May 9, 2012

Handmake book design and construction

The marbled paper design below was for a book design and construction project. Just about everything was done by hand. The end product is shown below. The rough steps involved are listed afterwards.
Here's what it took:
  • Write the text.
  • Setup layout in InDesign. Type and edit the text.
  • Select and add pictures to the layout.
  • Print signatures (groups of pages) in booklet order. I printed them on 24 lb. laid paper. I ended up with three signatures of three sheets (twelve pages) each. Also save two extra blank sheets for the end papers.
  • Tear the pages to size. This gives a rough, handmade look.
  • Fold the signatures and the end papers.
  • Sew the signatures of the book block. Describing this process could be a separate post.
  • Glue on the mull to the spine of the book block.
  • Sew two headbands onto some extra mull in two colors. Glue them onto the ends of the spine.
  • Glue on the end papers to each side of the book block. Perhaps this should have been done before gluing on the mull, but it seems to work out.
  • Cut the spine and cover boards from some 2mm paperboard.
  • Design the cover marbling pattern in Illustrator (see post below). Add title block on front cover and spine area. Printed on the same linen paper used for the pages (not ideal for a heavily used book). Trim.
  • Glue spine and cover boards to the back of the cover paper.
  • Fold over edges of cover paper and glue.
  • Glue the end papers of the book block to the inside of the cover boards. Done!

Marbled Paper Pattern in Illustrator

For a book cover design, I came up with a marbled paper pattern, entirely in Adobe Illustrator. A sample of the pattern is shown below.
One nice thing about doing it this way is that I used 9 global color swatches in Illustrator. If I ever want to use this again, but in a different color scheme, I could change those swatches, and I'd be done. Even the blotches are based on the swatches, so they would update, too.