Mar 26 2008
With every book I do, I feel compelled to tinker with the style and materials. This is just my own eclectic taste asserting itself. However, a more deliberate and practical form of tinkering I do with each book has to do with the process or workflow involved in going from a rough idea or text to a finished page. A good or bad process can have a huge impact on the speed and efficiency of doing the book, and moreover it can color the whole experience for better or worse, and can affect the creative process in subtle but profound ways.
For example, I did King Lear in a very unstructured way. The positive result was a very creative, non-rigid structure to the page layouts, and some surprising creative solutions to problems. The negative result was that I never really knew where I was in a scheduling sense, and ultimately the book took an incredibly long time and involved a lot of waste (redrawing pages that had major problems, redoing the lettering, that sort of thing).
One challenge I’ve always found a bit difficult is (consistently) leaving the correct amount of space for the text in each panel. So I’m trying a new, all-digital workflow (using my new tablet pc), where I draw my rough layouts directly in the layout program (in this case, InDesign) around the actual text. This lets me quickly scale and reshape things, eliminates the scanning step, and hopefully makes things faster and easier all around. We’ll see how it works out — so far, so good.
Here’s an example.