Monday, 24 January 2011

Hand In Tomorrow

I have recently handed in a Learning Agreement and Learning Record stating my aims for the year and how much I have managed to achieve so far.

Now I need to hand in all the practice work that shows my findings, observations and so on.
In this first term we should have amassed at least 400 hours of work that should be exploring our chosen subjects. My subject has been titled 'What Is A Book', I aim to look at how the book format is changing and evolving due to the digital age.

So far I have created mapping and timeline projects, setting out the broad aims of the year and when I shall be getting them done by. These were originally presented in a hardback cover (hand made of course!) in A3 size and since then they have been reworked to an A4 size and constantly updated to show what has been done, what has been moved around to suit my schedule etc.

The second part of my work has been research. My research so far has explored four main contexts, personal opinion, general consensus, historical definitions and progressions and finally looking towards the future.

For the most part these have been handled in a book, titled using the expression 'A Book Is A Book Is A Book' but phrasing it as a question by adding 'Isn't it'. It's a play on words and an attempt at giving the research my own character, but I also feel it does sum up the work well. The book shows the results of twelve interviews/questionnaires I carried out towards the end of last year. These answers are then analysed  by myself and my own opinions are added. In this way the book neatly addresses the issue of personal and general contexts, touching on the history and future of publishing at the same time.

The format of the book took quite a bit of thinking. The idea was to learn new methods of binding (I had never perfect bound a book before this) and also use different methods than usual to show how you can get variety in a printed book. So I french folded the pages, and used a red bar to carry over the edge of the page, giving the book a nice strip of red that makes it a bit different to usual. Also the way that the pages flex under turning due to their folded nature is just a bit different to usual. Simple halftone imagery in a monotone ties the whole book together. Using just one colour and two typefaces (Din for titles, contents and questions, Caslon for answers, mine in black, others in 80% black) gives the book a uniform look, letting the format make more of an impact.

You can read the online version here, or leave a comment to see the printed version. I'll upload some photos of it soon

I would like to make a version with a stock coloured red on one side and white on the other, meaning the folds of the pages would flash red when bent and turned. Unfortunately getting hold of such a stock in a weight that isn't overkill has proven difficult.

To go alongside the book is a poster showing the progression of publishing with respect to breakthroughs and advancements rather than time itself. As a timeline it may seem odd, but the chinese were using forms of letterpress when central europe was still hand scribing, with Germany coming up with what is commonly accepted as the first proper printing press. This 'Timeline without time' looks further at the historical contexts and briefly looks towards the future of publishing as well.

To go alongside these research topics is a huge stack of work for OWT creative, exploring the less commercial side of book design (are zines books?!) and also work for Adidas and The Access Project, which shows I have a wide base of knowledge and experience at creating different types of publication for a different market and so on.

Sorry for such a wordy post!

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