Typography, typesetting, and prepping to teach

Throughout October and November it has become an annual rite to set one or more small books into type. I do this to remember and honor my love of making books. This morning I remembered that I’m also preparing to teach in January, so my sabbatical mind is interrupted.

Yesterday I finished the one I started last week. I typeset that one, and essay by Goriunova & Shulgin from 2002, on the Raspberry Pi pi-top and Scribus. I generated a PDF. I had hoped to impose it with a booklet making package I found in the online repository of FLOSS packages available through the Sirius OS / Raspberry Pi Debian Unix package manager. The new booklet imposer accepts PDFs, presuming A5 page size, and outputs only to A4, cropping anything outside these parameters. I had to use my booklet imposing app on my Mac which can handle a variety of input page sizes. I made a vertical half-letter sized page, colloquially called a “hot dog” fold. The fold is in the long dimension of a US ANSI Letter sized page.

To prepare for teaching in January I have to remember how Affinity Publisher behaves to make similar artifacts. Each of the page layout software packages has ideosyncracies, even though they ostensibly perform the same operations.

I am going to make another book, on the Mac, in Affinity Publisher. I may make a couple before the end of the year. Today I’m going to work on the obiturary for Arecibo.

I spent a few hours trying to understand python scripting in Scribus before I found the linux booklet imposer. The python scripts remain inscrutable to my, as does the console interface within Scribus. I was impatient. I want to get back to thinking about game-making. I want to do both things, make games and make books. I also want to learn new skills.

There are browser-based booklet imposers. They appear to be super-simple. Not at the level of complexity I have in mind.

I spent a day or more creating an imposition pattern in Scribus for a 16-page signature onto an 18″ x 12″ ARCH-B sheet. This so I could — maybe — be ready to create an artist book edition onto Kozo (mulberry, “rice”) paper on my Epson 4800 printer.

In the shower I was thinking about APIs for artists.

Okay, I typeset the second book, exported as PDF, corrected it 3 times, with new export each time, imposed booklet, printed both books as an artist book edition of 4 each, and have placed them in the book press to flatten the fold for sewing tomorrow.