Excursion: Making the Book Covers

The second half of our semester is underway. I can’t believe how fast this semester and class is going. While the first half of the class focused on small press publishing companies and how they operate, the second half of the semester is all about us creating our own book as a class. Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Joe O’Conner, he is an alum of SVC, but he is on his way to becoming a published poet. Our class along with Eulalia Books will be publishing O’Conner’s book, Why Poetry?. It was enlightening to hear from him last class about his hopes for his book and what inspired him to write Why Poetry?. It was so cool to be a part of this process and see all the different things that goes into publishing a book of poetry.

This past week, we returned to MeshWorks to work on the covers of Why Poetry?. The cover art was done by O’Conner’s friend. It was beautiful to see all of us working together for a common goal of getting 300 covers made, or at least trying to. We were first taught how to silkscreen the covers. It was great to see how the colors were made and the proper way to do it. 

Our first few covers that were made. © Elspeth Mizner 2019

Then we were broken up into groups. My group included Danny and Micaela. We had a great system going with Danny printing and Micaela and I proofing them and laying it out to dry. We got over 50 covers printed. It took a while at first to get the hang of it and to make sure the covers were straight, and the ink was evenly distributed across the cover. As we were working, I loved seeing how every cover was different with the colors. Every station had different shades of blue to print the covers. I love how everyone brought their own unique designs and experience to the project. 

The finished product © Elspeth Mizner 2019

This was the first time I worked with silk screening and printing book covers. Although, it took a while to get the hang of it, it was truly rewarding to see them all get printed. The common theme I have seen while learning about the small press business is that it’s a community effort. Everyone is working together towards a common goal of getting a book published. I have loved all the trips we have taken as a class and I look forward to our book launch within the next few weeks. 

1 thought on “Excursion: Making the Book Covers”

  1. The books looked amazing and the design was flawless! I think it is interesting that you say how everyone works together. Working in a small press likely opens people to a much wider range of skills than someone who works in a larger one.


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