1st progress report

The first discovery I made in the process this week is that InDesign is a Prima Donna. If you make so much as a millimeter adjustment to the dimensions, it will read that as multiple page sizes and will refuse to print a booklet. It took me four hours and an emergency call to the lab to get to the bottom of this quirk. Then, even though I centered the print job in the middle of the page, my printer (which is fine but not state of the art) doesn’t print true center, so the pages in my mock up are wildly off in some cases. I will investigate getting the print job done in the lab for my next mock up and the final editions.

It took me a long time to work out the pagination and I experimented with a mini mock up and a very rough mock up to scale on scrap paper before I got to making the real mock up. I had set my heart on having fold out pages in the center and it took quite a bit of juggling to work out the logistics of that. I am happy with how it has come out, with two signatures and the correct number of blank pages front and back.

As far as the design and layout are concerned (always supposing I can get them to print out properly), that is coming together quite well. Even though it is a huge compromise in the mock up, I can use my imagination to see that it is heading in the right direction. There will be more variation and experimentation with typefaces for the next mock up – I’ve used placeholder text for now.

I dithered a lot in the art store trying to find the right materials. I didn’t fall in love with any of the artists’ paper for the covers and eventually just settled for something – then, low and behold, it grew on me and now I like it a lot. I really love the Acqueforti Italian paper for the text block and have a better idea now of how to get the deckle edge effect for the next mock up. It’s quite a dog’s dinner for this mock up but that was mostly due to juggling the off kilter printing job. Also, I kept reminding myself to trim the inner edges of the foldout but I forgot, so they got glued along with the rest of the book and I had to mangle the center spine a bit to pry them loose. (Many adventures this week, as you can tell.)

The actual making of the book – sewing the signatures, applying mull and headbands, making the cover, gluing in end pages, casing in – all went quite well, which was a relief after all the other high jinx. I have re-thought the cover embellishment, though. I love the idea but will save it for another book. It is just too busy for this one, particularly since there will be a lot going on inside.

Still to come for the next mock up: the frontispiece, the two mini books (a pamphlet and a matchbook) at the beginning and the end, and the hand-drawn illuminated letter on the front of the first foldout. I also want some kind of tabs or “handles” for the foldout, I think, and would love to get some ideas from my creative colleagues about that.

That’s it, I think. Quite a wild ride for the first go-around, but many lessons learned for the next try.

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