Ryczek - Process 3
University of Michigan
Mike Ryczek Exhibition Publications Project
Critique and revision.
As I started to make revisions I noticed a lot of problems. Minor edits included changes to the title, cover art, and typography. The title “Look…” had bothered me for a while because, even with the ellipses, it seemed rather commanding. I finally decided to replace it with something more simple and descriptive that would be boring enough to recede into the background: “Mike Ryczek, Reflective Artwork”. Major edits deal with the book’s sequencing and image layout.
Changes to Sequencing
In my initial drafts I included a lot of conceptual information that would be read before a painting was revealed. I realized that including that information beforehand was making it harder for the viewer to react uniquely which contradicts my intent to individualize the reading experience. One way to fix this might be to flip the order of images and text. By instead presenting a painting before its description, the initial reaction to that painting would be unique. Unfortunately, this only allowed for a short moment of free thought which seemed like it should last longer.
My solution was then to cut out any information that imposed conceptual meaning, leaving the reader with brief descriptions that direct attention but refrain from instruction. If I do include a thought from Mike, I state that this is what Mike thinks and is not necessarily what you as the reader might think. I also give a link to his website so that those who want to read more can do so. This is how Mike wishes for people to treat his work, which I amplified by including a quote from him in the opening sequence.
I moved the spreads explaining the making process to appear after the paintings themselves (sequence shown below). This correction would make for a more spontaneous reveal of the image, and was surfaced during a user testing session with my grandmothers.
Changes to Image Viewing Format
After conversations with classmates and faculty, it was decided that the way in which paintings were presented was too predictable. Every piece shown was either full bleed or contained in the same dark border (sequence shown below).
If my goal is to draw attention to the paintings, then I need to reveal them in more dramatic fashion. To accomplish this, I varied the layout of images throughout the book. I determined what image sizing and background color would grab the most attention by considering the order in which images appear and the relationship of one image layout to the next (sequence shown below).