Over Summer – Making a notebook

I wanted to get back into bookbinding so I decided to make myself a notebook for the start of the year.I had very limited materials so I was quite limited by what I could do.

Inspired by a book I had recently read, I wanted to make the front cover of my notebook to reflect one of my favourite characters. I decided on having her name on the cover but for a while, alternated between the idea of sewing it and drawing it. Because the only kind of covering for the hardcover I had was canvas, I chose to sew the name into it and then bind it.

I searched for a typeface I wanted to use for a long time but eventually settled on this one.

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Screencapped from here 9/10/16

Sewing in the type did cause a few problems. It was hard at times to make the type uniform and distinguishing between lines and entry points became quite hard. I also had to accurately measure where the cover would go so that when it was bound, the book wouldn’t sag because of an oversized cover.

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The book looks good on the outside, it’s exactly as I designed on the outside. The overall look of the cover is exactly what I was reaching for.

I decided to glue in some ribbon pieces to tie the book shut and add some contrasting tone to the outside aesthetic. The colours often associated with this character are black, white and red so I’m glad I could fit them all in.

I had some problems when it came to actual binding though. Because of the paper I had not being wide enough for a perfect, pamphlet or coptic bind, I had to use stab stitch to hold it together. This considerably reduced the page width so I ended up with a very thin notebook.

I also found it hard to get the pages even and this caused me to over cut the end papers so you can see the pages underneath. I think I need to be less nervous with my binding because it cause me to second guess myself and take off parts that I shouldn’t

The thing I found most difficult was gluing the endpapers into the cover. Because of the stab stitch, the endpapers wouldn’t stick to the contents over the stitching so I had to be content with a gap there. However this made it very hard to accurately glue it into the cover.

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Overall, I am very happy with how this book turned out and I will be using it a lot, however it had left me with many questions to ask workshop staff about how to improve my skills next year.

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