Category Archives: School

Drivetrain – Prototype

A group of 5 mechanical engineering seniors all involved with Formula SAE happened to join forces and earn credit for making race car parts. A good candidate system was the drivetrain of the race car – connecting the power plant to the wheels. In the past, we had experienced difficulties in setting and maintaining proper chain tension, so our focus was on a new bit of hardware that eased those pains.

The first step for class was to construct a prototype to demonstrate the big idea of what we were trying to accomplish. We did so by building a mock rear box of our steel space frame chassis, and installing our freshly designed chain tensioning rig in there.

Final Booklet

Front Cover
Spread 1
Spread 2
Spread 3
Back Cover


Comments were generally positive regarding the front and back covers, with the primary suggestions all relating to the treatment of the author name. In response, I adjust the scale, position, and color of the author name to make it less competitive with the title of the book. On the back cover, I added an email address to allow contact as suggested.

In all subsequent spreads I adjusted body leading from 8/9.6 to 8/10 to increase readability and improve typographic color. Hyphenation was enabled in the final spreads to improve the overall shape of the columns of text. As a consequence of these adjustments, some change in column lengths were made to keep a consistent finish in body text. These changes were all made based on feedback of intimidation, issues of readability, and oppressiveness of the various text filled areas of the spreads.

I also reworded some of the body for better applicability to the book and made some fine adjustments on image spacing on the second spread. Everything else was held constant with the support of the overall positive reviews from my peers.

The final booklet is being printed at Copies at Carson utilizing a 60lb cover with satin finish, and 28lb interior pages, saddle stitched.

Cover ideas

Thumbnail Sketches of Potential Covers

These thumbnails were created to layout some potential covers. All were compostions for photographs to be taken specifically for this project.

Cover 1: Front

This cover uses a combination of hand a computer lettering. The hand lettering is done with marker on graph paper. The toy robot was set on the lettering and then photographed under a hot light. Some light retouching was performed for consistency.

Cover 1: Back

A macro shot of the same robot as on the front cover makes a fun back cover. The text acts like a sort of speech bubble for this character.

Cover 2: Front

In this cover, two robots are arranged in a duel. Futura and Bodoni are combined for the titling.

Cover 2: Back

On the rear cover corresponding to the prior front, a victor to the duel is displayed.

Cover 3: Front

In this image, the hand lettering is brought back, combined with a light author set in Futura. This scene is meant to be of a robot-robot fight where the one smaller robot appears outmatched by the very large hand.

Cover 3: Back

The accompanying back cover has “about” written, combined with some digital copy. Again, the scene from the front is carried over to the back with the small robot standing victoriously over the large robot hand.

All of these photographs were taken with a Canon 20D using a Sigma 28-55mm lens with f/2.8.