"The Coast is Crumbling" Book Project

This book is my baby. An 176 page, 22 signature, hand sewn labor of love. I will probably never design a book quite like this again in my life. I was inspired by two sources: coastlines and rollercoasters. Trying to mimic the motion of waves and curving nature of tracks led me to create plates that could accommodate a wide range of motion, quite literally. 

Over the course of the book the margins shift from the “west” to “east” coast, with a “w/east” section in the middle. The paragraphs shift from being left, to center, to right aligned.

In order to have consistency amongst a text that is constantly moving, I created a system for smaller secondary texts set in three columns in the same spot on the bottom almost every page. Each column’s height depends on the length of the paragraph within the article, which explains the variation on every page. The larger “primary” articles are set around, at a consistent space away, from the top of the smaller article paragraphs.

The pull quotes all have weird breaks in them, a move that references back to the idea of breaking and crumbling. Later in the book, they break through the smaller articles and begin to “push” all of the text towards the edge. By the end of the book, the text has almost disappeared entirely, the journey from west from east complete. 

I chose the title, “The Coast is Crumbling,” to tie back into constant motion and how that also means constant change; creation and destruction. The things at the edges are the first to fray. None of the texts are fully justified, creating wave-like rags throughout. 

I used a soft cover with a loose binding to reinforce constant movement as the reader holds the book in their hands. 

I lied to get approval to bind to this book. I claimed that I had made books with a similar coptic stitch before when in fact, I had never done one before in my life. I practiced this stitch once on a 40 page dummy and the second time was for the final product. It turned out exactly as I had envisioned it and remains in one beautiful piece today.

Project Process Book

Using Format