Saturday, 22 November 2014

Handy hand-out: fold an octavo sheet

I took a handful of books to a medical museum object handling session on Monday 17 November, and made a fancy handout to go with them.

I wanted visitors to be able to take away the details of the books on show, but thought it might be fun if the handout was also a practical demonstration of one element book construction, namely of imposition and sheet folding.

So the fold-your-own-octavo-sheet handout template was born.

There are two main parts, which I'm happy for you to use and reuse as you wish. CC By 4.0 - you can do whatever you like, but please attribute the original to me:
  1. The template for creating your own handout.  This is put together in Powerpoint, and set up for an A4 page. You'll probably need to adjust the position(s) of the grid of boxes on one or both pages to allow for the peculiarities of your local printer: it might not print the pages exactly lined up on each other without a bit of fiddling.
  2. A how-to illustration showing how to fold the sheet into a booklet.
    1. As a Powerpoint file that you can fiddle with and substitute the 'FIRST PAGE' text with the actual first page/image of your handout, or add page numbers into the corners, or signatures into the other corners, if you want to.
    2. As a .png image file (use this link for full size file) ready to insert into any document.

There's also a bonus third part:
  1. The pdf of the handout I used for the event itself as an example and a prompt for you to create something better. It's set in house-style Calibri font, which doesn't give the most rare books vibe, it has to be said. 

Someone will doubtless point out that Powerpoint is a ludicrous choice of programme to do this in, but it worked for me when I was in quite a rush to get this done, and I'm pretty happy with the result.

And there's a non-zero chance that I've actually got something technically wrong with the layout and imposition, in which case, do please yell! It took an embarrassing number of attempts to get watermarks right. (The elephant is Briquet 5948, by the way.)

I'm going to write up further thoughts on museum-style handling sessions using rare books in due course, and I'll be hoping for contributions and thoughts from other people who are doing this already or who would like to. So get your thinking caps on!


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