Photobook design

Ciociaria SOVRACOPERTA.indd

Ciociaria copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale published by Edizioni Punctum

I recently read a post from another photographer asking others if they have any regrets with a photobook that was published about their work. For me, three small details come to mind that I wish I could retrospectively tweak for my photobook Ciociaria.

First I would like to have listed my website in the credits (Colphon) and regretfully I was offered a chance to edit this and I missed it. My bad.

Second, I should have deviled into more about how this project was a part of my ongoing investigation into memory and its preservation. Since I wrote my essay, I have only myself to blame for what was stated. My advice is if you are considering the publication of a project and you intend to include your own essay, start developing it early, such that you have time to allow to mature. Then have others read it and provide feedback as to the message they perceive. (Yep, I did not do that well enough, as I had only one review of my written narrative).

Third and last, both Marco and I should have also taken credit for the design of this photobook. Marco agreed to this project while looking at my early galleries, but it was my book dummy that sold the final publishing of this book, which is a direct reflection of my editing, image pairing and sequencing. For the final book design, fortunately I was provided the opportunity to again provide image pairing and probably 80% of the image sequencing, as Marco concentrated on the leading and first quarter of the photographs in the book’s photographic sequence. As you might suspect, photographers are not always allowed a say in the book design process by a vast number of publishers.

It was also my idea for the page layout for the paired photographs, with the left image surrounded by traditional white margins and the facing photograph a full bleed. For the pairings, I was able to provide changes as to which photographs were paired up and which side of the spread the photographs were positioned. I was able to provide input, if not approval, of the book cover and dust jacket design and graphics. Lastly, I also had a say in how the images were cropped if that became necessary, as it did with all of the full-page bleed photographs. So perhaps I was a bit shy about suggesting this change in the design credits, but looking back, I think that being listed as a part of the design team would have been fair.

I suspect that I will get these parts correct for my next book, but I will probably miss something else. Meanwhile as I work on my current photobook project, I have the pre-visualized the book design that I want.


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