A few years ago, for their 25th anniversary, Tara Books acquired a Classic 1965 Heidelberg Platen Letterpress machine, with the hope of giving a fillip to the art of the letterpress printed book. This came to fruition with an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s short story ‘Little Girls Are Wiser than Men’, an astute tale about conflict and resolution especially relevant at this time. The book is illustrated with linocut art by Lebanese-Palestinian artist Hassan Zahreddine. The brief was to present this simple fable that did justice to its wisdom, beauty, and the production technique of letterpress printing. The process began with understanding the content, the letterpress printing technique, its advantages and constraints as that would heavily influence the design of the book. Inferences and learnings were taken forward in the ideation of design directions. This project helped the student understand the process of creating a book from its conception to its production and develop a deeper understanding of publication design. It allowed defining design directions to make informed design decisions that came from working closely with different stakeholders like the illustrator, editor, design, production, sales and marketing teams in an engaging and collaborative environment.
Keywords: book design, book production, illustrated book, letterpress printing, publication design