I’ve been trying to find a paper that will work not only with photogravure but letterpress too, and one that will fold easily for the signatures.

Originally I was going to use a thin paper, perhaps a lightweight Somerset Book, but with twenty images and four signatures (about 48 pages) it would be a very thin book, and I’d like something a little more substantial. Also, with the thinner papers the photogravure tends to show through the back, which isn’t too much of a problem as I’m not printing on that side, but it is a little untidy.

The other factor in all this is the grain of the paper. I’d like to cut the costs down as much as possible, obviously, and with one or two of the papers I’m considering using I’ll only get one double page out of each full sheet, after allowing for trimming. With a paper like Hahnemühle Copperplate that’s perfect for gravure, the weight is good but the pages have no flex to them as you’d get with a softer book paper.

I’ve made a couple of blank dummy books, each consisting of four signatures. One small version to help me with pagination and a full size (vertical 14″ x 11″) version in Somerset Book. I have a few other papers to consider, but for now the heavier Somerset Book is working well.

I’m acutely aware that the whole purpose of this mentorship is to allow me to work in a way that I wouldn’t normally. So I’m trying to break away from the traditionalist that I usually am and try different things. I really don’t want to get stuck using a traditional typeface on a traditional paper, but I’m trying to combine three aspects of the project, letterpress, book art and photogravure, two of which I have very little or no experience in.