Book edges coloured prior to sewing in alternate colours (using acrylics). Hand sewn with leather jointed endpapers, leather endbands and hand painted paste paper doublures. The spine is covered in red goatskin with blue leather and printed parchment onlays. The boards have panels of blue and red leather, printed parchment and vellum. Lettering to the spine and upper board in gold. There is a vellum onlay inside the front board lettered in black. The book is contained in a felt lined drop-back box covered in hessian with a leather lettering label to the spine.
There are many ways to approach a design binding and with this book, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, given the timescale, I have tried to concentrate on some of the general themes of Dystopia, very much in keeping with observations made by people like George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.
The Canadian border is represented on the front board, with a barcode printed on parchment running boldly across both boards and the spine. On the back board, a large vellum panel with an underlay of a fingerprint; identity being a key element in a dystopian society.
Running beneath the panels both on the boards and the spine, black text is visible, being an extract from Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, with reference to information hidden within the restricted access library at Ardua Hall.
On the inside board, there is a vellum onlay showing the lettering and microdot of the tattoo worn by Baby Nicole on entering and leaving Gilead. The edges of the book are coloured in Pink, Plum and White stripes, representing the dresses worn by the Econowives.
The box is covered in brown hessian in reference to the dresses worn by the Aunts.
The overall effect was to try and capture what was once the United States with a darkness at its centre (the oversized barcode), using elements of both dystopia and ideas from the text.