Book preparation

I received the first copies of Expectations today!

This afternoon two substantial packages arrived for me - the first copies of Expectations! Another thirty-odd pallets will be on their way to me in the next few days.

It's a strange feeling finally to hold the finished product in my hands, after all that work, sometimes worry, long conversations into the night, and bouncing ideas back and forth, and the occasional light bulb moment, usually around 4 in the morning when I knew I had to get out of bed and find a pen and paper or I would never be able to sleep.

The book makes it all worth it. It is, I think, and I am certainly biased, gorgeous. That's in no small part due to Kehrer Verlag's meticulous attention to detail, and of course, Nanni Goebel's design skills. If you have ever looked at any of my Room with a View pictures you'll know that I am into minimalism, geometry, clean lines. But more than that, the cover design is laden with symbolism. I'll do another post about the cover and the thought behind it when there is a moment, but in the meantime, here is the (cover of the) book, Expectations, ta da!:

Printing the book - in Heidelberg

So Expectations the book is now printed. There is still the bookbinding to go until I have the final product in my hands, which will be just a couple of weeks' time.

The week before we had signed off on designer Nannie Goebel's gorgeous design. The cover is going to be just what I love - clean and modern and geometric but with an important symbolism built into it that nicely summarises the whole concept of the project - and at the same time it will be eye-catching.

I went over to Heidelberg to visit Kehrer Verlag's offices and then spent a day at the printers. The printing was a new experience - nearly 14 hours working with these impressive 'Heidelberg' machines working on one sheet after another, checking colour balance and other aspects of reproduction under a loupe before launching full production of each sheet. What particularly impressed me was the resolution of the prints, what is achievable with this offset printing process on these giant machines (I estimated it was 40-50 feet long) - I had never realised what fine detail they're capable of resolving.

I brought a set of sheets back to my hotel room and next day (after a good sleep!) cut them up with scissors to get a rough impression of how the book will look, then went round town examining the prints under every light I could think of, in cafes, rooms, outside, in buses and later in airports - ensuring that the prints are going to work. The ideal viewing conditions are bright-ish open shade, but it will work in less ideal situations too. My conclusion - it's going to look good!


Preparing the book I

A lot has been happening over the last few weeks, the brilliant designer Nanni Goebel has been working intensively on the layouts while I have been tweaking the texts, image editing and sequencing and now all the hard work is coming to fruition. Today the layouts have finally been finished, the proofreading is over, and it's final preparations before the actual printing in Heidelberg in just two weeks' time.

One of the most exciting things has been evolving the designs for the cover, and I'm really thrilled about what is emerging - it's going to be a highly graphic design but also with hidden symbolism that reflects the whole idea of the book. Just the kind of thing that I really love: graphic form + symbolism = a happy me. The cover will be quite different from the provisional look of the book as it appeared in the Kehrer catalogue.

I'm not going to show what the cover looks like, that can wait until the book is out, but today I've been looking through a first set of test prints with images printed actual size on the paper that has been chosen (these aren't layouts I should add, just images squashed together for colour correction purposes). Still some tweaks to go, but the first physical impression of pages I've had in my hands:


You can see more of Nanni's work here:

Ufff, that's it! Expectations book on its way...

Expectations is going to be coming out as a book in less than three months, at the end of June, and best of all it's going to be published by my favourite publisher, Kehrer Verlag in Heidelberg. I originally had a portfolio review with Kehrer at Houston Fotofest in Texas, and they offered to produce a book then. Good things do come out of these portfolio reviews, I would recommend them as a great way to get feedback, but also they open up opportunities - my exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam this year for example came from a review at Rencontres d'Arles.

I've been writing a series of essays to accompany the pictures, and sequencing those essays in a way that brings out what I really want to say and works with the pictures has meant some hard work. Finally, I have now handed all the materials to the design team who will be getting down to producing layouts and of course the cover, so it's out of my hands for a week or two at least, I can't wait to see how it's going to look! I'll post on here progress reports as the process goes along, so look out for updates.

There's a page on Kehrer's website about the book, you can see here