I see Alhambra – Making the book – Mock-up design

It has been awhile but at last I am ready to make a mock-up of my ‘I see Alhambra’ book. I have finished making the lino prints and I have decided on the order I want them to be viewed. I always find it best to make mock-ups first; as I often find that an idea I have of how the book will look, will often turn into something different when you actually try to make it. Your mind’s eye often doesn’t encounter the 3D problems of making.

So to make a mock-up book I will be using some of the lino cut prints that had a few faults; as I am experimenting I don’t want to use good prints. I am making a concertina, so the first step is to cut the prints to size, including enough paper for a folding tab on one side. This tab will be glued to the back of the next print and the fold creates the first two pages of the concertina. Tips on glueing; use PVA glue and press glued pages and book covers in a press or underneath heavy books. This ensures everything dries flat. I have now folded and glued all the pages, so I now have my concertina book.

The second step is to consider what type of cover would suit the book; a hard cover? a paper cover? a textile cover? Should the book cover be illustrated? What text shall I put on the cover? How shall I attach the cover?

After much consideration, and playing around with card and paper; I have decided to make a grey board card cover, which will have a paper print with text on the front, and the back will be left bare. The two covers will be attached with a folded spine of heavy paper. I am using simple materials for the cover, as I want to compliment the bold and colourful prints inside.

I am choosing to incorporate a book spine in my design, rather than attaching the boards at either end of the concertina, because I have an odd number of prints. I want the viewer to be able to pull the concertina straight and view the prints together. As I have an odd number of pages I can’t attach a board at either end of the concertina unless I insert another page at the end. I do not want to do this as I am happy with the arrangement of the prints as they are. I don’t want to insert a blank page or make another print just so I can attach the board covers at either end. In this case the content of my book and the way I wish it to be viewed is defining the design of the cover.

So the last step is to glue the first page to the inside of the front cover, and that’s it, I have made a mock-up that I am happy with. All to do now, make the first edition of ‘I see Alhambra’.

(All images and works under copyright © Catherine Cronin)


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