Thursday, September 02, 2010

Making a picture book dummy for Duke




















Recently I finished sketches for Duke, a picture book to publish with Charlesbridge. And if I can say so myself, they turned out very nice. I say that modestly. Yesterday, I made photocopies of my art, and made a dummy.

The author, Anna Celenza, brilliantly wrote the story in such a way that didn’t bind me to the text, as can happen sometimes with nonfiction. With this book I got to interpret the text however I saw it, within the confines of the subject matter, Duke Ellington and his creative process. I got to create just like the Duke!

This is the first time that I’ve made an actual physical picture book dummy. In the past, I’ve created flat layouts with photocopies of my art with galley text. Or I scanned my art into the computer and made dummies using a computer program like Quark or InDesign. The idea of building a picture book dummy with an Exacto knife and glue stick seemed tedious to me at most. A waste of time at least. But with Duke, I decided to give it a try. It was well worth my time.

As I hold the book in my hands and flip through the pages, I can see problems early on, problems that might otherwise have gone overlooked on a large layout with crop marks. With a trimmed and bound dummy, images that get swallowed in the gutter jump right out. And I've noticed a few other problems, things that might not have been noticed until staring at them in a book store.

Yesterday, armed with sketches, a ruler, and a proportion wheel, I completely staged an invasion of my local Kinkos (my own photo copier is near death). I spread out everywhere, which annoyed everyone around me competing for tabletop space. Because my sketches are so large, most of them required several scans which I pieced together when I got home.






































13 comments:

Di said...

Great Post on dummy making and the benefits. And of course -your art sketches look wonderful!

Diandra Mae said...

Glad it was worth the effort, Don! I can't wait for the book to be printed, so I can put in on the shelf next to my "Dizzy" and "Jazz" picture books!
Your work just gets better and better.

Bob Ostrom Studio said...

Very cool.

Yolanda said...

Well, as the editor of the book, I'm pretty dang excited to see the dummy in person! Looks fantastic.

Don Tate II said...

Yolanda-- lol...shipped! Can't wait to discuss.

Ginger*:) said...

Your dummy looks great Don. I make a lot of these and use different techniques. The last one I did I used a partially used Canson sketchbook and glued my pages onto blank sheets in the sketchbook. It worked well.
I prefer to go the whole route sometimes with double signatures and stitching with button hole thread. Lose a little blood that way, but the dummy doesn't suffer.

Good wishes with this one!

Nina Crittenden said...

Wow! Your sketches look fantastic! Thank for sharing this!!!

Shirley said...

Awesome post..it's fantastic to discover your work, and thank you for sharing this process!

Bucky Jones said...

Don, you are awesome and this is so cool! Thanks for sharing and educating!

Sean Ingvard Ashby said...

Very interesting points! I would probably just do it all in InDesign and think I was saving some trees, but I definitely see what you're talking about.

Steve May said...

Really interesting seeing your work process!

Damon Eckhoff said...

Thanks for sharing this! I've always wanted to see how to put together a book dummy. Thanks.

Anna said...

Hey Don ... as the author of the Duke Ellington book, I am SO EXCITED to get this first glimpse of the pictures!! WONDERFUL!!!!! Anna Celenza