One of the things that I've learned in the past year is that book design is a very specific and demanding art. The best book designers make something that is much more than the sum of the text and images that are its parts. I love this New York Times article about Irma Boom, a book designer who is, apparently, the person you go to when you want an extraordinary and unusual book. Boom makes miniature books to explore design ideas, and when invited to make a retrospective book, she took that process all the way.
Here's a five-minute video that lets you flip through 20 of Boom's books.
In other news: the Slow Cloth discussion group on Facebook has nearly 1800 members now, though most don't participate in discussions; I wish more people would, but I understand. I'm still pondering exactly what to do with the group. In response to some nasty mail I got today, let me reiterate that I am not getting "royalties" from anything to do with Slow Cloth. I'd love to see that change, and would love to make Slow Cloth into something that is funded -- to run an organization, put out a publication, and support research and philanthropy -- but right now it's all volunteer. I think the nasty person thinks that I must be making money or I wouldn't care about attribution and copyright; it's just the opposite.
And finally, for some visuals, I've been painting text-weight paper with acrylic inks with the intent of making some handmade books. Here are some details: