Sunday, May 28, 2006

A small imposition

It's the 9th anniversary of Jeff Buckley's tragic death tomorrow, a close friend pointed out to me yesterday, so the soundtrack for my weekend has been Grace. That, combined with *finally* pasting together the mockups for my poetry volumes, has made the past two days very pleasant.

After that initial outburst of happiness back in February, the poetry books are progressing, but slowly. I'm in the process of applying for some funding to help me get them happening, and it seems that whomever I talk to in the Canberra arts community, they're applying too... and all I can say on that front is that Loadedog feels my pain.

But! The up side of filling out a grant application is that it's forcing me to really nut out the details of my project, and if I want to ask for money for paper, I have to work out exctly how much paper I need. And that has forced me to finally sit down and make the mock-ups.

A mock-up, for those who have no idea what I'm talking about, is the backbone of planning a book. You can't just plan it in a computer and do it; you have to make a real 3D model to see how it flows, with at least a sample of how the fonts look and the margins ruled up. Because I'll be printing the text four pages at a time, I've made a big rectangle of paper that is twice the height of my pages, and the width of a double-page spread, then folded the paper in half and in half again. That gives me a page section that looks like 8 pages without their tops cut through. Then I've pasted the poems (with a computer-generated layout to simulate the fonts I'm using) onto the pages in order, taking into account the inner folds.

Here's a diagram for those who are *really* confused:
mock-up diagram

Now that they're made, I can unfold the page and see which way to set up my type to print four pages at once... or where an image is to be inserted, etc.

As you can see, half your layout is right-side up, the other upside-down. If you get this wrong, the whole book fails. Each folded piece of 8 pages is a section, and this is what will be trimmed and sewn together during the binding process.

So there you are, a quick lesson in how to work out your page layout and type imposition. Bonus!

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