Making of a book: Part 1

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What is the 100 Days of Papertint book?

This book embodies my work created over 100 days, which consisted of making a painting a day and sending it to someone around the world. At the end of the project, I wanted to create a book of all the paintings, as a reflection of the journey and the way I got to virtually meet art lovers everywhere. It is about art and connection, as I got in touch with 100 people around the world through these paintings, most of whom I’ve never met in real life. This is part 1 of a series of blog posts that will explain the whole process of creating a book, which I hope will inspire others to explore their creativity as well. You can get the book here.

Designing the layout

I wanted the book layout to provide a highly visual experience, so as to feel like you’re browsing through 100 ocean postcards, while “travelling” to different countries. In the design, I wanted to include the names of the people who received the paintings, together with their countries. That way each page feels like it has its very own story and place, and each page becomes a connection between the reader, the painting itself, and the painting's owner.

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Besides the images and titles of the paintings, I added words about the project, what motivated me to do it, and feedback from the art lovers who received my paintings.

Creating the first and second draft

After finishing the first draft, I went out in Porto looking for a local print shop that would be able to print and bind my book according to the size I had planned. The first step was to test out different types of paper and find the right choice for showcasing the vibrant colors in the paintings. After a few tests done in Peninsular, I ended up choosing matte uncoated paper, 120 gr.

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The first draft had each painting taking over the whole page, but after printing a test book with that layout, I realized that the reader wouldn’t be able to give the right amount of attention to every painting separately. I wanted people to be able to focus on one painting at a time, and connect for a moment with the title of the painting, its new owner and the country where it went.

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So I did a few changes to the layout, and the new version emphasised each painting better, providing the experience I had initially planned to create. For this step I worked closely with the Peninsular team, to make sure the printed layout looks like I had planned it digitally, and I’ve been very pleased with the result. I used Adobe Illustrator for designing the book layout - it is the tool I am most comfortable with for illustration work, but I am aware that book designers prefer to use InDesign. I think both are good options, depending on your needs.

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Next steps

While waiting for the books to be printed and bound, I created some ocean inspired postcards that were sent to over 150 people to celebrate the release of the book. I will give more details about the postcards in part two of this series. Until then, you can order a postcard here.

If you enjoyed reading about the process and you’re curious to see the final result, get the book here. I am offering free shipping anywhere in the world at the moment.

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