Binding of the Bestiary – Prototype

With projects like these, my main downfall when it comes to thinking things through properly is the actual making of a final object. I’ll imagine the end product, get excited about how perfect it looks then just assume that I’ll be able to magic up the final outcome without actually considering how I’ll be making this outcome.

This project is no exception.

I’ve given myself the task of binding an A3 hardback book which includes over 20 300GSM sheets and 10 additional acetate sheets. Joy.

I’ve been reading up on the best ways to bind together both the individual pages and the hardback cover itself. Because of the sizes and acetate sheets involved within the books structure, I had to find a way to bind individual pages together rather than have them folded and simply sewn down the fold to hold them in place. So with some mocked up variations of Japanese stab binding techniques and some strange mixtures of patterns I made up as I went along and ones I found online, I’ve been trying to find the best way to bind the pages while making sure:
– The acetate doesn’t rip along the thread
– As little of the page’s image is lost to the gutter as possible
– The end product of all the pages being bound together results in something relatively easy to attach a large hardback cover to.

I’ve not made life easy for myself with this one…

Below are the results of some sewing experiments and the first mockup of a hardback cover.

Book binding i

Book binding ii

Below is an example of some of the instructions I’ve found to help me with the binding. Having never bound a hardback book before, I thought it best to look up as many different variations of how exactly to bind them and choose which seems the best quality-wise and the one which fits in with the tight timescale I’m working with at the moment. But after I while, I found the right binding style for me and proceeded to test it out on some prints which didn’t quite make the final cut at the printers.

Book Binding 1
First off was the obvious; line everything up. Luckily, I had some not quite perfect acetate prints to hand so I could test how well the binding method I was going to use would work on a plastic surface as well as a paper one.
Book Binding 2
I then measured out the area needed to the binding itself. Using a brush pen was not a good idea…
Book Binding 3
[The ink went everywhere…] But this is just a test! So it’s ok. I then bradawled the holes needed, which took some series elbow grease.
Book Binding 4
Using just basic sewing thread, I sewed up the sides in a traditional Japanese stab bind. This held it all together excellently.
Book Binding 5
Using binding material, I glued the additional support to the spine of the cover. This Copydex glue was amazing…
Book Binding 6
Then finally I left it to dry

The prototype was a success.. so I guess it’s onto the final book…


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