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Making a Photocopier Imposition Dummy

Left: a visual aid for the following discussion on making a dummy for a photocopier book. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (This is a straightforward pamphlet)

When I posted on the MCBA Visual Journal Collective Portrait Party I meant to post about creating a photocopier book right away; other things intervened. Now to make the discussion quick and simple, because it really can be simple folks, I have provided the labeled photo to the left.

Let’s walk through the process. And "No your head will not explode!" Just hang in there and read.

If you want to photocopy something and put it together as a book you have to be aware of how to layout your master pages (the originals that will be photocopied) so that when they are copied back to back the pages will fall in the correct order. You have to think in signatures.

The easiest way to do this is to make a small imposition dummy, which is essentially a bunch of folded sheets labeled with the page numbers, so that you can check you’re organizing it correctly. (I sometimes find it helpful to label these pages with a note about content as well as the page number.)


Report on the MCBA Visual Journal Collective Portrait Party

Left: Here’s a quick photo of the final book we made at the Portrait Party. Top—the inside information page and the first page of the participants list (math is not my strong point and I wrote in 26 attendees when actually there were 27!); a portrait spread (all pairs were opposite each other on a spread) showing my portrait of Lynn Fisher (left) and Lynn Fisher's portrait of me (right—she took off years and years!); Ken Avidor’s overview sketch of the party participants; a cover with the optional title label. The book is 7 1/8 wide x 8 5/8 inches tall. I used Canson Mi Tientes to make the covers (people attending only had to bring cover paper). It is a 32-page, 5-hole stitch pamphlet. Click on the image to see an enlargement. (All artwork © of the listed artists who gave me permission to post.)

Last week I wrote a brief note about the MCBA Visual Journal Collective Portrait Party held on Monday, February 16. I wanted to give a more complete report, as well as provide a visual of the book which we made.

I arrived at MCBA at about 6:10 p.m. to start setting up for the 7 p.m. meeting. With the help of Emma Allen who is the adult programs coordinator at MCBA and the co-coordinator of the Collective I got extra cover materials set out (she and I both brought extra paper as we thought people would forget), organized our workspace, and I started creating “work stations.” I came with a plan all written out in steps because I knew once we started people were going to have questions and I would need to be several places at once. Having a written plan people could read was invaluable.

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