the next image. With the statement about his brother, i combined it with the caption of the image of his brother, as the two were very similar. This produced an extended caption with in-depth information, with a left alignment to link it to the image instead of a full box which places it central.


New Internationalist

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 19.05.17.pngNew Internationalist is a prime example of a independent, non-profit media co-operative. They specialise in investigative reporting, publishing articles on human rights, politics, social and environmental justice. They have won awards for ‘Best International Coverage’ and been awarded by the United Nations for ‘outstanding contribution to world peace and development’. They invest in in-depth reporting and publishing, ensuring a well informed population as they believe this is essential for a functioning democracy. They have no media or corporate advertisers influencing what they do, being funded by subscriptions and donations.

They work by interacting with an international network of writers, bloggers, campaigners to tell unreported stories to keep readers updated on our complex and changing world. They provide a real insight, sharp analysis and in-depth global coverage on topics from fracking to migration, and what actions can be taken. They strive to make a fairer, more sustainable future.

I personally subscribe to New Internationalist because of the depth in the stories. It presents places i wouldn’t of researched or even heard of, it makes the effort to personally meet the people which makes you trust the article. Each publication focuses on a different theme as shown in the covers. The covers may be illustrations or images, there is no set theme which makes each publication unique.

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I found this article on misrepresentation in Britain’s media. It goes in to more depth with how brands pull out of magazines etc than i found anywhere else. It is interesting because it is upfront about the problem instead of hiding facts. It also reflects on its own achievements, stating there stats went up by 300 percent after Trumps victory, meaning people want to see the truth.

You can view the different stories in the contents page, which is easily sectioned so you can read the magazine with ease. They use a lot of stats to prove facts, which is shown in fig 2 here, emphasised with different colours to ensure the information isn’t boring. They show both large and small stories, such as independent stories about one person, or a larger scale of a village. I like the way the article about the village has been laid out, as although it is talking about progression over many years, to make it chunk sized they have grouped this in to areas such as health and education so the facts flow.

The natural imagery and informative text, makes the reader connect with the article. They find out facts that wouldn’t usually be published, raw content, which reassures the reader they are being told the truth.

Misrepresentation of Migrants/Refugees in the Media

An article in the Guardian, ‘Where media fails on the reporting of migrants and refugees’, states:

Around the world, media coverage is often politically led with journalists following an agenda dominated by loose language and talk of invasion and swarms,” said Aidan White, EJN’s director.

Media posts are often seen on the web, on the news and in print that have an option wrapped in them. Whoever writes the article, naturally has an opinion on the subject prior to writing the post, which can make it opinionated. They can also be influenced by a higher voice, such as a company they work for or the opinions of the country it is being published in, which warps what they have to write.

The Guardian states different categories that can cause misrepresentation:

Missed opportunities: When the media fails to publish a story that is happening, which then causes a bigger issue and later has to be addressed.
Hate speech: Statements from politicians such as Trump, United States, fuel the public and hijack media coverage.
Falling standards: not providing reliable and detailed information, due to the lack of well-informed journalists.
Sensationalism: Not using the correct terms to describe migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

To correct these problems, stronger links must be made between journalists and migrant/refugee groups, and higher employment of journalists of ethnic minority.

Alan_Kurdi_lifeless_body.jpgMany articles state how the nature of migrant/refugee posts changed with the death of Alan Kurdi, when an image appeared all of the media of his body on a beach in Turkey. This forced the media to take a more sensitive approach to the human side of the context shown as the public reacted to the image. A huge reaction was produced from this image, as it opposed the mainstream media statements about the refugees, and made people have a much more empathetic approach.

Publications such as The Guardian and The Independent have focused on the human element of the crisis. Where as right-wing media have responded differently, focusing on national security. Such as the Daily Mail, the Sun and The Daily Mirror often receive criticism on social media for using dehumanising language and confusing the line between migrants, and refugees. The United Nations defines refugees as ‘persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution’, where as a migrant is a person that chooses to move under no threat. Calling refugees, migrants, as these publications often do, makes the public believe they are forcing their way in to our country under no need.

A typical example of this is in the Telegraph, where we are told at the beginning of the article that ‘David Cameron is to insist that illegal immigrants are deported to the European country where they first arrived.’. But these illegal immigrants are later desired as people ‘fleeing the troubles in North Africa and the Middle East. This is an example of sensationalism, making people believe something different to the facts. This article calls the refugees, illegal immigrants twice, making it a reoccurring theme.

Chosen image narrative

To choose my narrative, i printed out every image i had chosen for the book, alongside the captions. From reading through the captions, i new i would be using them as the link for the narrative.

I always wanted 01 for the front cover of the book, as it was one of the first images Lucian had shown me and been passionate about. I enjoy it because of the subtle colours and calm nature of the landscape, but it represents his own life as he states the more you look, the more you see in the image.

I then began the narrative with captions that defined him as a person, the transition he went through, friends and family. This made an outline of his life and the process he has experienced, before putting more emotive content in. The book then goes on to present his struggles, with _15 being the middle image as it presents the wall in his life. From this point, the narrative goes on to explain why he struggles and his fears, before ending on a positive note, looking forward to the future.

I removed _26 from the final book edit, as i realised it is from another photographer with their personal trademark on, which i don’t have a licence to use.

When i began ordering the captions and images, they ended up in three groups. I group of friends and family, personal life, and extra detail. I found images such as the fish _14 difficult to place, as it didn’t have a caption but i felt was a necessary photograph to have in to display a wider outlook on his life, to present his interest in cooking on a wider scale. It ended up after the plates, so you get the context of his history in cooking before seeing the image, so it links.

The easiest part of the narrative for me was image _19 to _24, as each image describes a different fact on his fears and how he deals with them. Im glad the narrative ends on a positive note after this, because it is important for Lucian to look forward to the future and see the positive aspects over everything he has been through.

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Statement from Lucian

I asked Lucian 7 questions regarding his transition to the UK, including his influences and details. What is interesting, is that he doesn’t go in to detail about any family apart from his brother, which reflects the photographs as the only family image he wanted to include was his brother. I feel it is useful to address why in the statement so the viewers don’t feel like they are missing out on something.

My original intentions were to change this in to one body of text. But the answers are very direct to different subjects and don’t combine, so i am going to play around with cutting it up through the book. Making different chapters or adding more information:

Why did you move to the UK & Why Cheltenham?

While living in Bucharest in 2009 I met a girl named Livia. After 6 months together she was accepted at Glamorgan University in Cardiff and we decided to break up since neither of us thought that a long distance relationship could work. Before I was supposed to start my course in Bucharest, I came to visit Livia since she wasn’t adjusting very well to life in Wales. After talking to her we decided that the it will be best for me to stay and for us to move in together. Fast forward 4 years, I broke up with Livia and moved back to Bucharest and decided to give it another try. I spent 9 months in Bucharest and I was unable to re-adjust to life there. During those 9 months I met Ela and later, because I wanted to move back to the UK, I chose to move to Cheltenham to spend some time with Ela. That only lasted a week and I found myself all alone in a new town, luckily I found a job as a chef the day I arrived. Along the years, since I was 20 years old, I moved several times, probably to escape my family but also to explore the world and to start over.

What are your family doing now?

I consider my only family to be my brother, Alex, and he lives in Bucharest. Neither of us speak to our parents due to a series of events that occurred along the years. Every time I go to Bucharest I stay at my brother’s house and even though we used to fight all the time as kids, we were still good friends as we are now. Out of everything in my life, I am most grateful about having my brother there during all the hard times in my life.

Are there any key people/friends that made the transition easier?

When I first moved to Cardiff I started a college course so I could obtain a work permit that allowed me to work part-time. I remember waiting for the work permit to arrive for 6 months and envying anyone with a job since I was getting close to finishing all of my money. Luckily I had great support from Livia’s family during that time and later I repaid their support by being the only one providing for me and Livia for the whole period she was in education. Some of my first friends were Josep and Ester, a Catalan couple and later on when I started my second course in college, an IT course, I got really close to Gareth, Chris and Anthony, 3 really nice guys from Cardiff. Out of them I was very close to Gareth and used to spend more time with him and always sit next to him in class. During my time in college Gareth committed suicide after a dispute with his partner, he had 2 daughters, one aged 2 and one of 6 months at the time. I found it really hard to accept his death and I remember dreaming of him calling me and telling me it was just a joke to upset his partner.
Key things you learnt from England

During my 7 years in the UK, out of which 3 in England, I have learned to appreciate life, friendship and to not be afraid to express my feelings. I still find it hard to adjust to life here due to the fact that Romanians in general are more open about daily life and our society not being based on consumerism, especially during holidays, as the British society. The end result of moving back and forth during my adult life is that I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere, I always feel like something is missing but I can never tell exactly what.


Any key emotions you felt during the transition to now

At first, when I stayed in Cardiff and I had a return ticket to Bucharest, I remember the time during those two weeks before my return flight was scheduled. During that time, I went through a wide range of emotions, including panic, excitement, fear and happiness all mixed together. I also felt like that after I moved alone to China when I was 21, to work for a Romanian company and find factories to produce their products. Out of all the emotions I felt during my whole time here, the recurring one is the feeling of loneliness, but that feeling enables me to go and live my life and travel alone.
Things you miss

What I miss the most is my brother and the passion with which Romanians live their life and connect with each other. The difference I notice all the time when comparing the Romanians and the English is the lack of social awkwardness in the former. We somehow find it very easy to connect with other people and to express our feelings without being concerned so much of what other people think. I also miss being invited in friends’ homes and having people over, since the feeling of togetherness is not felt as much when meeting at a pub.
What are you passionate about? E.g. Landscape Architecture

My passions include cycling, longboarding, snowboarding, travelling and being on the road, landscape architecture, nature and being outdoors, camping and festivals, going to concerts and meeting new people and old friends.

Private Images

What is difficult about the information attached to the images is that, due to mine and Lucians friendship, he explains things to be in more detail than has been written in some of the captions. Here for example, there is more detail behind his and Alexander’s relationship that could’ve been included as a point in his life, but as this is personal to her also, he decided not to include it in the captions. This means although i chose to put the images in the edit, due to the lack of information with the captions, i will not be pursuing these images in the final book edit.

Captions for final images

When i received the captions that Lucian had written, i was immediately happy with how personal they are. Many of the captions present details and person thoughts to Lucian that a viewer would of never found out with out the context.  They are generally a similar length, bite size captions that are easy to read and don’t stray from the point.

After reading them through, they definitely lead the narrative. As there is no clear narrative through the images, i will use the captions to make links in the images.