Another Rabbit Hole

Part of this whole process of book making is the side alleys and rabbit warrens you serendipitously wander into when hunting for resources; if you have the time it is a wondrous place to explore. Predictably I have been led down another labyrinth by researching old Penguin and Pelican book covers. Having already fixed on a cover design by previous research (to be revealed shortly) I’m still fascinated by the the whole process of the evolution of covers and typesetting at Penguin in the 1930’s and beyond.

I chanced upon a Wikipedia entry on Penguin Composition Rules and that led to a reading list and this Phil Baines book and a few others. To ensure I don’t make a complete hash of the typesetting and printing process I’m going to make a limited run of a 100 copies of a smaller production to begin with and work from there. In this way my main fear can be held at bay whilst I analyse what went wrong if anything. It’ll also speed up the whole process of creating templates for future publication and counter procrastination on my part. I know from experience that with typesetting and printing, no matter how simple the process seems, not everything is what is appears to be.

Years ago all the different jobs in the making of a book were parcelled out to different trades. Now all the editing, design, typesetting etc can be done by one person except the handover and print process. That’s the weakest link and the one most likely to go awry.