The wonderful authors of Bent Window’s second book, The Real Sky, have produced a print version of the book. Yes, my mandate is to publish digital versions but I’m also in favor of going with the flow when it presents itself (as flowing). So here’s where it flew to, so to speak. I’m delighted!
Over to Valerie to explain:
Making The Real SKY (with foldout)
Jacklynn Niemiec’s drawings went through many stages throughout our collaboration onThe Real Sky. The five individual drawings (Globe, Niagara, Threshold, Garden, Tokyo) eventually formed one horizontal piece. We tried to think of a way to show this in a physical book that would use Rose’s elegant ebook design, but also add something a bit different that could work only with a physical book.
We decided that creating a foldout in the middle of the book would be a way for the reader to see and think about some of the layering techniques that Jacklynn writes about so wonderfully in her “Artists Notes” to the book.
It was really important to us that the drawing and the writings work together. In other words, the drawing should not overwhelm the writing nor the opposite. We aimed to make the book both beautiful and readable.
We worked out the paging and talked about paper for the text pages, cover, and art. Jacklynn tried a few different papers for the sketch. She decided on the one that was sturdy yet could fit into the book and flattened fairly easily. Also, after trying a few styles, Jacklynn decided to make the foldout page the same ivory color as the text pages.
We originally thought of a bright red for a cover with black thread for binding but this didn’t seem to suit the tones of the interior. The gray cover with black imagery complements the colors of the drawing.
The sketches and the covers were scored, cut, and folded by hand. It was really important for the cover pages to be cut to the right dimensions (slightly larger than interior page size) so that the text pages and foldout page could be fitted evenly into the book, thus making the book easy to handle. The silhouette on the cover recalls and area in the sketch where two sketches overlap, which I hope helps readers think about the overlaps between the writings, as well.
For me, seeing Jacklynn at work and taking part in the book-making has been an incredible experience, reminding me of the joy I feel in the tactile process of making and assembling books by hand.
* “scored:” means to make a crease by folding.
(Footnote by Rose, since I had to ask!)
Click here to read a sample from the book, and to buy. A digital pdf is also included, and I will also send a pdf of Bent Window’s first book, Michael Chin’s Distance Traveled.
Shipping (from the authors in the US) is included.
Here is a bit more about The Real Sky as well; this post written by Jacklynn Niemiec.