Design & the Play Instinct

Book Design

Using the text, images and one color, I developed a strong visual concept, utilizing a grid system to design a short book. The book's content is attributed to Paul Rand's essay, "Design and the Play Instinct."

Project Type

Graphic Design

Publication Design

Software Used

Adobe InDesign

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator


May - June 2020

(4 weeks)

Inspiration and Brainstorming

To emphasize the "Play" characteristic of Paul Rand's essay, I chose a bright spot color (orange) and a youth-like aesthetic.


Color Options


Too dull!

I started off with a muted orange color. When used in the book, it seemed lifeless and didn't bring out the enthusiasm I wanted to showcase with the "play" aesthetic.


Too bright!

To make the book brighter, I went with a more saturated orange, which ended up hurting my eyes.


Final Choice!

I ended up using a color which fell in between the two previous, extreme choices.

Outline and Storyboards

I marked up an essay printout with page numbers for each paragraph to determine how many pages the book would have. The storyboard is much more detailed with the number of paragraphs on each page, colors, text arrangements, etc. However, I did end up changing the layouts and colors to make the book more legible and interesting.


Essay Printout



Type Studies

I studied each of the fonts given to me, and ended up using the following fonts in the book. Since these fonts had similar characteristics, the fonts went well together in terms of unity and legibility.


Body Type:
Frutiger LT Std Light



Futura Std Extra Bold Condensed



Futura Std Medium Condensed

Cover Page

To highlight all of the aspects of my book and the original essay, I made a collage of all of the images from the book and used an orange overlay on top.  




Final Book

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