Coffee?

Imaging Week 9

07/03/20

Today we were introduced to our project for Week 15.

This project was linked to our Objects as History project, and it was to create a coffee table book out of the content that we gather in History class. Our history project for Week 8 was picking objects from various civilizations relating to the same aspect, and creating a timeline out of it.

I thought a ‘coffee table book’ is something small and petite, like a catalog. But when we were shown some examples from the library, I realized how wrong I’d been. I learnt that coffee table books are actually huge and thick, with lots of pictures and supporting text. They are ‘display’ books one would use in a cafe’, a bookstore, maybe even in waiting rooms. They’re meant to look pretty and flashy, with glossy pages and crisp photos. A good example of something close to a coffee table book that we were given was the ‘Childcraft’ series of books we got as kids.I read through several of them as a kid, and now know weird unnecessary facts because of them, but never realized it was a coffee table book.

We discussed how the format of these books generally looked. I observed that the picture took the lead here, with barely any text. And I learnt what a ‘splash’ page was, and how it can be used to break the flow of hte book in between and create some interesting contrast.

One of the topics we also discussed was the difference between a Table of Contents, an Index, and a Glossary. I considered an Index and a Table of Contents to be the same thing previously, but now I know differently. An index is a list of keywords and lists where that word can be found in the book. A glossary is more like a thesaurus or a dictionary, which has certain terms and definitions that help add some context to the content written on the main body pages.

We also were told that our book will be a hardcover with a jacket.This changed a lot of things, right from the binding, to designing the cover page, to seeing how thick the content part of the book becomes. I understood how the jacket works, how it’s used, and why it should always be designed at the end.

After this, we were told to research more about formats and how our booklets could look. After our discussion in this class, I’ve started noticing coffee table books wherever I can find them, looking at their binding, the jacket, the layout, and how I could use all of it in my own book.

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