This project certainly forced me to get organized more than I normally do, and it worked with a great deal of success. The one glaring exception to all this is that every aspect of the project took a little longer than I had planned, approximately twice as long, in fact. All that will be detailed down below.
The overall impressions I had when doing this project was the effectiveness of the assembly line. Well, a one-person assembly line, which would probably make Gerald Ford turn over in his grave, but I stand by it. Instead of making each book, I finished certain tasks first, which I’m sure everybody did. But it did a couple things for me. First of all, I felt that it cut down on the quality of each project as I wasn’t caring for it specifically. Whereas I trimmed the construction paper covers down to the millimeter after adhering them to the mockup, I didn’t have that kind of time with all the work that needed to be done. Similar cuts in time were made when adhering each page. The mockup is able to open up fully because each page was very specifically and painstakingly placed. This took probably 5 minutes or so for each page. With four pages and ten copies, that would have made that part of the project take 200 minutes, or 3 hours, 20 minutes. That is a lot of time to spend on one aspect of about 25.
The one-man assembly line also (obviously) made things more efficient and made me think accordingly. For example, I was cutting out the back covers and rather than have the strips 6×3 spanning two 3×3 covers, I cut them to all be 3×3 and was able to paste them individually rather than worry about meticulously folding them so they wouldn’t bubble up.
The biggest hiccup I ran into had to do with a change I made from when I made the mockup. I had used regular Xerox paper as hinges on the inside, but used construction paper on the outside (mostly to cover the cardboard labels of “Cheerios” and “Red Baron,” etc.) and on the inside covers. Shortly after my presentation in class on Thursday, one of my construction paper hinges broke. I realized that though construction paper is heavier (or seems heavier), it is much less dense and susceptible to tearing a lot easier. So I decided to go with 32-lb paper hinges everywhere and cover them up with construction paper. Doubling up the paper made the fold much harder to manage and the cover wouldn’t close. Unfortunately, I had been working on this as an assembly line and by the time I noticed this error, I had already pasted ten pages that way and hadn’t folded them while the glue was wet. So they were stuck that way. I then proceeded to cut into the construction paper without cutting through the hinges, hoping it would relieve some of the tension and the cover would close accordingly. This eventually ripped two of the covers off, so there are two of my ten copies that have bandaged inside covers. If I had it to do over, I’d have tested this method out first. Thankfully, it led to an idea that made the back covers more fun and easier to put together.
The following are the steps I used in the order I used them. I broke the steps down into design, materials, and construction for my purposes:
- D – Insert graphics onto to title page (30 mins)
- D – Insert graphics onto colophon (10 mins)
- D – Change text on copyright page (10 mins)
- D – Change text on colophon (5 mins)
- D – Fix dash on heart, spade and diamond (5 mins)
- M – Cut out 3×3 cardboard pieces (100) (2 hours)
- M – Cut out 6×3 black construction paper (30) (30 mins)
- M – Cut out 6×3 red construction paper (20) (30 mins)
- M – Cut out 3×3 black construction paper (10) (15 mins)
- M – Cut out 3×3 red construction paper (10) (15 mins)
- M – Print and cut out info pages (copyright, title and colophon) (30) (1 hour)
- M – Print and cut out graphic pages (40) (2 hours)
- M – Cut out plain hinges (90) (45 mins)
- C – Fold graphic pages (40) (2 hours)
- C – Cut out cover cutouts (cardboard) (10) (20 mins)
- C – Tape info pages (30) (30 mins)
- C – Apply plain hinges (90) (2 hours)
- C – Apply construction paper hinges (50) (1 hour)
- C – Tape covers (20) (10 mins)
- C – Cut out cover cutouts (construction paper outside cover) (10) (15 mins)
- C – Cut out cover cutouts (construction paper inside cover) (10) (15 mins)
For a total of 14 hours and 15 minutes. That’s about right.
The best part of this project is that I was able to catch up on my movie watching. Most of this didn’t need dedicated thought, so I was able to watch the Netflix DVDs I’ve had sitting on my TV stand since before Christmas. I had literally not watched an entire movie since MLK weekend when I battled insomnia that eventually sent me to prescription drugs. But that’s a story for another day. Since I started this project, mockup included, I watched almost a movie each night on average while working on this project. Here is a list of what I’ve seen because of this project and the grades out of ten that I give them:
- Prometheus (Scattered good spots, I may like it better if I devote my full attention to it: 6)
- The Number 23 (Underrated updated film noir-ish thriller: 7.5)
- Flight (Great idea for a story, great plane crash sequence, a little long in the tooth: 7)
- Beasts of the Southern Wild (Very moving character depiction of Miss Valley life: 8.5)
- Paul (Who decided Seth Rogan was funny? Please, someone tell me: 3)
- American Psycho (I’m curious as to who really wanted this movie made: 4)