Midterm Progress Report

While I have a mock up book to bring to class today, there are a few changes that I already know I will be making to it, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me talk about what I do like about it. I really like the kind of paper I was able to find to use as Mr. Hyde’s portion of the book. It feels right and it looks messy and chaotic, which is how his character is supposed to be. I hand-wrote lines from the book for his section in pen. I at first thought this wouldn’t look good, but after I did it, I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out, so that is another feature of the book that I will keep. I also like the dimensions of the book (each “page” is 4×6), so I will keep that as well. I also like the paper that I chose to use for the book, only I’m going to use red paper instead of yellow paper. I was also able to find the perfect selections of text to use for my book. Now, onto what I will change.
I bought yarn thinking that it would be a proper substitute for thread because I needed something thicker, but I discovered that it’s not because now, it is too thick. It was extremely hard to get into the eye of the needle, and when I was sewing, it was incredibly hard to pull it through the holes I had punched, and it bent the eye of the needle (due to my tugging) so much so that nothing fits in that needle anymore and it’s ruined. Luckily I have more needles, so I won’t need to buy one, but now I will need to get a different kind of thread.
I also had an issue with organizing the pages. The way I saw it in my mind’s eye was completely wrong. So my idea is that Dr. Jekyll’s portion of the book should look as organized, structured, and almost as predictable/conventional in appearance of any other book. To create that effect, I put the passages that I wanted to use into InDesign, created my dimensions, selected my typeface, and printed it according to how I thought the pages would look. What I improperly took into account was the nesting quality of the pages, so I ended up with page 1 and page 3 (I believe), next to each other. I tried to remedy the situation by printing front to back so that when folded, it might make sense, but it didn’t. I got desperate, and so I cut out the pages and pasted them to Xerox paper in the order that they need to be. I’m sure all of this is very unclear, so I’ll show everyone what I mean in class. I can accept this as a solution, I just wonder if there isn’t an easier way to go about this. I also wonder if Xerox paper is okay to use. It would certainly save me money. With that said, I plan to put my publication information and colophon in Dr. Jekyll’s section. It isn’t there now, but it will be, and it will be designed in InDesign.
I am still struggling with the cover. I had an idea for the cover that I will probably abandon (you will see this on my book tonight). I wanted to use stamps to spell out the first part of the title (the Dr. Jekyll part) but now that I look at my book, I think it looks a tad messy, so I will probably only use stamps for the back cover (Mr. Hyde’s section). I am also toying with the idea of using cardboard or some kind of rough, tactile material for the back cover to better illustrate Mr. Hyde’s character, but the challenge in all of this is to do so in a way that doesn’t take up a lot of time since I am mass-producing this book. My idea would be to use a rougher surface (one that is stampable) and make cuts in it, and make it look dirty and worn. I just need to pin down the exact material that I am looking for. For the front cover (Dr. Jekyll’s part) I’m thinking about designing a more formal cover (I might do this on InDesign) to reflect Dr. Jekyll’s personality, well, an aspect of it. My tendency and preference is not to use InDesign, but I have to be practical and consider time. I will most likely create a cover there and end up pasting it to the “front” of each book. I also realized that I need to make Dr. Jekyll’s pages smaller because they don’t fit the dimensions of the book in the way I want them to.
So my plan of attack for the next week is to get all the new materials I need, and make these books assembly line-style. I tried timing myself (since that will be the biggest obstacle to this project) when I made the first book, and it was something abysmal, like five hours. I need to get my production time per book down to at least two hours (ideally, it would be one hour, but who knows) because although that is still time-consuming, it’s more manageable than four hours per book.

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