BA Senior Project

San Jose State University: Capstone Course DSGD 197

Project 1 - Visual Storytelling

Orihon Folding Booklet designed to visualize the unique personality and character of my creative muse Courtney and her relationship to nature.

Collect information from personal interview about your muse in order to interpret and transform the research into a compelling design using storytelling, poetry, quotes, lyrics etc. Emphasis will be placed upon original concept development and the exploration of diverse processes, techniques and methods (photography, screen printing, xerography…)

Questions considered:
1. Tell me a memorable experience around nature from your life.
2. What is your relationship to nature?
3. What is your favorite animal?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your favorite landscape?
6. What makes you feel connected with the world?
7. What are you passionate about?
8. Who is your favorite writer/poet/ songwriter/designer? Why?
9. What does flow mean to you?
10. What spiritual practices are important in your life?

size: 4”x4” final folded format
pages: 8 panels, both sides carefully considered
color: 4 color process

Final Designs

Front Side
Back Side
Printed book photographed with background edit

Design Process - Thumbnails & Concepts


Digging Deep
Design can be appreciated on many levels based on the perspective of the viewer. Interviewing my muse for this project, Courtney, allowed me to get a very personal look into her relationship with nature, her beliefs and even personal tastes she has.

Discovering the details of the entity with whom you’re working is truly an essential part of kicking off any design project. It helps to set a tone and structure for the phases that follow in the design process.

Leading from the interview, I was able to create a text cloud of key words about Courtney as well as a mood board of images that inspired graphics as well as colors for my designs. This allowed me to make rational decisions that resonated with not only the viewers, but also the muse herself 

The recurring theme of water was prevalent throughout the designs and it ultimately
provided the solution to tie the two sides of the Orihon book together. Although I was initially bent on including everything Courtney had shared with me, I faced a challenge having to decide to drop the green forest visuals during the concept phases.

It was clear I made the right decision moving into the final design phases. The entire front side of the design contained a deep ocean, everything Courtney shares a strong connection with. The back side became a serene pink and purple sunset, her favorite colors, to contrast the busy ocean deep.

The end result gave me a fulfilling sensation of accomplishment, especially hearing Courtney’s response that I “really captured the essence” of her personality & relationship to nature.

I learned the value that unconstrained brainstorming and idea-gathering has, a highly important phase in the early design process. This allowed me to generate solid concepts that stayed true to the fundamental ideas into the final product.