I don’t usually put my own work into this blog but this is a big deal for me. I usually use this blog to log what I find inspirational, and I hope that you, lovely reader, might find a nugget of inspiration here too. I’m not so pompous as to call myself inspirational, but with this particular project, you can see that if I did it, you can do it too – especially the binding bit which people seem to find intimidating.
So, this is my context report (dissertation in non-Goldsmiths language). We had to make two identical copies. I hand bound both. Surprisingly, and thanks to my practice by making hand bound books as presents for my friends and family, the actual binding didn’t take that long. What took the most time was the research and writing, and almost comparable to that time was the agonising over the graphic layout of the book in the final few weeks. As someone not especially experienced with graphics apart from putting together my portfolio last year and reading some books about it, the graphic bit was hard. In fact, all the aspects of making this book were challenging, but satisfyingly so.
I found some yellow tracing paper in Paperchase and put them on the title pages for each chapter. Initially I was going to cut windows in yellow paper for the text, but that would have meant quite a bit more extra cutting. Aesthetically I prefer this finish too.
Ideally I would have liked to press the books a bit longer – I’d only bound them the night before. I hope they’re kept under everyone else’s books, not on top, or when I get it back the front cover might still be wonky like this! Here’s hoping they kept us in alphabetical order.
To make the titles, I considered using a letter press but there weren’t any accessible ones. I wanted to get round having to print paper and then bind the book so the title is exactly in the middle – it’s easier to do it the other way round if possible. In the end, I used the impressively hi-tec vinyl cutter at uni to make vinyl lettering. It was painstaking peeling around the letters – you need to be patient for this bit.
If you’re interested in this project beyond the bookmaking, there are more details on my Goldsmiths project blog.