Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What format should I use for the Florilegium?

Early on in the creation of a book I begin to think about its format: the page size, dimensions, layout and design.

And . . . my advice in Inside the Book is to also consider the best medium. For example: would the work be better suited to being printed letterpress (from photopolymer plates); or printed digitally (inkjet), in house; or sent out to a POD company; or produced as an e-book; perhaps a portfolio of prints; maybe an audio book, or perhaps a video? I also ask the question who is the intended reader, what is my market? I will write more on marketing in future posts.

This begs the question, what is this book?

At present Florilegium Solmentes is a growing number of digital “flowers” inspired by Luca Pacioli’s account of nature printing and the idea for a book. The book will begin with Pacioli’s text, in Italian and English with my commentary and a description of how I print from leaves etc. Included will be actual leaf prints, together with other impressions and interesting asides and glosses, for example it transpires that many leaves have symbolic meaning and medicinal uses. Then follows a detailed description of how (and why) I began to use the images digitally.

David Schoonover and friend viewing pages from Florilegium Solmentes on display in the Preus Library, Luther College.

It was my intention at the outset to create large flowers and they are arguably most impressive when their diameter is around 400 mm (17 ins). Canvassing the opinion of potential buyers/collectors is important and I am grateful to David Schoonover for his views on the matter. You can see more detail in the larger prints and as graphic images they have more presence. On the other hand they have a certain charm when reproduced as miniatures, something I was prompted to try following a suggestion by Jody Williams.

For the time being my plan is to print the flowers digitally on sheets 17 x 22 ins (432 x 559 mm), as a portfolio with an accompanying book of a more manageable size.

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