Guild Wars 2: The Mini Guide

A short book introducing Guild Wars 2

The goal of this project was to design a book to showcase a writing piece, whether it be something I have written before, or something new and original. I decided to create a miniature guide to one of my favorite video games, Guild Wars 2. It seemed like the perfect fit for a book, because of its artistic, painterly style backed by beautiful concept art. In fact, many of the visuals in the book are concept art pieces, which look stunning in print. The book is primarily aimed at those who are familiar with video games, but want to learn more about what Guild Wars 2 is.

Inspiration

To start the design process, I first looked for inspiration in other designs related to the game. The game's website has a very distinctive visual style, with accents and background images that look like they were hand-painted. Their images also have that aesthetic. There have also been published books about both the art behind the game, and the game itself, that put just as much emphasis on the art as the text. Some example spreads can be seen here and here.

The Design

The tone of the book is very regal, epic, and fantastical - much like the tone of the game itself and its associated materials. The entire book is designed around that tone, from typefaces to images to layout. I make use of full-bleed images to delineate the two main sections of the book. Both images are very powerful. I use two complementary serif typefaces (Minion and Chaparral) for the text, because sans-serif typefaces just don't fit the content. I also make extensive use of full caps and small caps to enforce hierarchy and give an air of regality to the titles. To complement the artistic, painterly images, I added subtle rough borders to images, to make them feel more organic on the page. My color scheme was subtle, and consisted of warm red-orange tones. These colors added some interest to titles, quotes, and other graphical elements, while not taking the focus away from the colorful images. I decided to use a four-column grid to lay out the book, because four columns gave me enough flexibility to lay out images and text in many different ways without feeling random. The end result is a book that truly showcases the beauty of Guild Wars 2.