In Search of Rupp’s Sketchbook…..

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.

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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.

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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.

http://fontscafe.com/font/soul-handwriting-font

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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

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The quality may need a little work, but it gives you a sense of what the final project might look like when its done.

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