Thesis: Like Pixel, Like Paper

A book lover’s exploration of how characteristics of digital texts translate to print; a concession to the robust capabilities of digital technologies that print cannot rival, and a celebration of print’s resilience and tactile charm nonetheless.

This series, my senior thesis at OCAD University, is a book lover’s exploration of how characteristics of digital texts translate to print. The resulting objects, blatantly impractical as they are, are both a concession to the robust capabilities of digital technologies that print cannot rival, and a celebration of print’s resilience and tactile charm nonetheless.
From the contrasting spine to the roundel illustrations to the use of paper marbling, this series was heavily inspired by the traditional. As a commentary on the book itself, it was crucial to reference the book in its archetypal form.
The project first began to take shape through a series of illustrations depicting how I envisioned various characteristics of digital texts would adapt to the printed page.
Searchable Edition: Excel in your wizarding studies with this entirely indexed volume, which allows you to search any word in the text. It’s just like magic. Only a little slower. And slightly more unwieldy.
Every book has its own roundel illustration, which appears on the spine and marks the beginning of each new chapter.
The searchable book's index, over 125 pages long and containing every single word in the text, makes up more than a third of the book's pages.
See the full book interior above.
Paperless: An early concept
Concept illustration
Shareable Edition: Carbon transfer paper and perforated pages enable the proliferation of the book’s message, but animals beware—each copy becomes more distorted than the last.
Each page occurs three times, on transfer paper with generous margins so that the text and the reader's notes can be shared with multiple people.
Every page is perforated for easy removal and distribution to others.
See the full book interior above.
1,000 Books Wherever You Go: An early concept
Concept illustration
Portable Edition: Just as Peter will never grow up, this book is so small as to never be read.
The portable edition, measuring 1.25 x 1.75" and set in 2pt. type is just that—portable. Perhaps not so legible.
See the full book interior above.
Automatic Updates: An early concept
Concept illustration
Infinite Scroll Edition: If you don't quite understand the concept of Absurdism yet, it's likely that 69 accordion pages falling into your lap will help.
The entire book is bound accordion-style using paper hinges to create a continuous (if unwieldy) reading experience devoid of page turns.
See the full book interior above. Please note that in the physical version, pages appear in an accordion layout, not side by side.
Concept illustration
Skimmable Edition: One of literature’s most digressionary narrators finally cuts straight to the action. As it turns out, there is very little. 
The text of the book is divided into two separate channels: the big, bold type contains only the action and dialogue of the story, allowing the events to be easily skimmed, while the rest is treated below as a footnote.
See the full book interior above.
As part of the exploration of print's tactile appeal, the creation of the series involved manual, traditional process at every stage, from design through printing through binding. Each title began as a hand drawn rough which was then scanned and refined in Illustrator.
The patterns forming the backgrounds for the book covers were created using the centuries-old technique of paper marbling.
Colours are floated on the surface of a liquid base, and layered on top of one another.
The inks are then manipulated using a combination of stylus and rake or comb instruments to create designs before the paper is placed on top to transfer the pattern to its surface.
Once settled on the nonpareil pattern, several versions were made for each cover, and the best were chosen for use, scanned, and inkjet printed.
To finish the covers and spines, the typography and lettering were screen printed to achieve a luxurious, metallic effect. As only my second time screen printing, and my first printing type, the process involved some serious trial and error (left).
The five books required four different binding techniques, which were all done by hand. From left: perfect binding the portable book, combination perfect binding and stab stitching the shareable book, and accordion binding the infinite scrolling book.
The searchable book and skimmable book both used a traditional casebinding stitch.
See the full first semester process documentation of researching and conceptualizing the project above.
See the full second semester process documentation of creating the book series above.
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