Book contents development – illustration half

Whilst writing out the potential process drafts for the book techniques I began by writing them out in depth trying to reflect the technique in an easily followable way, however when it came to a few of the simpler technique these, drafts just ended up too different.

This led to the idea that I can simplify the process’ and separate them into points which will then be displayed as a minimal easily read typographic piece inspired by the way Anthony Burrill’s mantra pieces are displayed. These would then be paired with some simple illustrations showing some basic designs that will aid and back up the written parts making them easier to understand, stylising them around thick lines and bold colour basing around Aaron Draplin’s space shuttle tribute.

Illustration design thumbnails

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Digital Illustration development

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Stab binding process illustrated.

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After creating a few colour choices I began placing them with the illustrations and deciding which goes and which don’t.

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1st design

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Screenshot of the illustrator document at this point.

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Although the outcome of these designs looks nice it is not what I am picturing, the white and black just doesn’t work for me. Due to this I thought I’d ditch the black and swap the white (though having a slightly off-white/paper colour), so I tried placing the design cut out of paper over the top of the colour choice and found the result to be a major improvement, however I feel this may be too much of a long process to produce a whole book like this. I will need to look into getting it machine cut or incorporate it in some other way in order to cut down on time.

2nd design

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Testing a page spread as it is at this point.


One idea I’ve had from this is to aid the ease of understanding of the illustrations by sewing the page to show what exactly is expected from that step.

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In order to see if it makes any improvement I tried testing other line weight (9pt left and 10pt right) however I still don’t see it working in the way I want it to.

I then found an illustration from a indie video game called ‘Flame in the flood’ where upon seeing it I thought about what the design would look like if I abandoned the striped gradient and adapting these colours in another way taking and making use of textures that would be produced in screen printing.

3rd design

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Using the same image as the other design as the template for the 3rd design.

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I went with the dry brush look for the outline and having the lines thin out to make it give the idea of it overlapping.

I then tried adding an extra flare to the background to try to add a little something to the background but found it didn’t go well with the illustration.

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From this I decided to change it to a subtle grunge texture.

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After getting to this stage I began testing the colour choices from the first design on this new design to see if any work and if they look better than the one used to design it.

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From these, I feel most are too similar with their own colour tones, not carrying much variety and visible difference between the background and the book.

My favourites from these are the blue, the dark orange and the pink/blue.

This third design may be more practical in the sense that it is easier to understand that the other designs because it is more detailed.

Merging the two designs – Design 4

I had just tried merging the colour schemes from the 1st and 2nd designs into the 3rd, however from the dry brush style strokes from the 3rd designs it made me think of the rough edge of a ripped piece of paper.

So taking the backgrounds of the first and second designs I placed a piece of ripped paper on top, firstly I attempted this by scanning a piece of ripped paper in, putting it through photoshop and changing it into a shape in illustrator.



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The outcome of this I didn’t really like, it looked more like the colour background was raised not the paper in front, however I tried it out with the designs on top any way.

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From this I thought it may look better if I don’t edit the scan to become a shape but edit the illustrator files to look like they are printed on the page with it in photoshop.

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These two outcomes came out much better though the actual design would be actually layered and not edited in photoshop, I would roll on the ink for the base layer of coloured background and then create a blank rectangle to be screen printed which I would cover parts up with tape to get the stripe effect. Once all of this has dried I would then rip a piece of paper that is the same size as the design for each illustration page and stick it on top. To finally use screen printing to print the design on top of all of this.

Design screenshot-

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After discussion and some experimenting I developed the stab binding design to flow more with the other designs and give more of a hand made look, even making it more realistic, stretching it, squeezing it and changing the properties of the line work to give a more authentic look.

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Going along with the effects from the production process of rolling the ink and using screen printing this design will come out with a really nice finish.

I am also very enthusiastic about using the colour orange, for one it is my favourite colour and two it has a very relevant meaning behind the colour which effects the correct feelings for getting my point across. The colour orange is a mix between red and yellow meaning it also carries part of their physiological influences, being physical and emotional, it carries the passionate imprint of the red and the emotional impact that yellow gives making it the perfect choice for raising enthusiasm for my topic choice.

Stab binding final designs

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Coptic binding final designs

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Kettle stitch final design

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I could try different colours when printing the book but this would require a lot of time that I may not have and it may not work, though it would add a bit of variation to keep the book from being too repetitive.

On the other hand there is one variation I could do that wouldn’t drain time away which his to reverse the colours to have the off white, used for the covers, as the background colour and have one of the oranges take it’s place as the cover colour.

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After trying it I wasn’t a huge fan of the way it turned out; it doesn’t carry the same nice contrasting feel the other does.


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