wrt fall 2011 22-page handmade book draft

Assignment Overview

For this first rough draft of your book, you will design it by hand, using techniques introduced by Joe Carlough of Displaced Snail Publications. There are several goals for this part of the book design assignment:

  • To learn what it feels like to actually make a book by hand, using various paper colors and weights, string, and various other tools.
  • To think about the order of the texts that will be included in the book so that they are telling a particular story or narrative.
  • To get your ideas out on paper without knowing what your group members are thinking so when you begin to work on the Blurb version you have 4 very clear visions of what the book can be.

The Template

To complete the book, use the (updated 10/19) Handmade Book Template (.docx) that I created. Note that there is often an error when downloading the full document. Be sure you have SIX pages. If not, use these templates, which contain 2 pages per file: pages-1-2.docx, pages 3-4.docx, pages-5-6.docx. To use this template you will need a copy of Microsoft Word.  Microsoft Word template (.dotx) that I created. Note that this is a .dotx file, not a .docx file. You must Save As a .docx file before working on your draft. That will ensure the template stays in it’s original form.

The template consists of 6 pages, each with 4 text boxes that are 3.75” wide by 5” tall. Each has a page number and some have explanations. This text is editable, but do not delete the page numbers or you will be totally confused as to which page is which. The text boxes do not have borders, but if you click once on the text, the border will appear:


Within that space you can edit the text, change the font face and size, and insert a picture by going to Insert –> Picture –> From File:

insert picture

The image should size-down to fit in the text-box area. If it doesn’t, merely size it down yourself.

The Content

You can only use texts and images that are Public Domain, hold an appropriate Creative Commons License, were submitted in response to the call for entries, or are of your own creation.

You will share the images and texts that your group mates selected in class on Thursday, October 20.

Assignment Specifics

Each group member will individually design their own 22-page handmade book. The only collaboration that should take part for this portion of the project is sharing the images and texts that each group member has selected for possible remix. Do not complete the book in the same space as any of your group members. Do not share your design ideas or the images and texts that you are including. Do not discuss the order in which the content will appear. The goal of this project is to come up with your own individual version for the book. You will be collaborating enough later in the project.

We will be designing the book following the techniques and processes advocated by Joe Carlough. These will include:

  1. determining the content
  2. determining the order of the content
  3. selecting the paper colors and weights
  4. creating a summary version of the book (the rough proof) that contains on each page: page numbers and brief descriptions of the content that is to appear
  5. binding the rough proof with string
  6. a final bound version of the book

Steps 1 – 4 and 6 will be completed on your own. We will be binding the rough proof (step 5) in class on Oct 25.


These are the basic requirements of the 22-page handmade version of the book:

  • 22 pages created using the Word template provided above
  • Cover and inner pages must be different colors and weights (the cover usually a thicker stock)
  • Bound using string
  • texts and images that are Public Domain, hold an appropriate Creative Commons License, were submitted in response to the call for entries, or are of your own creation
  • contain a combination of text and image
  • created in isolation from others
  • the final handmade book will be accompanied by a 2 page, double space reflection in Times New Roman font, in which you discuss two things: first (on the first page), discuss what the process was like creating the book by hand, what you learned about the nature of book making, and how closely it aligns with your initial vision; second (on the second page) discuss exactly why you ordered the texts in that order—what narrative are you telling by that order, how does each text aid to that narrative, and so on?

Update 11/5/2011 On the Cover, Copyright, Inner, and Contributors Pages

The Cover should include the following:

  • a title
  • an image, though not required
  • Edited by [your First and Last Name]

Be as creative as you would like with the font use and positioning.

Page 1 should contain the following copyright information:

Published by [your First and Last Name or you can create a publishing company name]
Your address, though not required

Copyright 2011 by [your First and Last Name]
[Or, you may consider applying a Creative Commons License.]

The authors and photographers whose work appears in this book retain sole rights to their work. All work that has a Creative Commons license is being used in accordance with that license.

Inner pages should contain the following:

The work being presented, the creator’s name (or username), and date (if known). If you choose not to include the creator’s names here, you should indicate in The Contributors list which page their work appears.

The Contributors page should contain the following:

An alphabetical list of the authors (or, if only known, the username) whose work appears in the book.

Important Project and Due Dates

10/18: Learning about the design process and template
10/20: Share your remix texts with your group mates in class and compose a 5 – 7 sentence summary of your vision of your book
10/25: Printed rough proof due at class time so it can be bound in class (you will not have time to print it in class)
11/10: 22-page Handmade books and reflections due at the start of class

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