A thing to hold: The visual language of the book form | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2052-0204
  • E-ISSN:

Abstract

This article considers the book form itself as an ornamental object. The binding, paper and ink appeal to the senses and all add to experience of the reader. The future is a place of e-books, online publications and Instagram posts, and yet this arguably makes the carefully considered design of the book form even more important in the physical books that we do chose to view. The study examines a series of examples, drawing from artists' books, pop-up books and mainstream publishing. The work draws strongly on the collection of pop-up books at the National Library of Scotland and the artists' book collection at Edinburgh College of Art, looking at both historical and contemporary works. Initially exploring how the form of the book itself can visually communicate a narrative, the study goes on reflect on the emotion associated with opening a pop-up book, as if in the presence of a theatrical production, made more extreme by the embellishments employed. The place of the book form within a digital world is considered and, finally, the emergence of decorative books in the form of colouring books related to mindfulness.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00005_1
2019-08-01
2024-05-19
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bodman, Sarah . (2005), Creating Artists' Books, London:: A&C Black;.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bodman, Sarah . (2008);, ' The quiet democracy of the contemporary artist's book (or, why do artists make books?). ', Books That Fly Conference, University of Brighton, 5 July, https://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/student-resources/. Accessed 22 May 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Burnstone, Deborah . (2012);, ' Paper Tigers. ', Eye Magazine, Summer, http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature/article/paper-tigers. Accessed 25 April 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Courtney, Cathy ,, Fisher, Roy , and Circle Press . (1996), The Looking Book: A Pocket History of Circle Press, 1967-96, London:: Circle Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Drucker, Johanna . (2004), The Century of Artists' Books, New York:: Granary Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Farrelly, Liz . (1993);, ' In search of the perfect binding. ', Eye Magazine, Autumn, http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature/article/in-search-of-the-perfect-binding. Accessed 22 April 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Flood, Alison . (2015);, ' Colouring books for adults top Amazon bestseller list. ', The Guardian, 5 April, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/05/colouring-books-for-adults-top-amazon-bestseller-list. Accessed 24 April 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Fusco, Maria , and Miller, John . (2004);, ' Publish/public. ', in M. Fusco ,, I. Hunt , and S. Bailey . (eds), Put About: A Critical Anthology on Independent Publishing, London:: Book Works;, pp. 149-55.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Gander, Kashmira . (2016);, ' Zines: How the internet helped a printed outlet for outsiders and nerds thrive. ', The Independent, 31 May, https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/zines-how-the-internet-helped-an-outlet-for-nerds-thrive-punk-riot-grrrl-diy-cultures-zine-fest-a7052411.html. Accessed 22 April 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  10. King, Emily . (2004);, ' Look, no words. ', in M. Fusco ,, I. Hunt , and S. Bailey . (eds), Put About: A Critical Anthology on Independent Publishing, London:: Book Works;, pp. 32-41.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Larkin, Vincent . (2018);, ' History as decoration in the contemporary image. ', The Pleasures of Ornament, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 17-18 November .
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Meggendorfer, Lothar . ([1887] 1979), Lothar Meggendorfer's 'International Circus' a Reproduction of the Antique Pop-up Book. London:: Kestrel;.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Roy, Eleanor Ainge . (2017);, ' Colouring books for adults benefit mental health, study suggests. ', The Guardian, 9 November, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/09/colouring-books-for-adults-benefit-mental-health-study-new-zealand-anxiety-depression. Accessed 24 April 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Sansom, Ian . (2012), Paper: An Elegy, London:: Fourth Estate;.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Scott, Ian . (2016);, ' Yes we have colouring books in the library but sorry you can't colour them in. ', National Library of Scotland, 18 October, https://blog.nls.uk/yes-we-have-colouring-books-in-the-library-but-sorry-you-cant-colour-them-in/. Accessed 22 May 2019 .
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Scott, Ian . (2018), email correspondence, 5 November .
  17. Scottish Design Galleries (2019), V&A Dundee, Dundee, permanent.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Sloman, Paul . (ed.) (2009), Paper: Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Cut, London:: Black Dog Publishing;.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Smith, Keith. A . (1999), Non-Adhesive Binding, rev. and expanded., Rochester, NY:: Keith Smith Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Todd, Mark , and Watson, Esther Pearl . (2006), Whatcha mean, What's a zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Minicomics, Boston:: Graphica Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Widger, Eleanore . (2019), in-person conversation, Edinburgh, 17 April .
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Roscoe, L. . (2019);, ' A thing to hold: The visual language of the book form. ', Journal of Illustration, 6:1, pp. 77-98, doi: 10.1386/jill_00005_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00005_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00005_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error