When initially looking for materials for this book, I knew I wanted to stick to a very earthy and organic colour scheme using greens and some nude or neutral colours. When going out to source different materials, I first found a green floral print nepalese paper which I thought was a great first element to incorporate.
Knowing that I wanted to use this paper for the cover or as a large accent used within the book, I searched for a complimenting set of papers to use for the body and content of the book. I decided on two paper types for the interior pages to act as a differentiation between narrative and information pages for easier use when on the go; having the manila pages be strictly care information makes it easier to find and flip to the desired content when out plant shopping.
After some deliberation I decided the green nepalese paper would be best used as the end pages and backing of the covers since I wanted to emulate the debossing and foiling done on many art nouveau style covers; I thought the nepalese paper would be too busy of a pattern for the cover if I also wanted to implement the gold debossing. Now in search for a new paper or fabric for the cover to pair with the paper I already want to incorporate, I came across a light and delicate forest green corduroy fabric. This corduroy would create a nice feeling texture for the cover while simultaneously being a better base for the metallic gold from underneath to shine through.
When looking for metallic gold paper to use for emulating a debossed design, I wanted a paper that was not simply just a metallic sheet of gold but something with a slight texture or pattern in order to create an interesting gold instead of a flat gold.
Once my materials were collected I needed to create the actual content to go inside the book. I compiled a list of 15 non-toxic/pet safe houseplants that I own and wrote about their care needs as well as my advice and experience with keeping that specific plant and how my cats interact with it. With my written content solidified, I began drawing/illustrating the plants and cats in my desired style as well as began taking photos of and cropping out the images of the plants. Although it ended up becoming undocumented, cropping out all the plant images was a gruelling and taxing job, but thanks to a source
I found, a few of the cropped images came free (for personal use only).
When designing the cover I kept in the mind being able to keep each element large enough to be lazer cut out without issue, and to create little arms to hold all the counters in. I did various test cuts with some aspects of the plant image and the letters with counters in order to insure everything stayed in place. I also did a small test strip to see how the gold would adhere and show through. After I felt confident enough with my test piece, I treated my cover with the corduroy and then lazer cut the design, finally I pasted the gold paper on the back and finished with a layer of the nepalese paper.
After creating and laying out the content, the finishing touches and final production began to happen, this means test printing. In order to have the cats print the same colour as the manila paper meant many test prints with varying colour and tint and opacity combinations. There were also test prints done to check for type size, leading, readability and of course the typesetting.
The final step is to coil punch the book and slide the coil through.