I've been having good results doing design sketches in InDesign or Illustrator. Especially when title labels are involved.
The sketches are allowing me to work out rough color, proportion and content information and communicate it to the customer quickly.
Then I have the components, like the label information, that I can copy to a different document for final design and use as a print file or art for having a die made.
Since the events during the anniversary year will involve many people arriving in a short time period, and the facility wanted to maximize their guest signature capture rate while minimizing the potential bottleneck, I proposed making a ring-binder as the guest book and boards that could serve as additional sign-in stations.
The boards would continue the design theme from the main book, and maintain the facility/event branding elements.
I've started work with the simplest part of this guestbook first. The quarter bound notebook. Here, the leather is down on the cover and drying.
These are the leather strips after they've been pared for components of the sign-in stations
This is the back of the top and bottom decorative strips for the sign-in stations. They will be covered in leather.
The half-round pieces will be the sign-in sheet hold-downs. They're inset into the backs of the strips so everything will assemble flat.
Here's one last check of how the leather fits the decorative strips before I commit to pasting it down.
The leather is now down on the decorative strips and I'm dry-fitting the (now covered) sheet hold-downs before attaching them.
Here are all the decorative strips with their attached sheet hold-downs ready and waiting for the next assembly steps.
I have some new marbled paper made by Alan Pendly. I think it looks nice with the other materials in the project.
I typically cover board in cloth and that was my first thought for these boards. But since this is a writing surface, I didn't think cloth would be ideal.
Even though the cloth is thin and would probably provide a firm enough writing surface, there is a slight texture from the weave. Paper seemed safer.
I had an old-style desk blotter in mind when I first conceived of these sign-in boards. This was the first stage I got to see this idea realized. I like it!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
I put the file together for the labels. Here they are being lacquered, a process that makes them very durable and gives them a nice look.
Just about done. The only thing left is the cloth panel that covers and cleans up the back. It's more than cosmetic though. It will also balance the stresses imposed by the paper on the front and bring things back to flat.
Here's where it all comes together. It's always satisfying seeing the reality replace the vision.
Now it's time to move on to the notebook. The exterior materials are down. I need to choose the final location for the label.