Making book covers with titles in relief

I wanted to try out a technique for creating relief titles on book covers that a book artist friend, Sarah Bryant of BigJump Press had blogged about but it needed a nipping press which I don’t have at home. How could I not have spotted that there is one in the Print Workshop? It’s not exactly small. Anyway …

I came prepared with several covers and pieces of bookcloth with which to experiment. Yes, all the letters are cut by hand – from 250gsm bristol board. And there’s a second book in progress there too, my 2015 ephemera book, which I used as the guinea pig as I had other options for a fallback if nothing worked.

160117 TTSU cutting out the letters for web 160117 TTSU front covers prepared for web 160117 TTSU text glued on front cover for web

160119 TTSU 01 front cover of 2015 in nipping press for webThe first attempt was following Sarah’s instructions and using the nipping press. Oh dear. Just not enough pressure.

160119 TTSU 05 front cover on Rochat press for web

So next Ling suggested putting it through the Rochat Press. Success! But the pressure meant that the turn-ins (that’s the bits you fold round the four sides of the board to finish the edges off) were showing through on the right side. The answer to that was to put the next version of the cover through before glueing the turn-ins.160119 TTSU 02 front cover of 2015 after going through Rochat press for web

And here is the second and final version all finished.


160119 TTSU 06 front cover off Rochat press for webThen I started the covers for To The Sunlit Uplands – more on that project later in a Work in Progress post. The key difference here was that the letters in the title were much lighter weight that the numbers on the first cover. We didn’t bother trying the nipping press but even the Rochat press didn’t give good results. If you can barely see the text, it’s not you.


160119 TTSU 07 2nd attempt on Beever Hydraulic press for web

So the final option was the Beever hydraulic press.Here is our first attempt. Great, except for the black marks which transferred from the thin foam used to cushion the piece in the press. Lucky I had more prepared to play with.




160123 TTSU 01 cover with better lighting for webAnd here is the final version photographed in my home mini-photo studio with decent side-lighting.