Graduating around the Globe

Client: Universiteit Twente, Prof. dr. A.J.M. De Jong
Contact: Prof. dr. A.J.M. De Jong (Ton)
Subject: The making of an illustrated cover for the collected PhD traditions in the digital booklet ‘Graduating around the Globe‘.

I had the pleasure of contributing to a digital booklet about all kinds of PhD ceremonies all over the world. I illustrated and designed the cover and also formatted the book’s interior. 187 pages full of stories and photos from different countries. All with their own traditions. Based on the description and an early version of the collected stories and photos, I made two concepts to choose from.

Concept 1 of Graduating around the Globe cover
Concept 1. Fresh graduates flying towards new adventures.
Concept 2 of Graduating around the Globe cover
Concept 2. A worldmap with souvenirs and polaroids from different countries

In Concept 1, the PhD graduates fly into an exciting future. All kinds of countries are represented, some in special ceremonial clothing, others just in jeans. In concept 2, I collected objects related to PhD ceremonies from all kinds of countries and arranged them as ‘souvenirs’ around a world map. I opted for a world map (instead of a globe) so that as many countries as possible would be included.

Concept 2 was chosen to be finished, with more Polaroids and more ‘souvenirs’ and fresher colours. I looked further into the traditions and based on the photos, I transformed the concept into an illustrated cover with (a nod to) Prof. Ton de Jong in full uniform on the back. There are also 2 references to the University of Twente, found in the staff on the right and the chain on the bottom left.

Graduating around the Globe cover no title
The cover is nearly done. Now for the title…

A cover is not complete without typography. As this cover only has to be available digitally, I don’t have to worry about the spine. Also, no text is needed on the back. Contributions come from various authors, so only the title needs to be added. The title should enhance the illustration without being ‘shouty’. I made several different versions of the title.

title choices for Graduating around the Globe
Three rounds were needed to get to the right typography design.

The plane and the cap were favourites. The chosen title gives an active impression and takes you on a journey to all countries and ceremonies. The cover design is finished.

Finished cover design
The front cover shown as people see it online.

In addition to the cover, I was also asked to format and design the interior and make sure that the PDF book complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This means, among other things, that the PDF has a logical reading order so that screen readers have no trouble reading the text.

Curious about all the different stories? You can read them all here

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