Artist’s Books

For my Design & Communication 2, I will be doing a course called Artist’s Books.

Artist’s books are works of art realised in the form of a book, they are normally just small editions and are mainly just one of a kind pieces. They can be in a wide range of forms such as scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas, loose items in a box, bound printed sheet or any other type of structure.

“Artists’ books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.” Stephen Bury


In the workshop, we looked at different types of structures made out of card to get a clear idea of how we could create different looking books. We looked at binding and sewing books together, cutting different shapes and creating looks.


In our second lesson we re-created the structures we made before but using paper with images on both sides of them. I first experimented with a A3 page which had two random images on them, I felt this worked well as it looked really interesting but the images didn’t really compliment each other.


Another structure I made was a small A4 sized page which I had just done a one sided rainbow using photoshop and made a small book just by folding, while experimenting with it, it created another really interesting shape with a diamond shaped middle and when looking at it, I thought I would be able to create something similar with a darker image inside to look at contrasts.♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥♡♡♡♥♥♥

The next structure I made was another A3 sized page that I had made a grey damask pattern with a quote on one side and a pale pink version of the damask on the other side, I made the same structure as the first and felt this looked better and complimented each other well. I felt this had a lot of potential as it was a good start of looking at the colours I wanted to use.


After making my second sculpture and seeing how I could use contrasting colours of light and dark, I created an A3 sized rainbow damask using photoshop and had the grey damask on the other side, slightly darkened with a foliage vector on top to still give it a feminine feel. I then created a structure where I cut my A3 sheet in half from top to bottom and created cuts half way across on each one and slotted them together, it then created a zig-zag effect which was really effective. You could also close it and open it as a book. After looking at it with Caroline, we discussed cutting out different sections and being able to see all the way through and also cutting the top to create different levels as opposed to just having a straight edge.


After the lesson, I was thinking about what types of books I wanted to do, I’ve always liked hand-painting my writing and illustrating and thought having a hand painted book inside would be really nice, for the paper I want to use, I feel like the damask pattern and other types of subtle colours would look quite stunning together.


The next lesson we had was a trip to the V&A in South West London to look at a collection of Artist’s Books that Caroline had chosen for us to see.

I personally have been to the V&A quite a few times but never been in the National Art Library. It was really quite surreal as walking in as it looked like something from Harry Potter! It was definitely an amazing experience.

As Caroline had chosen the books, she picked different themes and styles which was a good range for us to look at and get inspiration from.

My favourite was definitely the Phobia book, I felt it looked so delicate and feminine but as it didn’t have a title, it allowed you to imagine what was inside. The little revolver attached gave you the feeling that the content wasn’t exactly as what was expected.

I found this book the most inspiring as the style of it was something I’d be really interested in doing, I liked the way the artist had used different techniques to represent phobias such as sewing, cutting through pages, blending & using a wide range of material.




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