The road to "havana" – a blog about the making of a book

Sequencing any photobook involves an equal amount of the following:

• Intuition: What picture best compliments, or best follows, any other picture?

Logic: How many images and how much text have to fit into how many pages?

Luck: How do you juggle the two (sometimes competing) concerns above and get everything to work out perfectly in the end?

There are a couple of things I try to do right off the bat …

• I literally write down all of the most fundamental information on an index card and tack that card to a cork-board two feet from my face:

        144 total pages

        87 plate (i.e., primary) images

        20 pages of text (approx.)

        3 pages of front matter (title page, copyright page, contents page)

While some / all of these details may change throughout the process, it’s important to never lose sight of the basics.

• While most of the photographs will be full-bleed on a single page (see the earlier post, “The big picture”), there are about 17 photos which should obviously be spread across two pages. However, when you spread any image across two pages, you have to contend with the gutter:


While you do cut thru the plant on the pedestal, there is a second, more prominent and more-or-less identical plant and pedestal. Barring that obscuration, every other object in the photograph falls comfortably to one or the other side of the gutter.


CORRECTION (August 8): Re-reading this post, it occurs to me that it has very little to do with sequencing, and is instead almost entirely about design, and taking good notes. Sorry about that …

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