• G. Smith

What to do with tags?

I've now designed the first twelve pages. I've also reached out to all the people who've been telling me "maybe" and "soon" for one last time. If someone doesn't reply by the end of the week, I'll assume that they're not interested anymore. I totally get that this project is very low on people's lists of priorities – but I've repeatedly been hearing "soon" from some potential supporters ever since February. I'm still optimistic in some cases, but for now I'll keep working with the images I got from the 34 people who've sent me stuff so far. Let's see what else will happen.

One thing I've been coming across while designing the first couple of pages is this: Some artists tag/sign their work. And I'm not sure as to how I should handle this in the book. On the one hand I sign my work too and I understand a creator's wish to do the same. In a way, it's like a business card – and I don't wanna take away someone's advertising space. These people support my project for free and it seems only fair to give them whatever type of shoutout I can. On the other hand, some tags/signatures are really noticeable and draw a lot of attention to them when you look at the page. That's not good. This is a poetry book after all, not a collection of business cards. When a tag gets more attention than the actual poem, something's obviously wrong. I am not only the author of this book, I'm also the designer. And that's just bad design.

So what do I do? Should I just remove all signatures from the pages? That seems disrespectful. At the end of the book, there's going to be a list of everyone involved, stating which pictures were provided by whom. I also have the right to edit all images ... I just want to edit them in keeping with the artist's intention. Removing a tag seems intrusive.

What I've done so far is reduce the tags in size. I've tried to make them less noticeable without them becoming tiny and unreadable. I hope that's a sustainable solution moving forward. I just wanted to share with you my thought process behind it.


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