I was recently tasked with a large redesign of a brochure that is given to all visitors of the Virginia State Capitol.

I inherited this project from a design agency here in Richmond. A reorganization of the brochure was requested. As you can see, the piece is jam-packed with information! This is for good reason, as the building is coming up on its 300 year anniversary, having many historic events occur within this time span. The building hosts the earliest and longest acting bicameral, democcratic, legislature in North America.

A group of stakeholders; (CSPC,HOD, SOV, and VCF), organized to make some significant changes to the brochure. The group wished to make the diagrams the interiors be shown as one would traverse various floors and rooms, as to help visitors of all languages be able to see where they were at any point in time. Previously, the interiors were broken up by floor, not showing the contiguous wayfinding that helps all navigate the historic building from floor to floor.

Besides reworking the flow of a large amount of information to accommodate a set of redrawn floor plans, I also created matching stylized illustrations for new monuments on the square. I took new photographs for the cover to highlight architectural features that were missing in images prior to the 2007 restoration completion date as well as all photos on the interior view. Special prints and engravings shown included are courtesy of The Library of Virginia. More accurate illustrations were commissioned to better direct accessible routes for visitors.

Please click or tap the gallery thumbnails below to learn more about the project through captions provided:

Previous designs of the brochure allowed for much historic information to be displayed. Although, as diagrams were broken up showing the modern extension, along with the individual floors separately, visitors had a hard time locating their locations in such a large place.

The Capitol's underground extension is shown in a way that visitors could understand the traversal from here to the historic building, where it was originally three individual diagrams that were a bit confusing. More accurate accessible pathways were illustrated, along with those that aren't.

Movements and improvements: Poor Edgar had to be moved to a secluded place, which is somewhat fitting. In his old view a new set of monuments are being erected. These new additions to the square are The Virginia Women's Monument along with the Virginia Indian Tribute.

Technologies Used and Cost Control:

Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop

A universal access icon was created for multiple scenario appearances and saved for later use as vector asset in similar projects.

Keeping a stylized look of illustrations and photography was done using these tools. Color correction for photography and transparency of vectors was a small challenge, but a few proofs later, I was able to see the look of this imagery on both laser and uncoated stock, with the latter eventually being used as the substrate for printing. The illustrator file weighed in heavy, because of it’s multiple clipping masks and intricate layers. Working in Illustrator is something I love, and it’s my software of choice when creating branding and themed illustrations like the custom universal access icon shown here that can continue to be used as an asset to pieces of this same theme.

Liasion with Print Vendor and Procurement

Working with our great procurement and logistics area, we identified quantities of brochures that were left and a timeframe of the lifespan of the last order. Knowing an exact number, we were able to confidently pick from a list of options and costs without overbuying. We knew that certain content would be changed with the upcoming move back to the original Virginia General Assembly Building, and could compensate for the large crowds that come from all over the world during the summer months, keeping costs to a minimum while maintaining inventory during this phase.

Web Integrations

There was a need create a custom, easier to read and type alias for a long web address to the “Keepers of The Flame” educational video associated with the brochure. I housed the video footage on YouTube on the House of Delegates Channel, then embedded it within the Virginia Capitol Website, and finally created a rewrite rule within the site’s .htaccess file to easily direct visitors to the simpler url, /kotf. The url was much easier translated from print to easy web address typing with this abbreviated version. Video created by Millenium Studios©, Petersburg Virginia. Other supplements were direction to the Virginia State Capitol’s Virtual Tours application, where off-site visitors can enjoy a similar experience as they would while physically visiting the building along with a digital download of the brochure at the Virginia General Assembly’s the Publications site. I’ve posted more about the inner-workings and my participation in these projects in the Web Design & Development section of this site.

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