Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The creation of a picture book dummy

I am once again working on my first picture book dummy. I worked hard on it earlier this year, but put it away for awhile until recently (...like letting dough rise, ha ha... or making beer. I've never made beer, but I think it needs to sit in the cellar for awhile.) Anyhow, this is the same original story, but it is Version 2.0 of the actual dummy!

I am finally figuring things out for myself regarding the technical aspects. After months of studying, scratching my head, asking my illustrator friends for advice, I've finally come to the conclusion that, when it comes to PB dummies, the number of different answers you will get to a given question depends upon the number of people you ask. You can read all the books to learn the basics, but when it comes to the actual execution of your very own dummy, you are making every decision yourself. You are designing it, printing it, executing it yourself.

Everyone has their own ways of doing things - how tightly or loosely they follow the picture book dummy 'general template'. Everyone has their own preferences - the binding options alone are a big decision. It affects how your 'book' feels in the hand, and how the story translates to the reader. Certain types of binding will hide the edges of the middle pages, so for these types of bindings, you have to prepare for this by adding extra space in the gutter. The spiral ones also require extra edge space but the entire page is visible. The binding will be visible too, smack in the middle of your page. So, if you have a lot of two-page spreads, keep in mind that choosing this option for your dummy will break the visual flow.

So, here I go, laying out my pages. I have chosen my binding option, but I have not yet gone to the printer for a consultation -- something that would uncover any hidden information I need to know to produce the work as I envision it should look! I should probably pop in and visit the printer before I resume work, just so I am sure that I'm doing everything technically correct for them to produce what I want in the final product.

Maybe I'll post a screengrab tomorrow so you can see how I am dealing with the gutter.


Jennifer said...

Good for you! There are so many different ways to do a dummy... best to do what's comfortable for you.

Love seeing your studio redesign, too. I'm getting some good ideas for my own small space... :-)

Kathy Weller said...

Thanks Jennifer! :) Ikea is worth the trip, if you have one nearby! :) Thank you for visiting my blog!