When I started this project I quickly discounted the idea of a book for the final dissemination as I feared the chances of capturing enough images was quite slim. I now have approaching 150 images for the final body of work so I can safely reconsider some sort of book format, if not for the final outcome, then at least as an accompaniment to the exhibition. Something in between a Zine, Folio or Handmade Book.
After researching some ideas (see previous entry) I had to avoid the plethora of shabby chic ideas for the popular hobby of scrapbooking as this does not produce the look and feel that I wish to create for the work. Namely I want something that looks professional to add more gravitas. I had in mind a way of hijacking the colloquial term of Little Black Book by creating a book of truths & secrets. A local shop sells small jotter notebooks for less than a pound which I thought I could remove half of the pages and stick images & text to the rest to create a secretive object that reveals this hidden world.
I liked the thought of printing the quotes I had transcribed from interviewing these men onto tracing paper. In this way they could be interleaved between the image pages; at one point partially concealing the underlying image while at the same time revealing a hidden truth.
The first dummy I created raised some fairly obvious impracticalities. A combination of 26 image pages and 26 text sheets created a book too thick to fit within the cover. To keep costs down I laser printed the images & was not happy with the results as they were far too matt & had the inevitable banding that can result from laser prints. And the combination of square, landscape & portrait images looked incongruous. Other ways of printing the images to give better quality (sticky photo prints or mylar film) proved to be too expensive to make the book profitable.
Some positives that came from experimenting with dummy 1 :- I think I need to keep the use of tracing paper to print the quotes as this is a useful way to play with conceal / reveal. I liked the font I eventually settled upon as it is clean, crisp and professional without being pretentious. I tried both black and white ink to use for the text & the black seems to work best. I could not glue or stitch the pages together so used a fold-back binder clip & I think I may be able to take this into the next iteration of the printed form. I may need to cull the number of images & quotes I use to a manageable amount which will teach me to give very careful consideration to which of the images are the best of the best (and could therefore potentially stand alone in the future) and which are there within the exhibition to add support to the final collage. Lastly I think I will aim for a larger printed form…something like A5 as opposed to such a small pocket book.