Final evaluation

I have various mixed feelings with this project, overall I am happy with the outcome however it is very far from the mental picture I had in the beginning.

To start I had depicted a very clean minimal book with parts which are brightly coloured; some of which stayed to the end. The thing that came out in the final design that I wasn’t really picturing in the design was the scruffiness of the contents, I expect this to come out a lot cleaner.

This project, like all before it, started as a simple concept that I could clearly see the end of the road. When travelling down this road towards the production the process seemed to become more and more complicated; this lead to important decision needing to be made on things which I hadn’t really thought of. Careful planning became significant for things like printing and binding.

Through this project the things that have interested me the most is utilising skills and techniques which have absolutely nothing to do with the project and it’s techniques and using them in such a way that can improve the existing relevant techniques commonly used for similar projects. the second most interesting thing for me has been learning about the two new mediums I haven’t thought about or considered before, the letterpress and bookbinding, both of these have been things that I have been considering learning but I had thought this wouldn’t happen until I started University but through this brief which I chose with the intention of moving on to development quickly has enabled me to utilise both and learn about them in depth.

Judging by others reactions when seeing the end result of my project, this seems to portray that the aim of the brief has been achieved, that the book has been able to draw out a reaction of captivation towards the design of the book, creating an interest into how the book was made.

Through this project I have discovered new ways of utilising techniques across different mediums in a number of ways in order to get different effects or in order to work around any barriers and limitations that may appear as a result of lack of resources. This has enabled me to create a letterpress effect even when I only have a limited number of letter-blocks. I have also learned how to do bookbinding through this project, a craft which I knew nothing about before the project began.

In this project I have cut back on the number of things I have researched and focused on the depth of those few subject areas, cutting down from 10+ artists to just 3 and utilising them in any way I can in the project, this has lead to the quality of my work improving drastically. For the research I had also been relying on other sources outside the internet a lot more, 90% of the artists research was acquired from books written by that artist themselves and a large quantity of research done for the book binding processes was from workshops I went to myself, book extracts given by my tutor and YouTube tutorials.

For the production of this book many forms of media were used. The design of the book was done first through rough sketch and then developed through digital means, using Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. The production of the book was first done using screen printing followed by pressing letter-blocks and finally bound and covered using bookbinding techniques.

Though there have been many ups and downs in this project the end result has become something that I am happy with. In future projects I am going to take forward everything that has gone well throughout this project, from the development, to the techniques that I have acquired though this. Thing I will change however is the amount of experimenting I should do to minimise the number of problems, this has been something I had been struggling with, I also hope to cut down on the amount of time spent not doing anything that wastes time, as many times I have found myself giving myself work just so that I don’t have to move onto the next stage yet, this happened when it came to screen printing I kept holding off on starting and ended up starting a week later than I could have done.

 

 

 

Production process

Book Process –

After everything is now designed and ready to be made the next stage is to make it.

Firstly I had to cut the paper down to the size I needed (130mm x 208mm – 260mm x 208mm per spread page.). This size was created through the use of the golden ratio to create the most aesthetically appeasing rectangle possible.

After this I had to paint the background onto the paper ready to print the illustrations on top. To do this I bought some acrylic paint and an ink roller, then with a ruler I measured 130mm on each spread and painted one side with the bottom colour –  Cadmium Yellow.

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For the page order to be correct and to have 10 pages painted I need to have 3 sheets that have the paint on both sides (as shown in the ‘ page layout’ post and is also the reason there are only 7 pages in the photo).

Next using masking tape to mark an angled line to create the stripe effect while keeping a clean and crisp line separating the colours. The next colour was a mixture between the yellow and a cadmium orange.

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Continuing on this process for all the remaining colours.

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The problem I began to face when getting to the later layers I that the paint was making the page shinier and shinier making it more and more difficult to stick the masking tape down, however the tape still managed to stick long enough to allow me to print over it, although this was still not without problems as the paint started to bleed through on the last layer.

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This was the final result after finishing the painting, as a result of doing them by hand and with an ink roller each page looks different and each has different mistakes, some looking better than others, however this is why I chose this medium for the background, mistakes and the handmade look are key to this design.

Next to screen print the designs onto these, I need to do two things the first is to prepare the the designs to take up as few screens as possible and the other is to stick the ripped paper for the added effect to the illustrations.

Illustration’s ripped paper (digital imagination) –

ripped paper illustration design 1+2 dry lines stage 1

To make the ripped paper effect I cut a few pieces of paper to the size of each page (cutting slightly more than I need).

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Then drawing a line to follow when ripping the paper based around a similar positioning to where it is seen in the ‘digital imagination’.

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After ripping each page I rubbed out any of the remaining pencil lines and began arranging them onto the illustration pages; picking the best ten out them all.

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Then finally glueing them down onto the pattern with mount spray.

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A4 pages prepared to print –layout page 1layout page 2layout page 3layout page 4layout page 5layout page 6layout page 7layout page 9layout page 10layout page 11layout page 12layout page 13layout page 14layout page 15layout page 16layout page 17

I then printed all of these onto acetate.

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To then expose them onto the screens.

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Once exposed I started printing the bottom layer of the design. This was the grey cover emphasis.

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After finishing this for all the required pages I began on the other colour prints starting with the first colour title page. For this I needed to mix a pale lemon yellow; however the end colour ended up being more of a Banana yellow.

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Marks left from making a test run to line up the pages –

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After finishing these I only had the black top layer left to print which is where all the detail in the design lies.

This layer also took the least time to do since there were a greater number of designs and less of a need to cover all of the other designs allowing me to just cover the colour ones that were already finished.

One of the pages ended having a really bad printing mistake so I’ll need to remake it. Though it is salvageable, it will look worse, I could put a piece of paper over the side where I printed on the wrong side however this will make the page to thick to bind and it will be very visible that there is a page stuck on top.

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After redoing this page I carried on with the other black layers.

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I came across two more times where I messed it up, the first of these two the transparency I had been using to align the paper to get the print in the right place, however this sheet of transparency shifted from the place it needed to be and therefore the design was printed on the wrong place on that sheet meaning my paper ended up in the wrong place.

The second was similar but not so bad it had shifted slightly when lifting the screen, however I could just fix this by painting over it with the background colour.

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As a result of the first shift that page no longer has a striped background and now is just plain, though this might work out well to break the repetition of the background on the illustrations.

At one point the paint started drying in the pot; meaning I had to replace it. Before I did replace it though it caused one or two pages to bleed more therefore having huge amounts of ink/paint covering some parts of text making them only readable if held really close.

Other than this the process has gone well.

 

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To add a breather in the book I had been wanting to insert some blank colour pages into the book, so after deciding where to put these, I then had to decide which to use. To do this I began asking around, both friends and designer acquaintances, which they thought worked best. From this however I ended up with a tie between two colours, the yellow and the orange, so in the end I decided to use both.

Citrine (yellow) –

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Mandarin (orange) –

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Pistachio (pale green) –

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For the ‘experimental pages’ I had decided to do some ‘real’ block type prints, however despite my original plan I only did this on the blank spread rather than on every page as I thought this may make the design overall look too messy and I began to like the blank pages.

Practice –

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Spread pages –DSC_0130.JPG

Next I began the binding process, to start this I arranged the pages in the order they needed to be and folded them into signatures/Coptics.

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Following this I started the stitching process, for this I used a variation of Coptic binding, a technique with similarities however the covers are not sewn on, only the text block is sewn.

To begin with I had to pierce holes into all the signatures in preparation to sew.

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Then using the saddle stitch method to bind the first signature and using the kettle stitching to bind the second signature to the first.

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Repeating the kettle stitch for all remaining signature and finally repeating the saddle stitch on the last signature.

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After this (and going to buy some fabric and muslin) I glued the muslin to the spine to prepare for attaching the cover.

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Having completed this and the next stage being to create the cover I began by trimming the edges of the paper block to be even, this was achieved using a Stanley scalpel.

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To make the cover I first cut the card to size. The sizing of this was made to be slightly larger than the page size (Page size – 13cm x 20.8cm, Cover page size – 13.2cm x 21cm).

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Following this I arranged these sheets of card onto the fabric and cut out the fabric with a 2.3mm extra around the edge of the card (tried 2mm on the first attempt at making the cover but felt it needed a little more for sturdiness).

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Next I marked a line which is at a 45º angle to the corner of the card and drew the line to touch the edge of the fabric after that using a protractor I marked a line that runs at 90º of either side of that line (or 45º of the edge of the board). Marking another line parallel to that second line but 4mm further from the board to then cut along this line.

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After gluing the cardboard pieces back in their place I folded the parts of fabric that extend out over the edge of the card. In the first two attempts at this I struggled to stop them from overlapping when folded so the edges stuck out a little too much. On the third and final attempt I realised that the 4mm cut was too far away which was what was causing them to overlap; so by fixing this the folds aligned much better.

When folding the edges in (there ends up a small amount poking out when folded) I couldn’t figure out how to fix it until on the third run I spent a lot more time experimenting around with ways of folding it in, eventually it finally clicked and the corners folded in nicely.

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After leaving the glue to dry for some time I then glued one side down to one side, leaving it to settle for a few minutes with grease proof paper protecting the inside page, I then flipped it over and then glued the other inside cover page.

Finally leaving it to dry under a weight overnight.

Copy of orca-image-1497560705450.jpg_1497560705627.jpeg

Final product –

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Additional posters –

With the cover of the book being so plain; when displayed in the exhibition it may not get anyone picking it up to have a look inside. Because of this I have decided to use a few of the pages to create some small posters to display around the book to attract some attention to the book.

Poster designs to use-

Book on books.jpg

Taking the main title page and cutting out the contents page elements just to leave the title on it’s own.

Stab binding.jpg

Coptic binding.jpg

Kettle stitching.jpg

Using the process title pages as advertisements for the book itself within the exhibition.

Printed posters-

I had been trying to print the posters on a thicker paper for a nicer finish, however the paper kept getting stuck in the printer, eventually leading to me having no more thick paper left.

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Book contents development – About this book

This is the final page in the whole book with information on, this will have a small amount of information depicting what the purpose of the book is and will have a basic overview of how the book was produced.

This book was designed for the purpose of attacking an interest in designers and creative professionals into the world of bookbinding in order to revive a traditional artform which is slowly dying out. This is also the reason for the use of paper and letterpress inspired artwork by combining multiple dying techniques to create an enticing work of art and amplify its effects.
To make this book variations of the techniques were combined along with a few of those shown in this book. I used the basics of Coptic binding to bind the text block onto which I have glued a strip of mull whereupon I have attached the cover consisting of two large pieces of cardboard for the front and back and a thinner piece for the spine; this card was wrapped in fabric for both added strength and to improve the appearance.’

This page will be very minimalist taking small design elements from the contents page, with the opposite intention this time, instead of having a very brief overview of the book, this time summarising what the reader has seen and how that was used in the book itself.

Page design –

About this book page.jpg

Book contents development – book title/about bookbinding

Originally I wanted to create a spread title page with a distorted ‘B’ spread across both signalling a ‘BB’ for ‘Book Binding’, however after development and laying out the pages in viewing order (as they will appear when finished) this page just didn’t fit when alongside all the other pages I wanted to include. So from this I decided to merge this together with another page; the ‘About Bookbinding’ page.

In order to create this I needed to distort a ‘B’, the problem was I couldn’t create the effect I wanted so I decided to print (it ended up being drawn) two ‘B’s on separate pieces of paper and distorting them in various ways.

The B used-

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Taking these two sheets I experimented with distorting them in various ways.

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 I then chose my favourite few distortions and ended up with these 4.

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After putting each photo through photoshop in order to select just the letters I have ended up with these four.

B version 1B version 2B version 3B version 4

Next was to experiment with merging them together.

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I then took these images to make them a little smother in Illustrator where I am going to resize them ready to be arranged with text in InDesign.

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Choosing my favourite four out of the eight I took these into InDesign where I added some information about bookbinding to them and altered the positioning a little.

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About bookbinding final choices 2nd.jpgAbout bookbinding final choices 3rd.jpgAbout bookbinding final choices 4th.jpg

Book contents development – contents page

For this page it will be more minimal that most of the book, keeping it simple and sticking to the relevant information.

One idea for this is to utilise the colour pages that I don’t use for the inside of the cover page. I could cut shapes or patterns into one of these and have a bit of depth to the contents page; having the information visible through the holes when the pages are overlapped.

Another idea is following in suit with other designs used in graphic design books where I can use typefaces in effective yet simple ways to make an appealing introduction to the book.

For this I felt the block type ‘font’ that I have been using for the rest of the book won’t fit well as it is too tall and therefore to fix this I began trying to create a more compressed block type look with existing digital fonts. Taking a font I utilised my knowledge of adding ‘fake’ textures to images and text to make them look printed I took a letterpress texture and over laid it on top of the font to create a block text look.

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Finally rearranging them in the order I needed.

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The texture overall left more to be desired with parts fading out and being unreadable so I filled in some areas to both fix this problem and to make the texture look more natural.

From here I arranged it in various ways experimenting with different positioning based on different contents pages found in various design magazines and books. However the majority gave me the same feeling my first illustrations gave me, none of them gave me the right feeling that I had been searching for, however they did make me realise that I needed to simplify them more.

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Feeling that I could see the most potential coming from the final design, although the others had nice texture use, I printed it out and drew on the page numbers to see what it’d look like finished.

scan-0001 copy.jpgThough the page numbers are not accurate because I don’t have clear idea of what they will be and most likely will only know when the book is finished because of the problems I may face and pages I may add that I don’t know of yet.

In order to add a little more of a free flow handmade look to the page I tried adding a dry brush stroke to underline the title of the page.

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Placed alongside the page numbers as they are at the moment.

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After getting some feedback I have discovered the preferred design of these is the last of the brush experiments, which is the lightest of the brush strokes and the first I drew.

The next step will be to print the designs however the page numbers can’t be for certain yet so I’ll need to find some way to fix this if the numbers do change so that it doesn’t effect the pace of the production.

After thinking it through I decided to make the contents page even more simple and also make it into the title page for the whole book and possibly scrapping the page numbers all together since the numbers won’t be in the rest of the book and will just make the printing harder because I don’t know what the page numbers will be.

So I tried changing the ‘contents’ to another word because I didn’t like the word being used and decided to use my project title which was ‘book of books’ which I thought sounded too much like an encyclopedia, so I changed it to ‘book on books’ which I felt sounded less like an encyclopedia.

Then after looking through my typographic development post I saw a design I had really liked but didn’t use because the file got corrupted and thought that since I hadn’t used it then why not use it now; and began designing around this.

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And here is the result from this.

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Then in InDesign I arranged this in a more simplified way on the ‘contents page’ adding a box around the edge to separate the list and the title.

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Book contents development – Title pages

To separate each process, add some variation and some ease of navigation to the book I have decided to design some title pages for each of the processes. Each design baring some resemblance and similarities to their processes that follow whilst keeping to a more minimalist design and adding a small amount of detail into what the process is and where it’s used in the production of a book.

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I then began experimenting with different colours to see which works best.

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Next I change the colour of parts of the text white on different colours.

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Page order for print

In order to work out which page in the book is on the same piece of paper as which other pages I have discovered that algebra is required (using the value of ‘X’, being the number of sheets in a signature, to work out the page number).

This is not crucial to work this out but it makes the job a lot easier meaning I can use it to work out all pages without having to make a mock book and writing the page numbers on each page to then take it apart so I know what goes next to what to be in the correct order when printing.

The method of figuring this out I have discovered is that when I wrote out all the page numbers for one signature that in the center of the signature on the left page that it was double the number of the sheets in the signature (meaning it can be written as ‘2X’). From this, I could also tell that the last page being quadruple the number of sheets would be ‘4X’.

This tells me that page 1 is next to the page ‘4X’ and the two middle pages would be ‘2X’ and ‘2X+1’. This allows me to use this to work out all the page correlations for printing, no matter what the number of sheets in the signature is, however, this number is all dependant on which paper type I use for the book, the thinner the paper the more sheets there will be.

 

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Not in print order.

After finishing making most of the pages I went back through and worked out the page print order for each of the pages, deciding that whatever pages I decide to add after I will just think of a way to weave them in without disturbing the others. I also decided that I would work around having three sheets per signature.

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In the rough planning above, the shaded mean that’s where the illustrations with the stripy orange background will be and the section at the bottom means that the one at the top with the x3 is where there will be two striped backgrounds on each, one below that will have one and finally the sheet which will have none.

Sheet 1 –

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 Sheet 2 –

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 Sheet 3 –

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Sheet 4 –

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Sheet 5 –

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Sheet 6 –

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Sheet 7 –

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Sheet 8 –

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Book contents development – Typographic half

Typographic/process page development

As said before these will be styled around mantra posters and Anthony Burrill’s work. Focusing on them being easily read, short, snappy and aesthetically pleasing in a minimal way using nice typefaces and errors found often in handmade printwork.

Typeface choices:

  • Plak Condensed
  • Futura Display
  • Futura
  • Gotham
  • League Gothic
  • Chunk

The typography can be just as important as the colour in influencing the viewers emotions when looking at the piece sometimes more so in a two tone graphic where the type will have to carry both’s burdens. This means the typeface choice could and will be essential in make the correct impact on the reader.

These pieces will most likely be all uppercase, though this may harm the legibility it will improve the aesthetics and impact to some extent.

Plak

Futura Display

Futura

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Gotham

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League Gothic

Chunk

 

I began by tying to lay out a few of the lines from the process I made the illustrations so far for.

Plak –

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Futura display –

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I think that I will need to cut down on the word count for some off the phrases, as these above, although the left isn’t as bad, are too long for the look I’m going for so each process may need a third or fourth run through to cut them back.

Flicking through the ‘Make it now!’ by Anthony Burrill I have found a really nice textured font which he himself uses a lot, though he himself does’t know what it is, it is a font which he obtained from a friend in Jamaica who got it from an old print shop there.

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From these fonts gained by scanning them in from the Anthony Burrill book I have rearranged the letters in the order of the sentences I have refined by writing them out and rewriting them until they are short and snappy enough to become individual typographic pieces whilst still retaining enough information to accurately portray the meaning to the audience.

Stab binding process

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The design with a bit of extra info at the bottom to both save on space and make the process easier to follow.

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I then tried to print this design on a really thin newspaper like paper but it kept getting stuck in the printer causing the print to mess up, however from this the mistakes were actually very nice and I may look into experimenting to achieve a similar effect during the screen printing process to make a few ‘pages of madness’, creative explosions of type and shape to add variety and abnormality to the book making it more interesting and less repetitive. This could even link to certain arts movements like dadaism and by taking these and mixing them with the artists I’ve researched I could really end up with something unusual and successful created from something that was unsuccessful.

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Second typographic page of the stab binding. Here I am experimenting with various layouts trying to keep it different from the previous.

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I then began trying to use the wording of the sentence as an action verb for the layout.

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Which I don’t particularly like, for the reason of,  for one it’s too all over the place to leave any space for the extra information which if included with these although vital to get the message across will look a mess.

Third and final step of the coptic binding.

This first layout makes use of the full stop to show it’s the end and as a sign for the ‘hole’.

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This third version has been enlarged for the words ‘repeat’ and ‘all’ to bring emphasis to them.

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From here I took all the designs into InDesign and after resizing them I added a small amount of additional information at the bottom .

Here are the final designs for the stab binding process.

Stage 1 –

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Stage 2 –

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OR

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Stage 3 –

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Next to be arranged were the stages for the coptic binding process.

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Second stage.

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Third stage

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Final stage of Coptic binding process designs.

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Kettle stitch process designs.

Stage 1 shows puts emphasis on the down and places all words on the ‘left’.

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Stage 2 places most of the words on the left except the word ‘right’ which is on the right.

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And then finally repeat.

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With some of the files becoming corrupt and no longer being able to open them I’ve had to remake a few of them and with people preferring the designs that followed the sentence using the words as action verbs to create a layout. From this I used the opportunity to recreate a few whilst being influenced by this, experimenting with overlapping, positioning and cutting out to create new designs, some of which worked well others did not.

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Final typographic page designs

Stab –

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Stab binding typography2.jpg

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Coptic –

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Kettle stitch –

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