Being born and raised in small town America is a privilege not everyone gets to experience. I am a small town girl at heart and what I found after moving to Chicago is that many people cannot relate to the idea of small town life. Native was conceived on the idea creating a visual representation of just that. It was designed to give an inside look into the life of my own small town: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. An informative exploration of the history and culture of a town the majority of people have never heard of.
Native was developed as a semester long publication project. Starting with weeks of preliminary research and content generation and ultimately becoming a 48 page printed book. The process began with a simple concept: "showcase what small town life is like." The intention was to create something for others to experience small town life but became an exploration what that experience really meant to me.
Through my research I discovered things I hadn't previously known about my home. I developed an appreciate for the little things that make my town so unique. I named the publication "Native" because I wanted to emphasize the rich Native American history, as well as the idea of being native to the place you come from.
The design direction of Native was meant to be minimalistic while still capturing the essence of Fort Gibson, Ok. The colors were drawn from the photographs and natural elements of the town. I also used handwriting, both my own and from old documents, to add a more personal element. The design process was both an exploration of my style as a designer and capturing the spirit of my town.
The process of designing this book was challenging for me. I wanted to create something that I felt was genuinely reflective of my town but struggled to generate content, as I was not able to visit my hometown at all during this process. As the project progressed I had to find ways to compromised what I wanted the final product to be and what was actually realistic. In the end I was able to create something that I felt authentically represented my home but didn't lose that personal element I really wanted showcase. This project definitely gave me a greater appreciation for my town, as well as the process of designing a publication.