Space Photo-Book

I interned with the Espresso Book Machine printing press at the Michigan State University Library, where I worked as a pre-press and printing assistant. During the course of my work, I handled everything from cover design to book layout. Initially, the Espresso Book Machine was used mainly to print dissertations and the occasional book for a professor, so public relations was limited. However, the Michigan State Library started to make a dedicated space for students and the public to craft a variety of projects. The staff implemented a “Makerspace” that would later involve 3D-printing, vinyl cutting, book printing, and more. I was tasked with helping the Espresso Book Machine move to accommodate the public’s needs, so I developed a poster explaining prices and created multiple book samples to show suggested printing sizes.


This book is one of several samples I created completely on my own. My supervisor suggested the sizes, and I chose to make several types of books to guide any clients who were unfamiliar with printing standards. For smaller sizes like six by nine inches, I made sample “novels” with fake text (using lorem ipsum). Novels usually come in standard sizes and present fewer layout difficulties, so the challenge of this project came with alternate sizes.

Photobooks present a unique layout challenge—each photo must be treated as an art piece of its own right, but also must incorporate seamlessly into the overall design of the whole book layout. Color, subject matter, and orientation require careful consideration. Tasked with completing such a book on short notice, I chose a theme with easily accessible public domain photos: outer space. I used a size that is common for coffee table books, but rebutted the traditional seriousness of an art book for a slightly tongue-in-cheek humor in the descriptions to give the book a personal touch that wouldn’t divert from the book’s purpose as a teaching aid. The project remains one of my favorites, a time I was allowed to experiment with color and size of photos with relative freedom.

Space Photo-Book

(For best results, please download and choose “Two Page View”)

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