print production circa 1970

A recent episode of Fringe [my favorite must-see tee-vee now that Caprica has not been renewed for a second season] centered around a series of cascading and deadly events triggered by a ballpoint pen. When the agents from Fringe division started investigating, they found ballpoint pens at each scene. Charlie: When was the last time [...]

photo as object, image, memory, icon

This is the first in a series of posts exploring what, exactly, a photograph is and what it means to us, individually and culturally. Photo as object, image, memory, icon…this phrase has been rolling around in my brain for years. It is the foundation of the work I do creating digital archives, recording snippets of [...]

envisioning seven generations

Whenever the question of creating a personal history comes up, people frequently say: Oh, nobody’s interested in hearing about my life. My kids are busy with their jobs and their families and the grandkids are too young to care. Or: My kids have heard all my stories; they don’t need to read about them in [...]

tell your life story with 20 pictures

Well, maybe it’s more like a collection of very short stories. My point is, it’s easy to get started. Pull out 20 – or 12 or 37 – photos. [How about 17 for a haiku?] Write down the who-what-where and -when of each one. Then write a little more. Give it some context. What happened [...]

photos and art and memory and books: this is personal history

It’s the end of a busy couple of weeks where I have been focused on a lot of things–training and financials and marketing–everything except what I love the most: making books from photos and memories. I came across this fabulous project in my Facebook stream late last night and just had to share it with [...]

the bookness of books

My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Fox and I try to take a few hours off on the last Friday of the month and we inevitably end up at one or another Barnes & Nobles. We walk in, grab a basket, and head in our separate directions with a plan to meet in the café [...]

why making a book is hard – and fun!

I am just wrapping up a book project that I impetuously started late last Friday evening. I have created a few books “from scratch”, but usually I function as the designer, only responsible for the photos, design, layout and sometimes coordinating with the printer. So conceiving, writing, designing and producing an entire book—alone? This was [...]

Can people trust your pricing?

Let’s suppose you were a builder and a potential client says, I’d like you to build me a structure out of this particular material that’s this size with this kind of a roof, one door, and four windows. How much would that cost? You go back to the office, look up prices for materials, figure [...]

thinking about [profitable] book design & production

It’s been almost a year since I introduced this blog with my first post What is Book Thinking to orient readers to this site. Here’s what I wrote: … I plan to share what I have learned about how to think about a book project, organize its content [particularly images], design and produce it—and make [...]

speaking of e-books

With the recent release of the iPad and the latest iPhone, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about e-books. Here I offer up some thoughts on the subject. You do realize, don’t you, that the “book” part of “e-book” is a metaphor? It’s used to describe a way of presenting text through electronic devices. [...]