After speaking with the printers it really hit me that I need to hurry up! I had spent so much time deciding on a theory/concept and planning but I was around three or four weeks away from the deadline and really needed to get something actually done!
Kicking Myself Into Gear
I turned off my phone, closed the curtains and turned on some ambience music. I had 2 days off work and I swore to myself I would have this book designed to it’s simplest form and mock printed.
This was so vital to do because, speaking to the printers, I realised there were so many areas for error: (the lining up of the pages to the holes, the inner-page margin size etc.)
I knew that the only way to ensure I wouldn’t make any basic mistakes was to get a wiro bind (exactly the same as the one the printers would use) from the printers. The plan was to (when I had the page sizes determined) line them up and see how much of an extra margin I would have to give to the inner-facing sides of the paper. I would also be able to see (to the millimetre) how much I need to add or remove from the top and bottoms of my page to make sure there are no half-holes hanging off the pages.
Designing the Pages
This took me so much longer than it should have. I have some original ideas here but none really wowed me, in fact.. in retrospect, they are absoluteness horrendous!
But luckily at the time I did decide that maybe I should try for a better cover. One night I couldn’t sleep, it got to around 4 am and I thought “I could be doing something productive here!” So I did. I got my sketchbook out and decided that I would allow myself to sleep one I had a stronger cover. This is where I ended up. It came from the idea of a lot of opinions and views, causing a bit of a disturbance and perhaps the argumentative side creating a feel of uncertainty and discomfort.
The next morning I translated this onto the computer. I was deeply disheartened. It looked shocking! I was not happy with it at all. It made me all of the things I mentioned before: disturbed, uncertain and discomfort uncomfortable. But in a bad way. I don’t feel it looks even remotely professional and because of this I had to move onto something else.
I moved on but I felt I was onto something with the feeling of discomfort. I wanted to find a balance between something not being right and it looking professional.. How do I go about this?
This is the style I opted for. There are a few things about this that make you feel uneasy. The abnormal speech marks are one of them and the fact that they are slightly tilted just adds to their unusualness. One of the more subtle, but effective techniques I used to create the feel of discomfort was a simple Kern, in the words “Gill Sans is…”. There is something about it that looks off and this was my aim. I think this looked professional but still had a few little things that felt wrong. My concern is whether it just looks like I’ve made mistakes or will people appreciate my intentions?
With this cover designed I began to make incredible headway with my inside pages and completed the designs and was happy with how it all looking. I knew there were still a lot of changes that needed to be made, but I thought now was a good time to ensure that I was on the right tracks, in terms of it working as a wiro bound book. I printed what I had to make sure it lined up well.
Luckily the 28 cm front cover fit perfectly in the 30 cm wiro (something I really should have checked before I created a cover I was pleased with!)
However, pretty much every single one of my inside pages needed editing from their original sizes, fortunately mostly by around only 2 mm or so.
I realised that I had to remove the box from the 19×28 page of the front cover because it would be far too risky to hope that the flaps would like up perfectly with it (see below).
Now that I had the right page sizes and acceptable margins decided upon, I got cracking on with the actual designs and copy. Here’s the Copy I put into the document (some of the page numbers changed and not all text is there).
I was making some great progress and had a lot to show Kate the Tuesday after Christmas. A few changes were advised and I still had a bit of work to do before I could send it off to the printers.
My aim was for it to be sent Friday the 11th, as they quoted me a just few hours for it to be printed. I managed to get it sent on Thursday the 10th at around 2pm.
I received a phone call during lectures on Friday, it was the printers telling me that it would be ready Monday at 1630 (4 Days later than they originally said) and that it would not cost the quoted “£10”, rather £50!! I was not happy by this, not just the fact that I had to pay so much more than they quoted me but that they had essentially broken their word which had really put my project in the balance.. Half four the day before my 9 am presentation? That is so close to call! All I could do is hope I did get the page sizes and margins correct.
Nervous is not the word.