A Book That Moves Forward With Time
“You and I” is by poet Shuntaro Tanikawa.
Naoko Nakui, the designer of the book, asked me to work with her on the book binding. The book is bound in a cloth-covered top binding, and the foil on the cover is wonderful.
The pigmented foil, however, will lose its color if it is rubbed.
From a bookbinding point of view, it would not be good if the color of the foil faded, but Shinohara saw the fading as a good design feature, so we went ahead with the production and completed the book.
After submitting this book, Shinohara, having personally read the poetry book and noticed that the foil fell off the parts that his hands frequently touched and how the color of the paper in the text changed over time, was satisfied. It’s like the way jeans or leather goods change over time and you become attached to them. The more you read, the more the book becomes your own.
The Bookbinding Process Being Part of the Design.
Always seeing color fading and paper loss of books in a negative light, Shinohara now realized that books can actually just be produced so that, from the get go, they look like what they would eventually look like in a few years after being read. At the same time, he also realized that paper processing and book manufacturing are also important steps in book design, and that these steps are not just processes through which books get produced.
I was sad to see paper books losing the fight against e-books, but then I realized that what really matters isn’t whether paper books win against e-books, but whether paper books would leave readers with a lasting impression simply for the fact that they are paper books. At the time, I had such a conflict in my mind that paper books would lose again e-books, but it was not about winning or losing – it was about being able to create something that would leave a lasting impression because it was a paper book. In order to do that, I have to know what one thinks and feels when they want to make a book, which is why I have com up with this style of making books that is not only based on technique but also on the feelings that one might have when he or she wants to make a book. Shinohara said, “If it had been right after I delivered this book (You and I), I wouldn’t have had this realization. I had this realization only because I read it as a reader, and because I was also on the production side.