The threshold
May 08, 2021
Book design is ready. I had it sit for a while, although I was fairly happy with how I left it. I added another four pages though, because I wanted to see what including one more photograph would do. Not an awful lot to be honest, but it’s the extra space, and the changing of two pairs as a consequence that made me feel better about it. I prefer the idea of 24 pages. But that’s hardly enough reason not to have 28. It’s rather small in size, that’s the one thing I’m hesitant about, but I do feel it needs a sort of intimacy, so I’m gonna trust my instincts on this.

‘Had it sit for a while’ is a nice way of saying that I couldn’t bring myself to go to a print store and have 20 copies printed. I blamed it on the covid/lockdown situation, but that’s only an inconvenience in this respect. It’s about this: the inDesign file on my computer screen looks perfect to me. As long as it sits on my hard drive, it holds the promise of being perfect in print. 

Except it can only be less than perfect. I don’t have the resources to use the best print service I know, or to have my own printer. I don’t know anything about paper and what to use to what effect, or how to hand stitch a book. In short: I do not have the same control over the print process as I have over the design process. Within these limitations I have choices to make though, and as long as I keep looking at the design on my computer, I can’t make the wrong ones.

It wasn’t even supposed to be perfect. It was meant to get myself acquinted with the process and to learn how to work with inDesign. It was meant as an affordable give away to friends, family or who else might be interested. To bring something digital into the physical world and see how (if) it holds up. I liked the idea of a ‘zine’ being an easy accessible way to achieve all that. But it doesn’t take away the threshold.

I received an email the other day from a Spanish digital platform that was interested in publishing either this series or Take me someplace nice. I chose the latter. It might have been my only chance to get Monotone published, and I’m partial to this series simply because it’s new, but it didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t think it is a particular good match with the context and the layout of the platform, and I also realized that this series is primarily conceived as a printed object. If it ever appears on a website that is not my own, I would like to complement it with print. Not that this lowers the threshold in any way.