Saturday, 8 January 2011

Long Overdue Print Work - Final Book

When the prints had dried I scanned the best ones and put them on Photoshop. I worked on the background colours and various other things depending on what each page needed (see below) and then I started to add the text which I made based on Illuminated Manuscripts. Here's how I approached each page:

For the first page I cut the image so I could place the text in the middle. This was so you could look at the image and this would then lead you into the text, it also created a nicer balance across the double page spread. I was pleased with how the text and image linked. I created the text by printing the image and then using a lightbox to draw the text onto a blank sheet of paper which I then scanned in. I kept the background colour neutral.

As I made the lino for my second page when I had decided different dimensions I needed to add some of my previous lino scans on either side. One didn't have a mask so I had to add one in photoshop and I used the gradient tool to blend it with the rest of the image. I used a brighter colour for the background to make an interesting contrast with the next page. I didn't want any text on this page so the audience could focus on the image.

For this pull out page I made the background quite dark, to give a stronger impact (to show the dominance of the mask) and I used a vaguely purple/pink shade to link to pride. I gave the text the same gradient the image has to make them blend together.

I tried many combinations of background colours for this page but in the end white worked the best to show spotlight the pigeon is in and the shadow he pushes his friends into. I added some details to the mask to make it clearer as without these the image was a bit vague.

I decided to use the black and red print for the close up of the wings because it fits with the darkness the page beforehand was leading into. It also makes it a little more mysterious.

I then wanted the strong contrast of the white and red print for the fold out page. I hid a bit of the text behind the Owl's wing to give it a greater presence/dominance. I tried the text as a lighter red so the Owl would also stand out more but the white was most successful.

I wanted there to be quiet after this climax so I made the second to last page just text (also because the last image is more of an afterthought and doesn't take place immediately after the climax). I ended the story and wrote the moral. Since very little of the book is black, the text worked better as brown.

Finally the image of a bird standing on the mask, this I edited so the mask is a different colour to make it stand out more.

After all the pages were designed I tried printing on various type of watercolour paper. A lot of the paper caused the ink to bleed and some which worked well were only accepted by the printer irregularly...and nearly broke it, but I found a happy medium. I then printed the pages. I also did some test books to see how the pull out pages would work. I'm happy with the solution I came up with for the Owl pull out but I still don't think the first pull out page is obvious enough although I sacrifice the image if I cut anymore.

When I'd stuck all the pages together I went to look for a suitable fabric for the cover. I found a nice purple/brown fabric with patterns that worked with the images in my book and I used a dark shimmery brown paper for the end papers. I think it was a good idea to use plain paper to create a gap between the decorating binding and busy inside of the book. I was really happy with the fabric, the binding is quite nice except there are a few air bubbles and it may also have been nice to print the title on the cover.

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