Before there is a story, there has to be a place to put it, and at the heart of Rupp’s Sketchbook, is the sketchbook itself. In the end this will be a digital project, so why do I need a “real sketchbook”?. I wanted something I could feel and touch, so I could be realistic about the size of my sketches and how folded up documents might fit into the book. I think the project feels more real to me with an actual journal in my hand.
I spent several weeks chasing down what looked like an authentic journal or sketchbook from World War 1. After seeing several historical examples I knew I was looking for something very simple, with a leather cover. I finally discovered this journal at Peter Pauper Press. It had ivory pages, simple lines, gold edging and a non-descript leather cover.
The other thing I liked about it is the page dimension was almost identical to the screen size of the ipad. The ipad feels like a sketchbook and having the screen size match the page size means I will be sketching just like Rupp would be, with the scale of the work limited to a sketchbook he could stuff into his kit bag in a hurry if he needed to.
Finally came the font. If you look in the old war journals, the penmanship is generally quite good. This was an era where neat cursive writing was the norm. I was looking for a computer font that really looked like someone inked on the page, but with an edge, like what a soldier might be able to do in the field. I stumbled upon the Fontscafe website, they had a wonderful font called “soul handwriting” that really hit the mark of what I was looking for.
Taking an idea inside your head, finding something physical that you can hold in your hand and than merging the two into a digital file is a somewhat surreal experience. I scanned the cover and a few pages, found an old wood planking backround and pieced together a few journal pages to test out
The quality may need a little work, but it gives you a sense of what the final project might look like when its done.