Botanic memory book

I designed, printed and bound this beautiful memory book for a woman’s 60th birthday. Her two daughters wanted to give her a very special present which documented her life. They asked friends and family to send them any photos they had of their mother, along with a personal message that would also be kept in the book. It grew into a collection of 140 photos,  15 personal messages and several mementos – all to be included in the book.

We started out by dividing the book up into chapters. This was a simple way to group different people and life events together, along with separate sections displaying her special achievements and skills. I then edited the photographs which were a mix of sizes, formats and quality. This involved a lot of colour-correction as many of them were old and faded but I wanted the photos to have a consistent vibrancy throughout the book.

After consultation, I laid out and designed the book in a scrapbook style: the photos overlap and are printed at angles on the page. The book also has pockets incorporated into the design. These hold the personal messages and other mementos such as her wedding menu.

I bound the book using a coptic stitch. This stitch was used as early as 2AD and these bindings are seen as the first ‘true’ codex books. I dyed white linen thread for the stitching in order to match the pinks on the cover. This stitch creates an elegant looped pattern on the exposed spine and it is highlighted by placing the vivid pink against the white pages.

Like all my pieces, this book is made from acid-free, high-quality archival materials. The paper is a printable watercolour paper and I used archival inks for printing. This will ensure that there is no deterioration of this wonderful keepsake. I made a grey wraparound to protect the book when not in use. The closure mimics a butterfly’s wings opening up into the pink floral book. This handmade memory book measures 24 x 26 x 4 cms.