Of the total edition of 75 copies of this new book, the first ten will be a “deluxe edition,” special copies that are housed in a more elaborate way. Until very recently I hadn’t been thinking too hard about what it would look like. There have been other pressing concerns like, umm, what the book itself would look like and when I would get around to printing it. But since the printing is almost completed and I have been conquering some basic binding questions over the last week or so, my thoughts have naturally turned to this problem. I am coming up fast on a design, as you will see. The deluxe edition for my last major book, Biography, took the form of a large clamshell box that housed the first ten copies of the book as well as prints from the edition:
The truth is, I didn’t used to be into the idea of a deluxe edition. But I have changed my tune over the last two years. In a deluxe edition, I have the opportunity to present the book alongside other relevant parts of the project. The boxes for the deluxe edition of Fond will include a suite of prints as did the last book, but they will also each contain one of the original ten objects that the content of the book is concerned with: the cork, for example, or the clothespin, or the nut, or the toy car. In this way I am using the project itself, primarily concerned with the objects we keep and preserve, as a way of discarding and disseminating the objects. (But presumably into other archives and collections.) That is what this special edition is about.
I had initially envisioned the box for this edition to be something similar to the one above; a landscape format clamshell box with the prints laid out next to the book. But I couldn’t figure out where the object would fit in. All of the objects are different shapes and sizes, and so each box would have to be slightly different to accommodate the object it would house. With the clamshell box, this meant the entire box would have to be wider and deeper depending on the object.
That seemed silly and unwieldy. Like many other solutions, this one came to me in a flash during a car ride. There I was, thinking about nothing, or about cows, or about The Archers, and it came to me: A lidded box. A lidded box, my friends. See my first crude from-the-car-ride drawing below:
A lidded box works well for several reasons. One, all of the things that need to fit into the box can stack in, thereby minimizing the size of the box. Two, it will be much easier to build a lidded box that can accommodate differently shaped objects (cork, pine cone, film canister etc) than it would be to design a clamshell box with the same considerations. And three, and perhaps most importantly, a lidded box more closely resembles the kind of box that these objects would inhabit on one’s desk or in one’s closet. And that is the point of the book. Lidded box trumps clamshell box. K.O.
So at this point here are my thoughts about it. There will be more variation in color. The recessed area containing the object should be a different color (perhaps the sand color of the book.) I also haven’t ruled out a printed paper pastedown instead of yellow cloth. This would minimize fraying along visible cut edges. I need to tweek the measurements and finalize the labels. I also need to decide if I want the recessed area to be in a random position or not, centered or not, off kilter or square with the rest of the box. But the big decisions are made, and that feels good.
Today I ordered all of the book cloth for the entire project. Blammo. Back on the press on Wednesday.