Sunday, April 18, 2010
Calligraphic Genealogy Book
This is a very special package I delivered to my client this past Friday morning. I was commissioned to create a genealogy, all hand lettered and bound into a leather book for her husband's 90th birthday. His ancestry goes back to the Mayflower! I had two months to complete the book and I was a nervous wreck not having ever created a bound book nor a project that held such significance for a client.
These are just some of the 18 pages from the book.
About the cover of the book. The book binder was reluctant to foil stamp the cover, concerned the texture of the leather would impair the foil. He debossed the design which I later filled in with gold gouache because the debossing was not prominent enough for the cover.
And finally, the last page. After completing the calligraphy, it was off to the book binder. The binder was to stitch the two signatures I made and bind them in a distressed leather book, then foil stamp the cover image I made with calligraphy and type. When I arrived to pick up the genealogy, I was appalled to find that the binder had made a mistake. She had glued the pages of the two signatures together so that when the book was opened to the middle, the pages stuck straight up! I had explained many times during this process that this book was to be displayed on a beautiful book stand and kept open to various pages. The current binding was unacceptable. I was completely stunned and didn't know how I was going to deliver the book to my client the following day. The binder told me to simply "reprint" the three pages that would be damaged when they redid the binding. Reprint?? She didn't realize the entire book was hand lettered! I redid the pages and returned the following morning to oversee the binding. I rushed home to age the pages and calligraph the title page. Can you say "stress"! In the end, the binding was not perfect, but the client was so pleased with the book and that is the bottom line.