The Future of History

Sunday, 28 August 2011


We're into a new phase.  After months of concentrating solely on writing the book, I'm now spending much of my time playing with images.  Maps, figures, illustrations ... and, of course, the cover.

There's something very therapeutic about it all.  The same sort of processes are involved.  There's not a word in the main text which hasn't been thought about, revised, altered, edited and revised again.  Pretty much the same can be said for the artwork.  But I find that it exercises different parts of the brain - which makes me wonder whether I'm really just enjoying taking a break from words, words, words ...

The maps are an interesting challenge.  And I'm liking the way that images can break up the text - a family tree, a diagrammatic approach to the cauldron ritual (the original Grail quest) - and the maps both elucidate the story and change the feel of the manuscript.

And I think I've resolved some of my formatting issues, having spent many months agonising about the font (big shout of thanks to Cameron Chapman, whose blogpost on fonts was an inspiration - for those who are interested:

Back in the day, when I first ventured into graphic design, there was only Letraset and freehand calligraphy.  But we live in a world of choices, now.  Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of fonts and sizes.  Finding the right one can take time.  Think I've cracked it, though.  Looks good, at any rate.

So the book is changing, even as we speak, from what looked just like a manuscript to what is beginning to feel like an artefact, an object.  It has a different kind of reality.  It's taking shape.

All work in progress, of course, and as nail-biting as anything, but curiously satisfying, too.  Like an episode of "Grand Designs".  Out of the chaos, order is forming.  Each new job adds to the whole.

The cover design (above right) is still ongoing.  But I'm beginning to like it (I think it looks even better with the spine alongside).  I'd be really happy to hear from anyone who wants to express an opinion, before I commit.

Anyway ... back to work, and those all-important maps.

No comments:

Post a Comment