Bookmark This Page!
The evolution of technology is a curious thing. Now that tablets and E-readers have become common household items, odds are there are households that will attempt to go paperless. Unfortunately this means that they will also move away from the magic of books, and this means there will be people growing up to whom a bookmark is only something they click if they want to quickly reach their favorite website.
And that’s a shame, because there’s a lot of joy to be found in bookmarks, and seeing one being placed in the bag as you purchase another book to add to your pile of “Still need to read, but had to have when I find the time” always adds a sense of wonder and excitement.
Bookmarks offer an interesting challenge to any illustrator. Grab a piece of paper (preferably something like 300 grams) and cut it into pieces, ranging from 17x4cm to 22x7cm and there’s your canvas. If you’re anything like me, the user in you prefers the 17cm version, because it’s the average height of a pocket paperback. And then you’d like something that might hold comfortably while you’re reading. Which I imagine becomes a real issue when your hands are smaller.
But after you’ve settled on a size comes the real challenge. You’re going to have to decide on a theme! If you’re ever unsure about getting someone a gift, head to your favorite bookstore and get them that one favorite you know they’ll love. Then when you get home, get in the zone and find the essence of that story. That one character, image or scene that defines the book, and transfer that onto your bookmark. Even better if you can tell your version of it vertically. If you’ve chosen The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a falling sperm whale and a bowl of petunias is nigh-spoiler free, yet it is one of the defining moments of the book.
Last but not least, you’re going to have to decide on materials and shape for your bookmark, and the options are endless! Something crafted fully by hand might give it that extra special touch, but a digital version might allow for a cleaner look, or a better way to express yourself. But what’s holding you back from adding that extra bit of personal after you’ve printed your digital project. Pull out that bottle of paint or ink and let yourself go!
Of course you shouldn’t be stuck with that rectangular shape either. You’ve got a world of options ahead of you. A bookmark can have any shape or design, but remember that it will get used. So make sure your Peter Rabbit isn’t too nosy, or it might lose it’s head!