disgea ds

Back in the halcyon days of the mid-2000s, I used to work primarily on strategy guides for DoubleJump Books. Near the end, I was the lead designer on a lot of the books and I really learned almost everything I know about print design from Tim there. 

When Disgaea PSP was announced, we completely redid the Disgaea guide in pocket size, and I ended up designing and laying out every single page of that book. Needless to say, the many sleepless nights lead to some factual errors which managed to slip by our proofreaders and make it to print. When the DS version was announced, we decided to publish an update of the book which had the new DS content, fixes, as well as a new cover. 

Since the book now covered all three games, we had to work out a new way to show that on the cover.  So as you do in design, we went through a bunch of different comps. The first two were my roughs (which I actually like better, honestly… but what I like better doesn’t always equate to what hits the directives of the design), whereas the third is what was printed after the publisher decided on his specific changes and they were made. Among the directives (all of which made perfect sense), the publisher asked me to try to make the box art lockup on the cover really pop when displayed on store shelves; the glow I added on the second just wasn’t enough and so in the end we went with something less dark and very bright. One thing I do believe is that the tagline should’ve been shorter like on the earlier versions, just so the text was bigger and could pop more too, but I understand why it had to be longer.

At any rate, it’s an interesting look at how design can change from revision to revision. I’d like to think that I would’ve nailed this a lot quicker if I were to pick this up today, but in graphic design it’s rare that the first thing you design actually resembles the final thing that goes to print. And this actually didn’t change too much, all things considered.

Of note are the taglines that didn’t make it; I think I came up with the very boring ‘The Complete Netherworld,’ while Tim liked the more creative 'Triple Decker Ice Cream Sandwich.'