Friday, April 16, 2010

Jeff's Big Book

As propmaster for Nickelodeon's BrainSurge, I created this fun giant book used in each episode by host Jeff Sutphen. The one pictured here is the recently filmed second season makeover version of the book currently seen on the air in season one. It couldn't be very different as it's an established prop now. Because the audience only gets a brief moment to see the cover when Jeff holds the book up quickly before opening, the simple overall design and bold wording works well to recognize what it is as opposed to a prop tome of intricate detail.

The book had to be very large, but still very easy to lift and handle, so I made it from scratch with lightweight foamcore board. It's painted and finished using the same paper towel and Mod Podge method from my creepy old book how-to. Although it looks 500 pages thick, there are only 50 or 60 glued in sheets of thin drawing pad paper. I crumpled each page and loosely made flat again, so the book never really closes completely and has the illusion of thickness and weight. The pages were aged with brushed on coffee. The natural warping of the paper after drying also helps the illusion.

The ornate corners on the cover are cut out from craft store fun foam sheets with added brass upholstrey tacks. Like many of my past projects needing old labels, the one here is also done in Photoshop, printed out, glued on and aged with coffee. I wrinkled and tore the edges for the worn look while still wet.

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