I’ve been playing around with a sample page spread for my Giant Ditch Frog illustrations. One of my initial plans involving using acetate to display text and the skeletal elements of the illustration seems to be working quite well during this early stage…
Below are some examples of type I’ve been looking into. My personal favourite out of this selection is probably either the first or second option, sticking with the Adobe Caslon Pro typeface I experimented with before. It’s in-keeping with the encyclopedia feel I wanted to reflect with the formality of a serifed typeface alongside the information I’m communicating to the audience while still remaining visually pleasing and every so slightly different. I can’t decide whether to have the title type in black to compliment the darker elements of the illustration(s) or whether to bring in a key colour from the colourful skeletal illustration to tie both sides of the spread together. I suppose I’ll know when I’ve made more mock up spreads and place them next to one another.
But, type aside, I’ve been putting a lot of focus into the mechanics and actual formatting of the book pages itself, especially how the book is read.
Naturally, I want to produce something unique and original amongst the animal book market (of which there is huge competition) so I’ve been desperately trying to find a way to make the experience of reading the book something a bit more unusual and more likely to remain in the reader’s mind after finishing the book.
As explained in my previous post, I’m experimenting with the use of acetate to layer the skeletal element over the fleshed out illustration to allow the reader to see both, both combined and separated. I was also considering how I could use this transparency to display the text. With this in mind, I noticed how once the user has turned to the page spread with the illustration and information, turning the acetate page was just a little something extra, it wasn’t necessary for the book’s narrative or audience’s understanding so it seemed to somewhat interrupt the flow of the book reader’s experience. To work my way around this, I’ve been looking into the idea of having the information about the species printed onto the acetate, but initially it will be backwards. (See below)
This would give the reader more of an incentive to turn the acetate page and have the text the right way around. Turning the page also lifts the skeletal section away from the fleshed out section, changing the visuals entirely while still maintaining the constant of the composition, species name text and being able to refer back to the animal’s image while reading about it.
With the acetate page turned, the spread will now look like this:
The species name is partially concealed but due to the minimal coverage of a skeleton and the audience’s brains being fully aware of what they read not a few seconds ago, this doesn’t cause much of a problem.
I’m really liking the unusual nature of this way of reading and I feel that I would enjoy the experience if it was a book I found in a shop or on display. I’m going to be generating some more versions with different animals to test if this format will work in the long run. I’ll also need to start considering binding methods and what would be best to avoid the nasty rips and tears that acetate brings to the table.