Collaborated photobook “Interesting“
11.3 x 14.5 x 3.2 cm
Photographer Mengjia Zhao @merveilles_410
70 images from 2019-2021 at New York and surrounding cities.
11.3 x 14.5 x 3.2 cm
There are so many ways to view photos nowadays—smartphones, computer screens, you name it—but none of these compares to the feeling of holding an actual photobook in your hands. Start from selecting photos, printing, typesetting, hand-sewing to finishing book covers, the photos are no longer just scattered, plain images; the process gave the book a life beyond its function as a shell, making it an ultimate expression and experience of these photographs.
What exactly defines “interesting”? This photo book is pretty much composed of photographs I personally would stare at for a while, that each time I see it I would pause and watch, and I define that as “interesting” to me. Overexposed or out-of-focused ones can often be quite fun. –by Mengjia Zhao
At first glance, these photos usually fail to clearly convey what the subject or meaning is—but that’s the fun part—it’s just a game of light and shadow. I am enjoying the process of chasing illusionistic and empty reflections with my lens. My camera permits me the total freedom; in my world within the viewfinder I no longer have to be restrained by anything.
The bookbinding details
The imposition needs to be decided before printing. I used quarto on letter size paper, so that the book fits nicely in the palm and easily portable.
In order to present this elegant French stitches as visible on the spine, I chose a thick matte photo paper, and 4 folios in 1 signature. There are 12 signatures in total; each 4 are sewn in one kind of color thread, and the three distinct colors bring a rich flavor to the spine.
In addition to emphasizing the stitching, I also sewed linen tape into the cover cardboard, which makes the structure of the book sturdier.
Skimming through the photographs, I found this one of the bird quite interesting, so I decided to carve out a small window on the front cover, letting the little bird “unintentionally” peek through. The photo combined with the beautiful book cloth became this interesting book cover.