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Archive for August 2012

2013Front.jpgI have grabbed the habit of making prototypes of books I want to make. I use cheaper paper, I check and re-check the content for errors such as spelling, grammar, and placement on the page, and I make small and large adjustments - sometimes incredibly large adjustments - before making the actual book. One example of this approach is the 2013 Calendar/Diary which I'm  currently slowly working on. There are at least 365 places where mistakes could creep in in a calendar and it has to be checked and rechecked again and again. That was redundant, wasn't it? Yes, but it had to be said.


The 2013 Calendar/Diary consists of:

  • two yearly calendars (2013 and 2014),
  • 16 monthly calendars (from January 2013 to April 2014),
  • several sections of lined diary,
  • a bookmark,
  • a strap to keep it closed, and
  • pictures of the local scenery.

2013Endpaper.jpgThe calendars are at the front, starting with the yearly 2013 calendar, zipping through the months, and ending with the yearly 2014 calendar. The lined notebook portion follows. The calendar section takes up two signatures of five sheets each for about 40 pages. The prototype has four signatures of lined paper for about 80 pages for a total of 120 pages. I think this is a bit thin, especially since I'll probably use 2 mm thick book boards. The final product might have five or six lined signatures. Which, if my calculations are in the ball park, will result in 140 to 160 pages.

I also experimented with a cover. I cut out the numbers for the year (2013) out of the cover paper. Previously I added a thin colored paper to the book board that would eventually become the cover. Then glued the whole shebang together. I am not a paper artist, that has been determined beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Why the pictures? To localize the book. Generic (cough Hello Kitty cough) diary/calendars sell a few gazillion every year but they are the same for anyone who buys it. Since I'm attempting to sell locally, I figured, hey, why not localize the content? However, I'm not taking the typical local touristy pictures. I include the tourist trap places but from a different angle. I also take pictures of well-known stores or parks that tourists usually don't end up in as they are beyond the touristy areas.

The pictures in this episode, by the way, are of the prototype. The final product will be using brown paper and have, perhaps, a one-tone cover (plus the numbers in a different color.)


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biblio_open.jpgHere is a finished book about the people and events responsible for how books look now. A simple book, not an in-depth treatise on typography and the like. It includes Cai Lun (inventor of paper), Bi Sheng (inventor of movable type), Choe Yun-Ui (inventor of movable metal type), the Abbasid Caliphate (responsible for spreading papermaking from China to the West), and Gutenberg, Griffo, Manutius, Garamond, plus the Aztec and Mayan codices.

The book has 9 signatures of five sheets each for 180 pages but they are not bound one on top of the other. There are two parts to this book: left and right. Four are on the left side while five signatures are on the right side. The book has two fronts that open out like double doors. It only has one back, however. I used coptic binding to hold everything together. The reason behind that was coptic binding tends to open better than casebinding. Plus, coptic is older. (I didn't use papyrus, although it is mentioned early in the book; with pictures!). Yellow paper was used as endpapers.

Biblio_Top.jpgThe original idea of the double book is that the content on the left side would complement the content on the right side. For example, there might be a picture of Nicolas Jenson on the right and a short paragraph about him on the left. Or a Mayan codex on the left with Diego de Landa pictured on the right (they're connected). For the most part, this was done. But towards the latter part of the book, the sides took a random approach. Indeed, the two books can be read independently from each other.

Also included in the book are lined pages for note taking, if one so desires. While a good idea when I first thought of it, upon reflection, writing in a book of this rigidity and structure is a bit difficult to do. Possible, but not as easy as I at first thought. However, there are plenty of pages if someone wants to scribble away.

Below on the left you can see two pictures. On the left is paper money first printed in China in 1215. On the right is a picture of the four Mayan codices that Diego de Landa didn't destroy. The picture on the right is attempting to show the coptic binding. I used a fairly thick, unwaxed, hemp thread from Nepal that was a bear to thread through the needle and kept kinking up something terrible. But the color (a mix of red and blue) matched the green book cloth I used on the cover.

Biblio_Maya.jpg Biblio_edge.jpg


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