Book Art Final

Without a doubt, my favorite class this semester has been my book art/typography class. The first half of the semester focused more on fonts/lettering/type face, but the second half focused a lot more on the art of book making. We learned how to literally make books from scratch -- using all different types of binding (stitch, accordion fold, etc.) and about the world of artist books. Seriously, there are people in the world who make a living by designing/creating one book a year and making fifty to a hundred handmade copies of it. The book itself is a work of art; collectors and universities pay thousands of dollars for them!

Which brings me to my "I wish I could do crafts for a living. Actually, maybe I can..." comment from my last post. Do I want to actually make books for a living? No. But, could I? Maybe... :)

It wasn't actually my idea. It was my dad's. For our final project, we had to interview a family member & create a book from the "legends" or family stories they told us. My parents' fairy tale romance has been told countless times, so it seemed only fitting to interview both of them & weave the story together. It's funny to see how they tell some stories the exact same way, and yet some stories are so completely different. I titled my project, "He Says, She Says."

After designing the entire project in Illustrator, I printed the pages out & using my newly-discovered professional paper folding and cutting and gluing techniques, (I'm not lying when I say it's an art...) ended up with my book.

I made two mock copies of the book to get the engineering down right. The pages alternate between a pop-up header...

...and the story that goes along with it. (Note: this is not the story of my parents' first kiss. They'd kill me. This is the "first impressions" section.) The non-pop-up pages have a cut-out in the center, revealing the photos on the inside cover.

All of the text on the left-hand side of the page is directly quoted from the interview with my mom, and all of the text on the right-hand side of the page is directly quoted from the interview with my dad.

I used the accordion fold again, so you can technically expand the book out like this:

Tada :)

The project happened to be due the morning of... my parents' 24th wedding anniversary. How perfect! Since I had talked to my professor beforehand, she graded my book first so I could pick it up from the art studio that afternoon and drive home to Winston to give my parents their gift.

They absolutely loved it! And not like the "we're-your-parents-so-we'd-love-anything-you-made-us" kind of love, either. It was such a hit that my parents have been showing it off & telling other people about it... and they all want one too! (About themselves, obviously.) My father, being the marketing/business guru that he is, already has people lined up who would be willing to pay at least $50 for one. Um, what? That's $1000 for twenty books! Insane.

Am I actually going to do it? I have not the slightest idea. It's fun to think about, though. Dad has been wanting me to open my own graphic design business for a while now (entitled "Simply B," hence the blog name), and has already decided the book art line would be known as the "More Than Words Collection." (And people say I'M the dreamer/visionary...?) Hahaha. He has way more faith in me than I have in myself. And I love him for it.

Who knows. Maybe over Christmas break, I'll bust out the first few books of Simply B's More Than Words Collection. Or maybe I'll just nap. A lot. Both sound rather enticing at this point :)