The making of The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski

Overview   Process  

While the book is being translated and proofread, we are busy scanning the illustrations. By the time the text is submitted for typesetting, the illustrations are ready. Making the first attempt, trying to evaluate the overall volume of the book.

Searching for the style.

The art director chooses the third option with the pattern and the initial. Setting the task for the illustrator: to draw eleven (by the number of chapters) simple patterns with matching initials.

Making drafts of pattern motifs.

Drawing them in vector.

Making sketches of the initials.

With the first pattern and initial available, starting to experiment with half titles.

The art director is sure the patterns look better on black background. Drawing the rest of them on black.

Deciding to sustain the classic layout by using tailpieces. The art director likes the idea.

Chief typesetter: Only tailpieces have to be on the right side.

Making sure all chapters end on the right page and giving another task to the illustrator: to create a tailpiece for each of the chapters. Simultaneously finishing typesetting the text and giving it to the editor and proofreader (with temporary placeholders instead of patterns, initials and tailpieces).

While the text is being proofread, we start working on the endpaper, cover and dust jacket. Choosing binding material, a footband and a ribbon.

The designer comes up with a design for the dust jacket giving us a draft that has already been approved by the art director.

Designer: Library as a magic garden. Book culture as horticulture. Cultivation and nurturing. Only instead of watering cans, shovels and other garden tools we have quills, chains, magnifiers, hands of the gardener-scribe and so on.

The illustrator draws a picture which we place onto the dust jacket.

By this time the text is proofread, all endpapers and initials are finalized. Placing everything where it should be, looking at the result, adjusting the scale.

Giving the result to the art director for approval and preparing the files for printing.

At the very last moment we unfortunately have to abandon the wonderful goffered edge of the original edition.




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