The Writing of the Thing

by Meg Ferguson

Printmaking graduate Meg Ferguson, tells us about her work for her final dissertation and why it was important to her to make it as a proper book.


Tell us about your course and the content of your dissertation?

I studied on the Printmaking MA at the Royal College of Art and graduated last summer (2015). My work isn’t a traditional print practice, but I’m interested in language and the physical image, which relates to ideas of print. We have to write a dissertation of 6000 to 10,000 words between our first and second year. I wrote about the process of writing to explore language as an object. This led me to look at the subject/object and affect’s relationship with language, asking if it was possible to become a ‘thing that feels’.


Why did you feel this work would be best interpreted in a book?

I wanted to use the structure of a printed book to explore the object-ness of language.


You supplied your content to us pre-designed, were there any particular challenges in that process?

I hadn’t used InDesign much so getting used to it was a challenge. The design of the text was integral to the book so it was important to me that I could do this myself. It was a great help to come and talk through your InDesign template in person.


What influenced the inside elements of your book - layout, images, typography?

My dissertation was called ‘The Writing of the Thing’ and played with conventions of writing. I used different fonts to indicate different voices/styles of writing: a serif font for creative texts and sans serif for more academic content. Pink and yellow highlights indicated repeated or soon to be repeated lines, images took up whole pages, and one double page just had ‘CAT’ across it. It played with what a MFA dissertation could be.


How and why did you select the custom elements of the book, the cloth colour and blocking?

It was designed to look like a classroom notebook, but with a high-quality feel.


Apart from your ideas on the design and look of the book, did you have an opinion on the best way to print and bind the book?

There were a couple of options. I chose a hardback fabric cover because it worked best with the project. I also went for a foil for the title so I could get the notebook design.


What made you choose Artisan Books for the production?

They were recommended to me, were helpful and fitted my budget.


What was your reaction to the finished book?

I was really pleased. The colours were sharp and the finish was just what I’d wanted.


And was it well received ?

I got a distinction, which is the highest mark you can get, so I was really pleased.


Would you recommend an Artisan Book to other students considering investing in a book presentation?

Absolutely. I already have.


Can you tell us a bit about the work you are doing now?

I’ve been working on video and text pieces and I’m also collaborating with several artists to set up an online broadcast/exhibition space.

You can find out more about  Meg’s work here or commission Meg here


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