The making of the The Language of Composition by Yuri Gordon

Overview• Process

Receiving the book from the editor and starting to work on the layout. Almost instantly it becomes clear that the book will feel cramped in the pocket format. Using the album format instead.

Of all the suggestions the art director approves only the layout of the comments. Retypesetting.

Art director: The blue comments next to pictures look like text but create a conflict of perception as it’s difficult to tell when to read them, before the main text, during or after.

Still not what we need. For the author, the captions are more than just captions, they are more like aphorisms bringing an idea to a logical conclusion. Making them larger.

Showing to the author, getting the overall approval, although the captions seem to be excessively “loud.” Making them slightly smaller.

Some photos need to be retaken.

For many illustrations we need to find high-resolution versions and acquire usage rights. Creating a detailed spreadsheet.

The illustrator is working on the pattern for endpapers.

In the book, color illustrations are located right next to toned ones. We don’t want to render all of them in black and white so decide to print everything in color.

The book is sent to the proofreader. Thinking about the cover and the dust jacket. The cover references one of the composition experiments with the sea, the sky and the sun. The same experiment can be seen on the first version of the dust jacket, although the second version appears livelier.

The art director chooses the first version but wants to make it more alive.

No. Another attempt.

The art director has nothing against the idea, but the author is full of doubts about this design.

Choosing binding materials and paper.

Creating other designs for the dust jacket that are not approved by the art director.

Calming them down.

Art director: yes. Author: no. Finally finding a solution that works for everybody.

Rechecking everything several times over, preparing for printing, uploading to the print shop’s server, looking at proofs and approving them.