I have added the last finishing touch to my new and improved story book and now it is finally complete. The red ribbon that I had added is both an aesthetic and practical aspect to my book – it makes the book more appealing to the eye and also holds the whole book together, as obviously, due to the book holding jigsaw-puzzles within, if it were to open on its own, the pieces would most likely fall out. I chose red because it is a bright and cheerful colour which both contrasts and compliments nicely with the blue book cover. I feel that the ribbon makes the book more attractive overall and if it were sat among other books, I would hope that a person’s eye, in particular a child’s, would be drawn to this bright, colourful and unusual-looking story book. It looks like a little gift-wrapped present.
Overall, I am really pleased and proud of the outcome of my book – I feel that the idea is unique and challenging and I really enjoyed making the piece. The consatina style of the book works well, although now I have completed it, I can’t help but wonder whether a more simple approach may have worked better. For example, having simple pages like most books have, because as a consatina book, the book can be difficult to open as the jigsaw pieces have a habit of falling out if it is not opened in a certain way. However, I also feel that the way the book is able to be laid out completely flat on a surface works extremely well, as it means both jigsaws-puzzles are visible at the same time and can be made at once too. I’m also glad that I used the consatina style as it was something new to me and I challenged myself in making this and am more than pleased with the turnout.
As for the idea of a jigsaw-puzzle book in the first place, I don’t think it could fit the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme narrative any better than it does. Humpty Dumpty’s character ‘falls of a wall’ and ends up in pieces, just as the jigsaws are in pieces too. The physical jigsaw-puzzles work perfectly as a metaphor for the story’s plot.
I feel that the jigsaw-puzzles’ pieces are just the right size. Making the prototypes in the very beginning of the process, during the ideas and early design stages, was really helpful for this as I was able to see that the original size of the pieces that I had made were much too small and would make the jigsaw-puzzles too complicated, especially for a such young target audience, like children. From using thin paper-card to create the jigsaw-puzzle prototypes, it was clear that I would have to use a thicker and heavier material to make the real thing, as the paper-card was constantly moving all over the place and you didn’t get the satisfying click of the pieces as they were put together – this sound was something that I definitely wanted as it was one of the main things I remember when putting together puzzles as a child myself. It was also great to use the lasercutting machine to cut out the jigsaw-puzzles pieces pattern, particularly as I had wanted to use the skill again after having a workshop on it right back in the beginning of my first year at university – it was the perfect opportunity to do this and it worked brilliantly.
The idea of making the puzzles reversible was not the plan originally, although I am now glad that I did as I feel that is a great extra feature of the puzzles. Making the jigsaw-puzzles reversible meant that there are only two puzzles, rather than four. This is good because, firstly it means that there are less puzzle pieces overall, so it is less confusing and pieces are less likely to go missing or get mixed up with the other puzzles. And secondly, it makes the consatina book style work better as it does not have as many pages to open, particularly as a consatina style (as mentioned previously) makes the book slightly more complicated to open without the puzzle pieces falling out. Having the puzzles reversible also makes the story book more fun in general, especially for a target audience of children. For my target audience, I have tried to make the book as fun, as interesting and as interactive as possible – a jigsaw-puzzle, nursery rhyme story book has worked perfectly for this.
As for the images that I have designed and hand drawn onto the jigsaw-puzzles, some of them were similar to ones I had used in my old and first story book that I made earlier in the year – for example, the ‘all the King’s horses and all the King’s men’ imagery was more or less the same, just slightly enlarged to keep consistent with the rest of my designs. Drawing out thumbnails for the illustration ideas during the initial ideas stage of the process was useful as I was able to see what worked and what didn’t. In all the illustrations, Humpty Dumpty is blown up and enlarged so that his whole body is not on the page, just half of it in most cases – I used this as a modern twist and feel that it worked well. In my original thumbnails, I could see that the ‘Humpty Dumpty had a great fall’ illustration was not consistent with the other three, so decided that this needed changing and made note of it so that I would remember when it came round to making the prototype. After seeing the changed thumbnail on the prototype, I was happy with the updated illustration and went on to use it in the finished book.
The black drawing on the white side of the jigsaw-puzzles is negative to the white drawing on the black side and I feel that this contrast works well. I particularly like the effect of the white gel pen on black – it stands out really clearly. I didn’t want to ruin the effects of the black on white and vice versa too much, but still felt that it needed a small hint of colour in the illustrations. I tried not to use too much colour – I just picked out the odd brick from the illustrations in red, and gently added an egg-like colour to Humpty Dumpty, along with a brown belt and yellow bottoms. I chose to use coloured pencil to add the hints of colour, so that I could get a pale and faint sketched effect so that the colour was not too bold, bright or in-your-face – I feel that I achieved this well.
I am incredibly pleased with the final and overall outcome of my story book and it is a piece of work that I am proud to show people and am really glad that I chose to remake it, as I feel that it is a huge improvement from my first and original story book which I was not pleased with whatsoever. I really enjoyed making it and feel that a ‘story book’ could be something I potentially make in my second or even third year of university, if the suitable opportunity arises.