Prompt 1: Travel Keepsake Box (TKB)

GSMD-500 | Grad Studio 1
Prompt 1 : The Gift
My fellow studio-mate for this Prompt: Greyson Kelly

It was the first time I met Greyson in person. We sat down and had an interesting and informative chat. We discussed each other’s backgrounds, where we came from, what we have studied and from where. We went on to talk about what our passions are in life and what we both hope to achieve through our masters.

Greyson is outgoing, positive and very passionate about his work. He shared his interest in Anime, Manga, dungeons and dragons, Legos (which we share in common), and Typography. But it was after talking about this that I could see his eyes light up when he spoke about his passion for Travelling.

He explained how he had made a plan with his friends to visit Japan in the summer of 2020, however, because of the pandemic this plan fell through. Being an avid traveller myself, and one who had a trip cut short because of the pandemic, I felt his pain. He explained,

“I was excited to experience the culture, the food. See their typography.”

To many travelling, is a way to escape, to relax and take a deep breath away from your everyday life, while to others, travelling to a new country is to experience that country and all it has to offer. Their culture, their food, their way of living. It is about embracing their rich history and diverse community.

Who is Greyson?

After our talk, this was something that stuck with me. I wanted to gift him something that would make him feel like all is not lost with this trip, and that once the pandemic is over he could once again plan his trip!

But how do I do this? How do I create something for Greyson that’s interactive and therefore gets him excited to plan a trip for after the pandemic ends (which let’s be honest, we don’t know when it’s going to be)?

I had now deduced from our talk about his fondness of building with Legos, that Greyson liked to work with tangible objects (as a break from the design work he does on the computer), and with things that have a step by the step building process. And that he has many fond memories of part trips he had taken.

But what happens when you come back from this trip? Do you forget about it completely? Throw away all the little mementos? Or hide them in a box tucked deep away in the back of your closet? No! You use the specially designed Travel Keepsake Box (TKB). This TKB was created for Greyson for two reasons. It was a way to encourage him and remind him that one day in the near future, he will be able to take that trip he so longed for; as well as to use this as a way to keep the memories of his trip displayed.

“Hey Greyson,
I know you’ll make it to JAPAN soon.
So don’t hide your souvenirs in a scrapbook!  I want you to use this shadow box to remember your epic trip!
– Leea”

I design a 4 by 4 pocket zine, which was framed inside a shadow box, that also contained a small vial and some thumbtacks. The zine is a step by step guide to collect souvenir’s and other objects as he takes his trip to Japan. The vial is provided so that he can “take a bit of Japan home” with him. The thumbtacks were also provided to him so that he can complete the Pin Your Map activity. The final page of the zine depicts what the box will look like once completed and decorated.

Throughout the zine, I have used simple symbols to depict each activity, as well as a spot colour that continues till the last page. Inspired by the Japanese flag, a red circle has been used near each title as well.

But wait… there’s more. Don’t throw away the zine once you’ve filled up your TKB!
Open it, flip it around and use it as a poster!

Greyson in Japanese

Reflection: This prompt allowed us all to open up, and learn a lot about one another. It was a great experience to be able to gift someone something that is not off the shelf but was a gift with thoughts and feelings attached to it. It was meaningful and personal. It was a gift exchange where I was able to give Greyson something to keep him motivated and excited about what the future has to hold, all the while representing a little bit of myself in it.

So there you have it Greyson! Your own personal TKB!
Have fun displaying your memories of all your trips.