Part 2 Exercise: Altered pamphlet

‘A local university gallery is hosting an exhibition on artists’ books and fanzines and asks you to produce a small pamphlet. The pamphlet can take any form you wish, but should be produced in the spirit of an artists’ book or fanzine. In other words, it should question some of the expectations of regular publications by being more provocative or playful in the choice of materials, folding and overall design approach.

The pamphlet should highlight six different artists’ books or fanzines, artists or collectives that you’ve personally researched and selected, as well as some details about the university gallery and when the exhibition is taking place. 

Reflect on your experience of taking a more experimental approach. What have you taken from this way of working?’

First, I had a look at some Artists Books and craft objects. I absolutely love miniature things!!

As you can see below, these are little craft projects, which isn’t quite what we were asked to look into, but they are very sweet!!!

Miniature Paper Craft by Cameron Garland

miniature1 rainicorns miniature2 mini3 minimini2

From [author unknown]

This made me smile! Unfortunately I couldn’t find any more about it.


After much research, I decided on the following:

  1. Book of nails by Floating Concrete Octopus
  2. Giving Fear a Proper Name by Susan Kae
  3. Killing III by Denise Hawrysio
  4. Rorschach Comic by Mathias Schmieds
  5. Book Sculptures by Allison Glasgow
  6. Book sculpture by bookBW (Etsy)

Book of nails by Floating Concrete Octopus


Giving Fear a Proper Name by Susan Kae

38041992103895 Artist's Book - Giving Fear a Proper Name : Detroit; by Susan kae Grant; published by Black Rose Press; U.S.A.(Dallas, Texas); c.1984.

Killing III by Denise Hawrysio


Rorschach Comic by Mathias Schmieds


Book Sculptures by Allison Glasgow


Book sculpture by bookBW


There are 6 artists, which became my starting point in these roughs – exploring 6 sections of paper.


I found it easier to actually cut up paper and experiment…This was a sort of folding booklet in a ‘concertina’ type arrangement.




Paper folding…


I rejected this one, as its a little tricky to how how I could use the inside effectively


Just thinking about a book mark shape


In my original ideas sketch, I was thinking about 6 triangles that fold out into a square – with an image of each artists piece of work on them. Geometry obviously isn’t my strong point, because this makes them right angled triangles, so they didn’t fit together quite as I thought!

But lots of possibilities…

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I love this inner star/outer hexagon shape my triangles make. Who knew! (OK probably someone who is good at maths) Total surprise to me though!!

img_3396 img_3395

Unfortunately the star/hexagon ends up larger than a sheet of A4, despite the folded squares only being 100mm across so I don’t think its going to work.

This is my next arrangement , and one I felt I could develop – its fold at triangles on the inside of a trifold leaflet.




I wanted to get to grips with laying out a trifold leaflet in Indesign… I sort of bodged one in my last Illustration course, and you can sort of guess and eyeball it, but it seemed high time to actually learn it properly. I found it helpful to measure an A4 piece of paper, work out my own dimensions, colouring each panel separately, so I could see how it all works.

Pondering on ripping the edges here.

img_3467 img_3466

I have just signed up to the learning resource, so I dutifully found a series on making a trifold leaflet. Although the tutors are very thorough, I found it quite hard to digest, especially as he did all his measurements in points and used a huge number of guides, plus baseline grid, plus cap height lines etc etc.

I picked out what was helpful to me, but used millimetres for my layout. I did add a bleed and slug with fold marks, just to get some experience of how a trifold would be laid out for professional printing.


I then simplified, as for this exercise, I’m only printing at home!

I added some of the images I’d collected to my idea in Indesign and messed about with some deliberately wonky hand lettering

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-09-17-52 screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-09-20-14

Here are my place markers for the folded triangles, and some text in Courier


These are the coloured squares ready to print out. On the other side will be images for each artist (one for each square)

trifold-artists-book-brochure-94 trifold-artists-book-brochure-93

Booklet experiments and planning

trifold-artists-book-brochure-5 trifold-artists-book-brochure-3 trifold-artists-book-brochure-82trifold-artists-book-brochure-102

I then had all my elements ready to print off and play around with…

img_3472 img_3471

Once assembled, I took some pics

My Experimental Leaflet


img_3481 img_3480 img_3479 img_3478


Hmmmmm?? Well I really had a go at doing something a bit barking! But my impression now I’ve uploaded these is that they are too busy. Theres no need for the text in the centre – its a repeat of the title panel (and I could have added the dates there) Also, I think I’ve used an odd mix of tone and styles.


I don’t know how well the scruffy lettering sits with the images. I also roughed up Courier a bit by randomly inserting capital lettering or upping the points size from 13 to 15pts.

The leaflet at planning stage looks a lot more enigmatic and a bit more classy?


Oh well. Really fun to do, despite the dodgy outcome. I enjoyed ‘mucking about’ and throwing everything at this. I’m not too disappointed with how it looks, its an occupational hazard of experimenting. I think its a lot more disappointing when I’ve been trying very hard to be neat/pretty/elegant/original and it all goes wrong – this was meant to be experimental!

Heres my final idea: Why does a leaflet have to behave at all? What about one that looks just like rubbish?? Intriguing or stupid? Discuss.






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