Once I had pretty much finalized the page layouts for my book, I decided to do a series of test prints using the studio laser jet printer. I did this to get an idea of which stock would work best for the overall aesthetic of my book. I knew that I wanted to print on some type of fairly heavy coloured stock, it was just a case of actually deciding on which colour to use. BUTT magazine, where I have drawn a lot of influence from uses a pastel pink stock throughout its layouts, which is context and content aware and in some ways stereotypically gay. I wanted to use a colour that is genderless, a colour that is subtle and that is not necessarily related to a specific gender within society. So I tested the prints on yellow, greens and blues. I then did some tests on Pearl Grey and tracing paper.
Out of all the colours that I tested my designs on, the Pearl Grey was by far my favourite as it was the most subtle and the colours looked amazing on it. Plenty of contrast and the clarity of the images wasn't lost on this stock. The other colours were not subtle enough and cheapened the overall feel.
I played around with various stocks in the studio using the laser printer. I knew that I wanted to print my text content onto coloured stock, as I had been influenced by BUTT magazines use of baby pink stock, I was just unsure of which colour to use. In InDesign, I made the background a very light, pearl Grey. I found some really nice stock in a similar colour and did some test prints and the content looked amazing on this medium weighted paper.
I also printed my spreads on quite bold colours such as greens, yellows and blues, but the content got lost on such dark colours. I also tested it to see what it would look like on white, but it looked a little cheap and didn’t really suit the content well. So I settled with Grey stock.
I had established that I was going to print the portraits on tracing paper at quite an early stage, so I did some test prints of them and they turned quite well. I was unsure if I would actually use tracing paper for the final book. I then thought it would be a nice idea to have a wrap around dust sleeve with the title of the book printed on it that acts as a second cover for the book. I tested this and it worked perfectly and reflected the idea of having an alter-ego for the book right from the start.
I then printed the photographs that I had taken in the studio onto tracing paper, as this was my original vision and concept for the book. The prints looks okay on tracing paper and looked great once overlaid on top of the text, but there was something about it that I didn't really like. So I decided to not print the portraits on the tracing paper in the end. Perhaps, it would have looked interesting on acetate, but I am glad that I chose to print the photos on the same stock as the rest of the book.
I did however decide to print the wrap around dust sleeve for the book on tracing paper. This added an extra level of sophistication and intrigue and links to the context of having multiple façades and appearances, just like an alter ego.