Improved Story Book – Idea and Prototype

I feel that my previous story book was nowhere near as good as it could have been so I have decided to recreate it in a more experimental and unusual style. I have decided to focus on Humpty Dumpty alone, rather than two nursery rhymes. After brainstorming a range of ideas for my new book, including making a story inside of a box which could unfold to find the story inside, I eventually decided on a jigsaw-puzzle idea.

Because there are four lines to the rhyme, I decided to create 4 smaller jigsaw-puzzles rather than one large one with the whole rhyme on it. The reason that I chose jigsaw-puzzles in the first place is because, in the rhyme, the characters attempt to piece Humpty Dumpty together again, after he falls off his wall and breaks – so now the readers/users can try and piece Humpty back together themselves. My target audience for the story book is going to be children, seen as it is a nursery rhyme written for children in the first places – I feel that a fun and interactive story book would therefore be perfect for my chosen audience.

I have researched the nursery rhyme thoroughly and discovered that it originated in the 1800s with slightly different wording, however the wording is more old-fashioned and would be difficult to understand by a child of nowadays. Because of this, I have decided to use the more modern and well-known version of the rhyme, but will use a typeface that has an old-fashioned look about it – possibly a script style, most likely calligraphy.

The text that I am going to use is:

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

I sketched out four thumbnails that I would use for each of the puzzles – one for each line of the nursery rhyme:

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I then created some larger A5 prototype versions of the first two thumbnails to test them out. Because in thumbnail 1, 3 and 4, the illustration style seems consistent, whereas thumbnail 2 looks slightly different – I drew it slightly differently in the A5 version and have decided that it definitely looks better.

I started by drawing the illustrations along with the text, and then added a jigsaw-puzzle grid of 6×8 squares over the top. After seeing them in A5, I feel that this would work as a good size for each of the four puuzles – not too big; not too small. Also, I really like the calligraphic style of font I’ve used, particularly in the second one as I have tried to make the typography expressive by making it look like it is ‘falling’, just as it says in that particular line of the rhyme.

2016-05-18 12.59.44

Next I cut them up to complete the prototypes. Doing this helped me realise that a 6×8 grid was probably too fiddly and complicated to put together, especially by a young child – the pieces were quite small and there was definitely quite a lot of them.

After realising 6×8 made too many puzzle pieces, I decided to try cutting out the next test prototype to a 3×4 grid instead, meaning there would be 12 jigsaw-puzzle pieces, rather than 48 (almost 50!). Seeing the two versions next to each other (below), you can see that the 3×4 grid definitely works better and it makes it much easier to piece together as well.

When I come to making the real version of my new and improved story book, I plan on adding colour as I feel that this will make it easier again when it comes to the user (ie. child) piece the jigsaw-puzzle together is it will make it clearer as to which pieces go where – knowing a lot of young children myself, I know that children often use colour as an association aid. Another thing that I will change is the material of the jigsaw-puzzle – I will use a thicker card or cardboard when making the real thing, as it is difficult to get the pieces to ‘fix’ together when they are just paper and they constantly move around – when creating the prototype I had to use blue-tac just to get them to sit still and in the correct positions.



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