Monday, 29 April 2013


I wanted to look into possible binding methods for my hangover cures book. I didn't want to produce a stapled booklet, I wanted to produce a publication true to format and style of other cookbooks and recipe books. 

Below are research methods which I am looking into:

Coptic Binding:

This method of binding leaves your book with or without a spine depending on how the book is covered. It can be finished with either stitching or double sided tape depending on the aesthetic of the book. 

The pages open totally flat, and page spreads are to be printed one sided as designed on indesign. 

If using double sided tape, the pages are stuck back to back, with the right hand-side of the first page, to the left hand-side of the second and so on and so forth until completed. If neatly done no binding marks will be left, and the spine and covers can be added to both the front and back, or printed on a larger piece of paper than the book and totally covered so the spine is not seen. A fast, easy and professional finish to any hand bound publication. 

If using stitching the method shown below can be used:

Covers wrapped mount board.

"Once my cover boards and paper signatures are ready, I start to punch my holes for the binding. You don’t really have to space them evenly, just make sure they are spread throughout the spine to be secure. I’ve marked up my holes on the cover then punched them out with a holepuncher."

"Then I use the cover as my guide to punch holes in all my signatures." The holes do not to be evenly spaced, and the holes in the paper do not need to be big, just large enough for the thread to pass through.

"To start stitching, you go with one board and one signature inside. You can see I’m starting at the bottom hole inside the first signature."

"You bring the thread out and under the cover board to attach it to the signature…"

"I make sure everything is tight and aligned, then tie a knot. The important part of this method of binding is keeping the cover and signatures on top all aligned…because that’s exactly how it’s going to end up in the end. You want a perfectly aligned stack of signatures on the covers, nice and tight.

From this point, I just move up one hole and repeat the process of looping around the cover and coming back up. Only difference is that there is no knot to tie, you just keep looping through to attach the signature to the cover.

When you get to the last hole, after looping onto the cover, instead of going back into the same signature you stack on another signature and go into that hole."

"See how I’ve come up from the top hole in my second signature here…then I immediately go to the next hole…"

"…and on the outside I want to attach this signature to something, but there are no holes to go through like with the cover. Instead I loop my thread in between the signatures below it, in this case the first signature and cover. Just stick your needle into the left side of the stitch already there and exit to the right of it. This is a kettle stitch that connects the stitches together and creates the cool pattern on the binding. It is for this stitch that I use the curved needle, because it’s so much easier to stitch it in between the signatures."

"Repeat…repeat…repeat. Once you get the idea, you’ll be able to continue for as many signatures as  you have, no problem! You’ll see here I’ve added all 5 of my signatures. There are ways of binding the last signature with the cover together…but I find it all confusing. So I bind all my signatures in the same fashion until there are none left."

"Then when I just have the cover left to bind, I sort of do the same thing, but weaving through the last signature again. This means the signature will have a double thread inside, but I don’t mind that for the easy of understanding the process. When I get to the last hole, instead of going back into the paper signature, I actually go in between the cover and paper signature. I loop it around that stitch and tie a knot here to finish binding the book. Pretty easy!"

Thermally Activated Binding:

  1. Perfect binding is often used, and gives a result similar to paperback books. Paperback or soft cover books are also normally bound using perfect binding. They usually consist of various sections with a cover made from heavier paper, glued together at the spine with a strong glue. The sections are milled in the back and notches are applied into the spine to allow hot glue to penetrate into the spine of the book. The other three sides are then face trimmed. This is what allows the magazine or paperback book to be opened. Mass market paperbacks (pulp paperbacks) are small (16mo size), cheaply made with each sheet fully cut and glued at the spine; these are likely to fall apart or lose sheets after much handling or several years.Trade paperbacks are more sturdily made, with traditional gatherings or sections of bifolios, usually larger, and more expensive. The difference between the two can usually easily be seen by looking for the sections in the top or bottom sides of the book.
  2. Thermal binding uses a one piece cover with glue down the spine to quickly and easily bind documents without the need for punching. Individuals usually purchase "thermal covers" or "therm-a-bind covers" which are usually made to fit a standard size sheet of paper and come with a glue channel down the spine. The paper is placed in the cover, heated in a machine (basically a griddle), and when the glue cools, it adheres the paper to the spine. Thermal glue strips can also be purchased separately for individuals that wish to use customized/original covers. However, creating documents using thermal binding glue strips can be a tedious process which requires a scoring device and a large format printer.
  3. cardboard article looks like a hardbound book at first sight, but it is really a paperback with hard covers. Many books that are sold as hardcover are actually of this type. The Modern Library series is an example. This type of document is usually bound with thermal adhesive glue using a perfect binding machine.

The methods above using thermal activated binding in different ways. Perfect binding is very professional and looks as though the book is finished seamlessly. This is available to do at Vernon Street through the book binding workshops. I feel this is the best method to choose for the book as the majority of cookery books are bound using perfect binding, and would keep true to the aesthetics.

I would like to try both perfect binding and coptic binding using double sided tape as a stitched publication will not have a polished, clean aesthetic being stitched which is true to cookery books.

By trying both methods I will practice my book binding skills and improve my knowledge of the processes.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


After the presentation with Richard and a small group of other students, I decided to change the format of my publication. 

The feedback received was very positive. I talked through the presentation and showed my printed fashion scrapbook as shown below. The only criticism was the format being a scrapbook, Joe mentioned it looking unfinished outside, and polished inside. Richard suggested due the high quality, "phenomenal" content it should be published in the form of a magazine.

The entire class agreed, and therefore decided this would be a better option and would make the fashion element more predominant through the format and would relate to publications such as Vogue and The Face which was a popular long running cultural magazine with art direction from Neville Brody.

I am going to send of my publication to print professionally. I am going to further research into online printing companies which I could possibly use.

The Scrapbook I made and bound is as pictured below. It was bound with binding rings, with a mount board cover and back, and dividers per year to resemble a handmade scrapbook.

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Online Publishers:


Lulu is an online publishing service that prints and binds books and will deliver them to your door. I found that their uploading process was complex and was created in mind for people publishing in bulk. It worked out expensive to print using Lulu and they didn't offer the service of a magazine.


I found blurb to be a much user friendly website to use and they offer the service of using an Adobe Indesign Plug-In allowing me to make alterations to my publication using their page size layouts. Your work can then be uploaded and sent to print straight away. Blurb offers different publication types such as hardback books and magazines which is perfect for this brief. I thought this was a very worthwhile idea and I am tempted to use this for my publication.

Newspaper Club:

The Newspaper Club is a cheap, easy way of producing a printed publication, however I think due to their online design tools I wouldn't achieve the best finish to my publication as it has already been designed. They also only print on newsprint which isn't fitting with the aesthetics of a high quality, finished fashion magazine.

I am going to use Blurb to print and publish my publication due to the ease of use and the plug-in. Being able to print at magazine size is a benefit and will be bound in the same way as a bought magazine.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Due to the topic change of my 'Speaking from Experience' brief, I carried out further research into alternative yet strange hangover cures for my recipe book.

The results were as follows:

- Rabbit Poop Tea
- Sweat, Lick and Spit
- Prairie Oyster
- Tripe Soup
- Kterfruhstuck
- Voodoo Bottle
- Lemon Arm Pits

Source: 15 Hangover Remedies from Around the World;

- Bloody Mary
- Deep Fried Canaries
- Banana Milkshake
- Poutine/Fries
- Eggs Benedict

Source: 7 Wierd Hangover Cures from Around the World;

- Raw Egg in Milk
- Beef Noodle Soup
- Detox; Apple Cider Vinegar and Bicarb.
- Detox; Cayenne Pepper, Honey, Lemon, Water

Source: Home Remedies for Hangovers;

I researched existing hangover cure books and found a gap in the market. There are not many books that encourage a good hangover cure, especially for students. This means my publication will be different to other cookbooks or recipe books.

I looked on Behance to find any design work related to hangovers:

I found that there wasn't much out there to contextualise my project, in terms of similar products, only recipe and cookery books as previously researched and noted. This leaves me in a good position to design and produce something new and different which will appeal to my target audience.

Monday, 15 April 2013


I wanted to carry out further research into styles of illustration, after deciding on aesthetics and after looking at Kinfolk magazine. Below are various cake-related illustrations taken from pinterest

I really like the water colour style of illustrations and feel, with the french-style European drawings. I feel these could make the publication, colourful, vibrant and fresh, and different to those which currently exist in bakery publications. However combined with photography this could be too overwhelming for the layout. 

However, I really like the simple black and white illustrations above, which I think would work nicely with photographs and a minimalistic aesthetics. The illustration below however is detailed and in depth with shades and tints of red.


After developing my design ideas, and finalising the format of the publication, I wanted to look further into the aesthetics in mind, and different page layouts which could be used for inspiration.

After a discussion with my friend, and photographer Sam Brentnall in regards to the brief, and aesthetic choices I am deciding on, he suggest looking at the magazine Kinfolk; a quarterly publication, and an e-book. Each month focus' on a different story/interviews, narrated by photographs of people's daily chores.

"Kinfolk publishes a consistent stream of casual entertaining ideas to which readers subscribe quarterly as a collectable print magazine, daily online features, and in-person with workshops, dinners and events. 

Developed to respond to the gap on the newsstand, Kinfolk caters to a growing relationship of young artists and food enthusiasts by focusing on simple ways to find time together.

Each issue combines lyrical essays, recipes, interviews, personal stories and practical tips with a keen attention to design and details.

Readers look to Kinfolk as a trusted resource for both enticing and meaningful activities - whether it's a new cooking skill, road trip route, or camping guide, Kinfolk is a blueprint for a balanced, intentional and lifestyle"

The aesthetics are minimal, illustrative, and colourful, with a clean, simple and minimal layout which can be adapted. In terms of illustration and photography, it has all the perfect design elements that I would like to capture for my own publication.

"Volume 7 is an ode to ice cream and a celebration of the spring season, focusing on those shared loves that bring us together: the enjoyment of food, friends, family, and time spent in community whether around the table or out-of-doors."
"144 pages, offset-printed, perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper. Printed in the USA" 

I particularly like these sketches. The simplicity of the drawings allows the message and meaning to be understood clearly, whilst fitting the aesthetics of the layout/content of the remainder of the magazine. 

Subtle use of image, type and illustration. It works beautifully, the entire magazine oozes calm, quiet and collected, as well as being easily read and understood. 

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A variety of typefaces are used throughout the magazine, however always simple and minimalistic serif, or sans-serif.