Saturday, July 12, 2008

Born on the 4th of July...

In bookbinding, as so much else, sometimes serendipity strikes... Here a book in progress and a book I bought unexpectedly collided. Like many, when I heard that Oak Knoll was having a sale on Keith Smith books, I hurried right over and ordered all three... When they arrived this past week I started reading 200 Books (largely because it was on top). Almost immediately a phrase leaped out at me:

"All living things are in change. The finished book is a corpse. The observer views the remains, but the bookmaker has known the book while it was living and has seen many possibilities not told.".
I've been pretty much living that the last week or so... The idea for this book (a folded accordion structure like the previous one) came to me in the wee hours of the 4th of July, so the colors were a given. But a long series of cover designs had to be discarded because either it didn't seem like it could be done with paper, or I couldn't figure out quite how to produce it, or my current skill levels were lacking my ambition. (Mostly the last in some combination with the others!)

I tried to construct several, but rejected them for one reason or another.

In particular, the design above seemed like a good idea in my head but it ended up giving me the creeps once it took physical form.

However, I kept coming back to the same basic idea - forming at least part of the design by 'negative space', which lead me to the cover actually used:

Here is the cover under construction (click and you can zoom in to see the details):

It should have been 'red, white, and blue' to fit the classical order of the colors, but I couldn't quite make that work. (You can see one form of the classical order in the rejected cover above.) Once I settled on the 'two actual squares framing a virtual square' idea I tried several variations, but the design came out 'lopsided' unless I made the cover white. I did make one mockup with a white cover, but the area of white seemed to swallow the red and blue squares and didn't seem at all attractive.

Overall, I'm not entirely happy. While the physical execution is much better than the last one, there are flaws in the new parts - mostly caused by going to fast. I need to slow way down and concentrate. The design? There is still an unscratched itch in there somewhere - I suspect I'll be back to it in the future.

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