I've been working over the past couple of months on a limited edition hand-made alphabet book about different types of beards. I've developed a real appreciation for hand-made things over the years and I've been striving to strengthen the craft element in my illustration and design work.
I think I underestimated the work and precision involved when I started this project. As I designer I'm very used to using InDesign. This makes it easy to make changes and edits to the layout and typography right up until the job is printed. Creating something that is entirely hand-made is a very different process. It's definitely more restrictive but it forces you to really think and plan and make definite decisions before you start. It's a lot more labour intensive but that's what inevitably makes it more satisfying.
The job is well on it's way now. I've screen printed all of the illustrations and have almost finished printing all of the letterpress. Setting the press to align the letterpress with the screen prints was quite an exacting process (I'll never take InDesign for granted again!). Once all of the printing is completed I intend to embroider over the prints and then hand bind the pages.