Our goal is to help stories come to life. Our method can change, depending on how you’d like to tell it, but here is a general idea of how we move a story to the page.
1. Find the Story
Maybe there’s a tale you want to tell. It might be a long one or an anecdote, an incident from long ago or the story of a life. It might be your story, or your child’s; or maybe it’s family lore passed down from a grandparent. It might not even be a true story, but a tall tale told by a great uncle. Or maybe you don’t even know what the story is; you’re just looking for the perfect gift for your parents’ 50th anniversary and are stuggling for an idea that’s more personal than his and her flannel bathrobes.
We will talk to you, at no charge, to help you find the heart of the story and decide if it’s begging to be put down on paper.
2. Decide on a Structure
Is it a book or a single page, suitable for framing? Is it whimsical? Does it beg to be told in a unique voice with bright drawings? There might be a mysterious tone to it that would come out through charcoal images and simple language. If it’s a life story, it might best be told through a collection of anecdotes over the years, and photographs highlighted with sketches with a painted portrait for a cover.
We strive to capture the mood, because that’s such a large part of the story. Paintings, sketches, bright drawings — each creates a different atmosphere. Or we could use photographs as a starting point, recreate the subject in any medium, place them in any situation. A studio portrait could be translated into a vibrant picture of a kayak trip down the Grand Canyon rapids, accompanied by the hair-raising account of that ill-advised honeymoon (complete with the detail of the groom losing his paddle three times).
Taking into account your budget and, of course, the story itself, we’ll help you decide on the best format.
3. Gather the Background
We’ll need some images to start with. They could be the images you’d like to use on the page, or we could highlight them with effects. We could use an existing images as a guide, transforming it into another medium. If you don’t have photos, we can take some in our professional studio.
Perhaps you have a rough outline of the story, or you’ve written the story out and the copy just needs an edit. We can help shape it into its best form.
If you’re not a writer, or you haven’t had the time, or you’re just too close to the story to do it justice, we would love to help you tell it. Often times, stories (some of the best stories in fact) need a little coaxing. Details that everyone has forgotten might come to the surface in a casual conversation. Many stories can benefit from a few different viewpoints; we can talk to everyone connected to the story, perhaps find a suprising element that many had forgotten.
4. Present a Proof
This is, to understate it, an inexact science. We can talk and talk but until the story has been captured on the page, our expectations are all in our heads. This is why we insist on proofs. We will present you with an initial form of the book or page so you can read it over, check the images and give us feedback.
5. The End Beginning of the Story
There is no shortage of wildly creative ways to bind a book, whether it’s an offbeat material for a cover, unique stitching, an elaborate binding stitch. We have a number of binders we can call on to create the effect you want. For broadsides, we can matte and frame it.
Additional copies of both books and broadsides can be ordered. You might want to keep the special bound edition of your story and have copies made for relatives. Because now that the story is out there in the world, it is begging to be shared again and again.