Arizona

Blogging My Book: Dimensional Adventures

In my last couple of posts, I’ve talked about using the library for book design research and taking a field trip to my printer.

What do both of these activities have in common? They’re physical! And tactile!

Since I get around Tucson by bicycle, there’s nothing that gets my attention like hauling a stack of photography books home from the Downtown library. Those books are big. They’re heavy. And they go “THUMP!” when they’re set down on the coffee table.

Handling printer samples – including that book with the lovely slipcase – inspires me in a different way. It prompts me to ask questions like, “Can I produce a book that’s worthy of this kind of presentation?”

Then there’s another consideration, and that is the photo set that I’m working with. When photos get printed, they look great at some sizes, but at others? Eh, not so much.

Optimal photo sizes for my set? They will govern the dimensions of my book. That’s a topic I’m currently researching, and it will take awhile.

In the meantime, I’m opening a book design studio on my living room couch.

Book layout sketches. At left, on top of the ruler, is a two-page photo spread. At right, it’s a sketch of the front cover.

What am I doing here? Well, I’m using this amazing software called my brain, which has been a key element in the book design research process, and hardware that consists of a mechanical pencil, a ruler, and a pad of paper. What’s my output? Book layout sketches.

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