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.


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.


Continuing on this process for all the remaining colours.



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.


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).


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


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.



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


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.


To then expose them onto the screens.



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


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.




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



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.


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



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.


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.




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) –


Mandarin (orange) –


Pistachio (pale green) –


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 –


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.


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.


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


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


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



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.


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).




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).


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.


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.



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 –



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.


 In the end I didn’t incorporate the logo into the designs because I didn’t see any way of it fitting in, although it could have worked printed on a band around the cover but it may have made the cover look messy too.





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