What is the concept for my book? In what ways is that concept creative and original?
I really wanted to use the Dos a Dos Hardcover form for this project. I had an idea for a parallel dimension story that would work well in this form. It was the story of a teenage girl who has a rotten day. The reverse side was the same day but this time her parents are alive. The story is really about the relationship between Bridgette and her sister.
This concept is not really original or especially creative but it did challenge me. I had a certain message I wanted to get across that I wasn’t sure I could do in two separate stories. But I knew how I’d do it if it were one continuous story. So the main challenge of this project was how to guide the readers through the story. To make sense, readers have to start at the beginning. How could I distinguish the two covers so they’d know which was the cover to start with? What I ended up doing was sticking a big white fabric rose on the cover of the front cover and basically tying the other side shut. That way readers would be attracted to the cover with the rose (which also has a bright red color). Also, the second story is slightly harder to get into with the clasp, it doesn’t flop open like front cover.
I’m immensely proud of the clasp I configured for the back cover. For the mockup, it was too loose so Meredith suggested using wire to make it tighter. The wire worked perfectly. The trinket is tucked snugly into the cover and reinforced with wire. There is red, pink, and white tread braided together that wraps around the trinket to hold the back cover shut.
What successes and failures did I have in constructing this book?
The major successes were the materials I found. The endpapers are beautiful. It’s a reflective paper with roses on it. The artist paper I used for the covers seem to fit the tone perfectly. I really like the white rose pendants I found. It looks nice against the red artist paper. And it draws attention to the beginning of the story, the side on which the reader should start. As I’ve mentioned, I’m very proud of the clasp I made for the back cover.
I didn’t have too many failures. My major problems with this project (as with my midterm) was the design element. What could I do to make my cover not only represent the content, but also stand out. I think I came up with some good design elements. The white rose, the red artist paper, and the stamp bruises. I really love the concept of the bruises, although they didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted.
In what ways have I fully explored and even stretched the book form I used?
I tried to adapt other book forms into this to make it more interactive. At one point in the story, Bridgette’s ex-boyfriend gives her a folded up note at school. When she opens the note on the bus, the readers turn the page and the Turkish Fold opens with J.D.’s handwritten note inside. At the end of the reverse story, Bridgette opens the note again. Instead of taking up a 2-page spread like I did the first time, I made a smaller Turkish Fold that it glued to the page on one side, but the reader has to open the note.
In “What Could Have Happened” Bridgette leaves a note for her sister, Bonni in her locker. Instead of using another Turkish Fold, I got a piece of lined notebook paper and folded it up the way my friend taught me in 6th grade when we’d pass notes back and forth during class. Then I glued this note into the text. The reader can still open it, but it doesn’t have any text in it. What I did include in each of the three notes (for the three copies of the final) was include an illustration. Each illustration is different (I hope that doesn’t count against me, but I hate drawing the same picture over and over again). One book has a headshot of Bridgette. One has a headshot of Bonni. And the last is a headshot of their friend Lana who also appears in the story. I have no idea what J.D. looks like so I didn’t even attempt to draw him. This is more of a treat for my readers than anything specifically tied into this story. These illustrations are just a reward for the reader who pries open the note (and extra kudos to anyone who can put it back together!)
How is the form of the book linked to the content of the book?
The form dictated the content. As I mentioned, I wanted to write a story that told two versions of the same story mainly to illustrate the importance one person can make in another’s life. The Turkish Folds and middle school notes were added to draw out the content in the design. I wish I could have adapted more book forms into this project, but the content didn’t call for anything I could make into a mini book.
What graphic and typographic choices did I make for this book and why? How do these elements impact the book and my concept?
For the covers, I wanted something that looked kind of violent. The story was about domestic violence. The artist paper I used for the covers was a doubled sided paper I found in the scrapbook section of Michaels. One side is a good red color. The other side is white with tiny red hearts scattered on the paper.
There was some reflective imagery in the story that I was able to draw out in the design. First, as I’ve mentioned, the reflective rose end papers. And the very form itself lends to the idea of reflection. The 1/2 Title and Full Title pages also deal with reflection. The title is Over & Over. The second “Over” is flipped underneath the first “Over” and is a lighter tint which gives it a reflective look.
What is the name/title of my book, and why was that name/title selected?
I named my book Over & Over. I chose this name because of the form and it fits the content as well. Bridgette relives her day over and over and over as long as the reader continues to flip the book over. At the end of the “real” day it says (See reverse for What Could Have Happened) and at the end of the “fantasy” day it says (See reverse for What Really Happened). Although the story should be read in a certain order, I tried to write in in a way that if someone did start with the “wrong” side, they could get to the end, flip to the other side, and still understand what was going on.
If I were to make this book over again, what things would I change (in process, concept, and construction) and why?
I’m really pleased with the way this book turned out. And impressed that I was able to make 3 identical copies (well, mostly identical). There isn’t much I would change. The bruises didn’t turn out quite the way I hoped. The front cover looks really good because it’s blue ink on red paper. The reverse side was trickier since it was white paper. I took some Cranberry ink and Royal Blue and tried to blend them. I think the color turned out okay, but it’s very faint and doesn’t look like bruises. On a test sheet, I mixed in some Espresso (brown color), but it looked more like dirty finger prints than bruises. I just hope the message gets across to any potential readers.
If I were to make this book over again, I’d revisit the content. I like to expand it a little more and find a way to bring in more book forms. Those are the parts that makes my Dos a Dos unique and original. And they were the most fun parts to make.