Interview with designer Daniel Kutcher (DK), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design 180º North East Novel.

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Interview with Daniel Kutcher at Saturday 19th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
DK : My main aim to tell the story of what happened in a way so that the reader can get the best idea of what it was like for me. At some points throughout, I didn't feel like words could express exactly how I was feeling or what was going on at that particular moment in time, so I decided to include elements of art and graphic design to help convey those feelings.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
DK : My main focus was always to tell the story the best way possible. I wanted the reader to be able to enjoy the journey as much as I did as they read through the text and saw the accompanying visuals.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
DK : My plans are to try to talk to different kinds of publishers to see if there would be a way for it to reach more people and see what kind of response it receives.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
DK : From start to finish it took me around four years to complete this project. I had to find time aside from making a living to work on this, so it was mostly weekday nights and weekend mornings (aside from a year and a half period near the start when I was freelancing and in general had more time).

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
DK : I was inspired to apply all the techniques that I had learnt until then into telling this story. I also hoped that it would stretch me further as a designer and take me places I hadn't yet explored.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
DK : For the moment I'm interested in hearing what a publishing house would have to say about the production possibilities of the book and then I'll take it from there.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
DK : It slowly developed over time. At first it was going to be a series of photos and a small amount of text about some parts of the journey. Then I decided to combine the text and photos into a book. Finally I decided to incorporate the elements of design into the piece as well.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
DK : No, not on this project.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
DK : Anyone who is thinking of starting or has been on a similar journey and wants to get a taste of what an experience like that might be like.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
DK : I haven't come across any other travel books yet that have combined similar disciplines together as one coherent piece, but maybe I need to search deeper.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
DK : For the first few weeks it was actually called "180º North West" since I always confuse east and west. I realised soon that I from Australia to The Netherlands, the direction was more of a north easterly one, so I changed it. And the 180º is because they were on oposite sides of the globe, half a complete revolution away, so, 180º.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
DK : I used a mix of programs by Adobe, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Premiere. Then I also used Microsoft Word to write the main body of text with.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
DK : I think the way in which I express some of the experiences I went through is the more unique part of the design as I mix sentences that together tell a story with design elements, a combination which might not be so common to see.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
DK : I worked alone on this project.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
DK : I used a computer and software I needed to put the design together.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
DK : The only research I did was to skim through some travel memoirs that had already been written to see the style and presentation of what was already out there on the market.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
DK : I tried to achieve a lot of the effects using non digital methods at first, but seeing how they were not as precise as I wanted them to be, I opted to recreate them digitally. And even then, it was tough to figure out what tools I could use in each part of the design to make sure it was the best quality possible.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
DK : I decided that it would add some credibility to the design concept if it was associated to an award, so I decided to enter it into a competition which offered a category applicable to my design concept.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
DK : I learned a lot about composition and maintaining coherence throughout a long project. I also learned some new techniques within the software I used.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
DK : Not for the moment.