Bay of Quinte Tourism

Discovery Guide 5th Edition: Artistic Insights

It’s week one of the Discovery Guide reveal and we’re starting with a closer look at the cover. The storytelling and creativity that make up this book are a product of extensive collaboration between our staff, writers, artists, photographers, local businesses and our partners.

We wanted to introduce you to two women that have played enormous roles in the production of the guide. We interviewed each of them to find out a little more about them, their artistic vision and what they like to do when they visit the Bay of Quinte region.

Creative Women Behind the 5th Edition Discovery Guide

Meet Jeannie

Jeannie Phan, illustrator behind the Bay of Quinte Discovery Guide
Meet Jeannie’s office.

Who: Jeannie Phan
What: Illustrator
Where: Toronto

What excited you most about working on the Discovery Guide?
Getting to know the Bay of Quinte area, hands down. Being in the city, it’s easy to tunnel vision into what we have at our doorstep but I’ve been personally trying to discover in recent years what other parts of Ontario has to offer so the work on the Discovery Guide was really timely. Now I know what fun things to do when I head to the area next time we have a day trip!

What do you think sets the guide apart?
The wonderful and collaborative work that the team put together! It’s so coherent and each section draws you in, no matter what the subject is about. Also that it incorporates illustration of course, instead of just still photography.

What sort of illustration do you typically do?
I work primarily in editorial, but this particular year have done work for branding and social media as well.

How did you come up with the style for the icons? What were you hoping to communicate (through the style)?
I wanted the illustrations to be contemporary but with a nod to the vintage style in older traveler posters and postcards. I wanted the icons and maps to be simple and easy to read (they are after all, supposed to communicate the places and activity first!) but keep them visually interesting with bright colours and texture.

If you had one day to spend in the Bay of Quinte, what would you do?
Check out every single park and garden! We don’t get enough of that in Toronto so I would take the time to soak in the natural sceneries. I am the type that would spend hours just staring out over a lake.

Follow Jeannie’s work on Instagram and her website.

Meet Colleen

Colleen Nicholson Art Director
Meet Colleen’s side profile.

Who: Colleen Nicholson
What: Art Director
Where: Toronto

What excited you most about working on the Discovery Guide?
One of the joys of freelance is having more say in the projects you work on. I’m very fortunate that all the apples in my proverbial basket are great apples. But the Discovery Guide is a rare and wonderful opportunity where my personal interest in the Bay of Quinte area and travel & tourism in general overlaps with considerable creative freedom and an incredible team. In other words, it lands right in the centre of my professional Venn Diagram. (I didn’t really answer your question, did I? Don’t make me choose the best part, it’s all the best part!)

What do you think sets the guide apart?
I think readers can tell when a guide is made by people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the area, its people and the stories they have to tell. For instance, one of my favourite recurring spreads (last year’s Match and Release fish chart, and this year’s Birds of the Bay, pages 16-17) is also one of the more difficult to create: it requires local experts to report on what can be found in the region and technical illustrators to draw exactly those species. It’s a significant amount of time and effort to put into just two small pages. But it pretty accurately represents the excitement we have about what you can see and do in the BOQ.

What are three words that you would use to describe the (branding of the) Discovery Guide? How did you, as the art director, ensure that those three things were apparent throughout the guide? 
Informative, Attractive and Entertaining. One of the creative challenges of an annual publication is the cover. How do you choose just one focus? Which seasons will be left out? Which special events or areas or activities get cut? Illustrator Jeannie Phan was already working on the interior area maps for me when we first decided to move her smart little icons out onto the cover. Rather than pick just one hero image, we’d show as much as possible, from historic sites to local sport teams. This year, the number of icons on the cover almost doubled. (See what I mean? Genuine enthusiasm.) Inside the guide, there are stories by community experts, interviews with entrepreneurs and the best insider tips on where to shop, eat and play. Design-wise, we strived for clarity and playfulness. (Okay, admittedly, our Day Trips feature, pages 22-25, may be more of the latter and slightly less of the former. You can email me and let me know.) Overall, we wanted this guide to be used both as a reference and as a good read, so we made it physically smaller and easy to carry along with you.

If you had one day to spend in the Bay of Quinte, what would you do?
Just one day? Inspired by our #interiorsofquinte Instagram contributors, I’d get up early and go out in search of antique or thrifted finds. Then I’d like to visit with some of the artists that appear in our Quinte Craftmanship feature. Naturally, I’d vote to spend the afternoon on the water, perhaps a “pint and a paddle” tour with Cruising Canoes. It’ll take me right to the perfect cap for the evening, a night at Signal Brewery–hopefully a band will be playing.

Follow Colleen’s work on Instagram and her website.

Have you picked up your copy of the Discovery Guide yet? Share a picture of where you’re reading the guide on social media and tag us!

Be sure to check out our events calendar, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter for more of what happens here in the BoQ.

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