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  • Writer's pictureHannah Faith Jackson

Publishing My Book: The Highs, Lows And All The In-betweens

As a final point in the decision making for the project I committed myself to making my own book publication. I love the hands on creativity which goes into making physical realisations of projects and so felt it would be a fitting end to my final major project. During Covid I have missed collaborating with other departments and creative individuals, and so made the most of this final opportunity to enhance and gain skills from others within the University.

Initially I was aiming to print the pages of the book with Helen in Reprographics. However, after a few test runs and some dilemmas with paper size, thickness and practicalities in the layout of the book itself, I had to change tack. After doing some research Michael and I sourced some A2 matte paper with a lesser thickness which would allow the pages to be easily turned and not too rigid.

Image Layouts + Deciding On Page Fold

In the end I printed, trimmed and folded four books (and probably another whole book in re-prints). It was a very lengthy and frustrating process but equally a very satisfying one. I also chose to print certain pages on acetate in order for them to be transparent and allow the page behind to come through.

After all the books were printed I set about making flaps to be inserted into the pages in order to cover the nightmare images, forcing the viewer to have to physically lift something in order to view the image which fits with the idea that nightmare punctuates daydream.

I worked with Natalie in the Print Workshops on all other aspects of creating the books and having glued, pressed and bound one book with the card flaps inserted I felt it was a little too chunky and the flaps didn't open nicely and it looked very cheap and flung together. I had a tutorial with Rob and we decided to try a semi transparent paper for the flaps which was not only thinner but also allowed some of the image to be visible, adding a sense of intrigue not gained with the solid card flaps.

I spent a few long nights getting all these flaps cut and folded to size and then stuck the pages together with double sided tape in order for them all to lie flat. I then bound another book with the new flaps and attached it's fabric cover, which I had also made, and popped it into the press. When I took it out I found that the coating on the acetate had stuck to the paper and as irreversible so I had to cut this page out and glue a new sheet in and cover the seem with some ribbon - it was all good fun!

In the end, after many struggles which just helped me to learn more from the whole process, I completed one final book! I wanted to make the book extra special by enclosing it in a presentation box with a ribbon which lifts the book up. In order to do this I cut some sheets of mount board to pad out the box and created an insert for the book to sit in and then attached the ribbon with a printed sticker. I felt that it gave the book the finishing touches and hinted at the care and immense amount of dedication it has taken to create.

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