The idea for these concepts was to promote the learning outcomes of university students by reinvigorating dated college textbooks for improved accessibility. The result was a book prototype in handheld format divided into a three-part series of chapters grouped by eras with improved reading flow through effective chunking of paragraphs and subjects, images to reinforce content, and callouts focused on essential details. 
An identifiable photographic style, typesetting, pacing, and precise layout unifies the project and creates a vibrant design that makes reading manageable for improved comprehension of university-level texts. Best of all, it's capable of cost-conscious reproduction through on-campus printers using tabloid sheets.
It was essential to begin by distinguishing improved learning outcomes as results so the real problem, accessibility, could be addressed. After all, postsecondary schools aren't simply battling for students' minds; they require their finances and time, too. But, with the national student loan debt totaling nearly $2 trillion, it's easy to understand why more students must work at least part-time to help fund their education. Unfortunately, it contributes to 6 out of 10 students graduating within four years with worse disparities across ethnicities. With this in mind, the first task became identifying benchmarks to measure the project's success. 
Overall, the SQ3R technique—Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review—proved most applicable because of its emphasis on long-form reading and effectiveness at improving students' comprehension, which informed the design's pacing. Importantly, considerations were made to produce the books on shoe-string budgets to remove financial barriers for students.
Art history was selected as the book topic because of its relevance to an undergraduate major of Playstead's founder. Creating a publisher name and colophon followed—Compound (as in a calligraphic stroke). Then, Playstead developed an owl symbol that leverages the bird's enlightenment symbolism. 
Since it was about "A History of Greek Art," mathematical precision using a golden ratio with exacting baselines guided the design solution. The typeface, Perpetua, by Eric Gill, met the criteria because of Gill's profession as a sculptor, dating back to ancient Greek architecture's material permanence. Marble backgrounds, of course, are featured bleeding off the page of each cover because of its ubiquity in ancient Greece. And Greek city-state symbols were placed prominently atop to reinforce the subject to be learned. Finally, the colors of the series relate to the city-states; they reference Sparta (Red), Mycenae (Blue), and Athens (Gold). In the end, it provides a moment of revelation once students learn the colors and covers related directly to the reading—another opportunity to reinforce key concepts for improved comprehension.
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