Leaving a Mark : A Decade of Design [2008]


[Publication – 250mm x 259mm & Clam-shell case —275mm x 275mm ]


In a collaborative teaching venture with my colleague, Pornprapha Phatanteacha, we were asked to instruct our Junior class in Publication Design on how to conceptualize a publication for the up-coming tenth anniversary celebrating the decade of service VCUQ had rendered in design education to Qatar. The Dean of our school would choose the most innovative idea as the possible direction the publication would take.

The winning concept (designed by Sahar Mari) was Leaving a Mark: A Decade of Design chosen with the thinking and recognition that since VCUQ had left its impression on both students and Qatar alike, the book should reflect the nature of that interaction within its content, construction, and form.

As all things are in situations likes this, we were subsequently invited to realize and oversee the production of this publication as part of a grand celebration that was to take place once school started back in the Fall. With only five weeks during the summer to complete this request, and precious little else in-hand, we devised an innovative method of process that marshaled our forces and saw this publication come to light.

In keeping with the initial student concept, we created a publication that both used mark making as the visual language of the book, but also used mark making as a way for the reader to engage with the text. The idea being that since VCUQ had had such influence over so many peoples lives in the past decade, we should celebrate and acknowledge this contribution. Among the many special features this book contains, a noteworthy inclusion is a comprehensive timeline that details all the contributions of faculty, staff, and students over the previous tens years.

As an institute of design both in the Middle East, but on a global scale, it was important that the publication highlight the salient aspects to design education VCUQ had offered over the years in the realms of Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Interior Design, as well as Foundation Studies and Liberal Arts. The publication need to be both a record of what had happened during those years, but also be a place that commemorated all the individuals that helped make VCUQ the institution that it is.

Sections were created in the book to highlight events and the people involved with VCUQ, with the largest section devoted, of course, to students and student activities. In order to truly activate the nature of leaving a mark, special pages within the center section were devised with hidden content that required the reader to rip them open to enjoy the stories and pictures inside. It ensured that each book would have a unique history of reading, just like each student that spent time at VCUQ would have their own perspective on design.

In the end it was a gratifying experience that showcased all the best that VCUQ has to offer or make possible.

Project Acknowledgements

• Pornprapha Phatanteacha, collaborator and co-design director

• Zeina Hamady, junior designer

• Fatima Al-Mansoori, student production designer

• Rana Selo, student production designer

• Jeff Lodge & Jesse Ulmer, content managers

• Roselyn Elliot, writer

• Markus Elblaus, publication photographer