I chose to write my narrative in calligraphy because I felt that was sticking with the time of design in the 1930’s very well. After my experiment with paint and calligraphy went well and I’d creating some good screen prints I wanted to use, I began writing some of the narrative in calligraphy on either tracing paper or paper (depending what I had decided in my draft).
The first page I wrote was describing his honour for the British defence he fought against in February 1937. I took a different approach to the composition so that the narrative and a quote from something Thomas had said, was separate and there was a clearly transition that one was is describing what happened and the other is from what he has said. When I was writing this, I was thinking about what we had been taught when we were doing our type specimens with columns so I was trying to make sure things were written evenly (in two separate columns). Obviously it’s only a rough guess with it being written by hand but I think it looks even.
More pages of written narrative:
For the one, I contrasted between the thickness of the letters to show the difference between what was a quote and what was telling the story – and also to highlight important words in the sentence. For the other, I decided to use paint instead of pen which certainly made the writing a lot bolder, I’m not sure if I like it but I will include it in the zine as it will add to the diversity of different materials.
Composing the Zine
As I was making more work, I was anxious to see what it was going to look like altogether so the best thing to do was to just start layering it up together and seeing how it would read. I had my draft zine to follow so it was quite easy to see what order it needed to be in.
The screen prints I did were on both tracing paper and paper so I took this time to make the decision on which would be best to use.
I still had all the off-cuts of when I did the screen prints so I used that for part of the story. It’s keeps with the aesthetic of the zine so there’s a visual theme throughout. I realise now that there is a spelling mistake in this bit of writing, as there probably is in other parts of my writing but I won’t change it because it’s hand written type so there is bound to be mistakes.
I wanted the viewer to really interact with the piece and for there to be journey when turning each page and learning what the story is. The pages are weird shapes and different weights so I think this helps with the reader interaction because they have to be careful when turning each page, but what I also decided to do was to have pages turning different faces so it would really push the reader to interact with the piece.
At the moment, I have just stuck the zine together with masking tape so I can get the just of the flow of the zine and change it if needs be. There are still pages to add, like the cover from Dan and screen prints from Elizabeth and also, my own images I plan to print of Frank Thomas.