Artist Book research

When looking at artist books, they can take many different shapes, sizes and formats aside from just the standard “book”

One of these different formats of  books in the “Concertina” or “Accordion” book, which consists of two covers but without a spine attaching them together, and the pages are folded and stretch out into a long sequence.


Image from

As with all artist books, there can be very many variations on each format:



Rebecca Freeman, Laser cut black card with lino embossed card sleeve

The laser cut card which when folded creates an unintelligible, but beautiful image, is surrounded by the lino embossed pattern, both features which I particularly find attractive.

With this concertina book, the cover is only attached to the one side of the book with the pages unfolding away from it. and the cover itself folding over itself and tying shut. Not only has the paper been cut into, casting shadow patterns behind it, but the inside of the cover has also been used to add to the image of the book.

One of the strengths of the concertina book is the ability to create drawings which run across the pages, to create a continuous image but with each page also being framed as an individual image. Another interesting thing to note is that most concertina books seem to use only the one side of the page, rather than both the front and reverse sides.

A series of artist books can create an instillation, in this case despicting a cityscape. These books are made up of different colours, and height of book while keeping the number of pages and their width seemingly consistent to create a sense of unity between the books. The unremarkable, patterened covers are oddly contrasting with the brightly coloured and patterned contents of each book.


A similar variation on the Concertina book is the “Carousel” or “Star” book. When stretched out, it creates the same zigzag pattern as the concertina, but containing generally 3 layers of pages which allow for the use of stencilling to create space and depth of imagery and surface





These books allow for a real emphasis between background and foreground, as well as the framing of each image. Not only can they be viewed sequentially, but each picture can also be sectioned off and viewed independently, with the design of the page being used to literally frame each panel. The way in which the silhouettes of the crows then intersect with these white frames also adds to the sense of depth and layering, as they appear to be above the layer of the frame.


As with all artist books, they do not necessarily need to be made to look as clinical and professional as a standard book. The use of handmade paper especially can alter the look and tone of a book, changing the tone from precise and clean to something much more personal and rough, giving an expressive and raw feel.

The layered pages also allow for literal “windows” to be made looking into the pages of the book by limiting your view of the image, rather than just simply embellishing or adding depth to it.